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Pennridge girls bowling team enjoys banner season


Years from now when members of the Pennridge girls bowling team think back on the 2022-23 season, it will be a very pleasant memory.

The Rams’ bowlers under six-year head coach Kris Detweiler finished 49-7, winning the Suburban One League American Conference while participating in the regional tournament and narrowly missing the state team competition.

Leading the six bowlers was senior tri-captain Maribeth Baker, who had a 212 game average (highest in the SOL this year) and will be participating in the state individual championships in Erie this weekend March 17-18. She has been a four-time SOL singles champion, four-time first-team all-league selection and four-time state championships participant during an illustrious high school career.

Other team members are senior tri-captain Megan Smith (146 average, second-team all-league this year); senior tri-captain Kaitlyn Smith (125 average, highest academic average on team); sophomore Joie Mott (130 average, honorable mention all-league); junior Lizzie Flexer (142 average, second-team all-league last year and honorable mention this season); freshman Ashley Wilms (102 average) and assistant coach Liz Detweiler.

“I think we should be very proud of our year,” said Baker, who has a full bowling scholarship to Duquesne University and hopes to bowl on the professional tour someday. “We just kept getting better and better. I think we were very accomplished. I could not be more proud.”

Baker has been bowling since age 7 and her passion for the sport certainly came through while she talked as she and her teammates recently knocked down some pins at Earl Bowl in Telford.

“I don’t bowl just high school,” she said. “I bowl a lot of tournaments everywhere else. I really enjoy the people I meet along the way and the traveling. I love the challenge of the sport, everything about it is so much fun to me.”

Especially fun was this season, Megan Smith noted.

“I think we had a great year,” she said. “I enjoyed our team. It’s the best team we’ve had in the last four years. I started bowling my freshman year. I told my mom I was going to keep her young. She made fun of me but here we are, four years later.”

Kris Detweiler ranks this year’s squad among the very best she has coached at Pennridge, behind only the 2019-20 team that went 48-6.

“This year’s team was easy to coach,” she said. “They got along so well, and that makes my job easier. The seniors are great leaders. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

There are several keys to putting together a successful bowling campaign, the head coach added.

“A lot of practice and feeding off each other,” she said. “When somebody doesn’t do something good, the other girls pick her up.”

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