• BY Hilton

2019-20 WPIBL Boys Bowling Season Update

This year, Alex Smith is looking to win another WPIBL title for Franklin Regional in his senior year of high school.


Alex Smith and the Franklin Regional Panthers are in a new section in WPIBL Boys Bowling. Last year, Smith and the Panthers were in the Southeast Division. This year, they are in the Northeast Division. Smith has helped Franklin Regional repeat as WPIBL Boys Bowling Champions in 2018 and 2019. This year, he is trying to help the Panthers three-peat as WPIBL champions. Last year, in the regular season, Smith finished with a 200.80 average. In the first nine games that he has bowled, this season, he has an average of 215. The highest game he has bowled this season was a 254; that is pretty good since the highest game he bowled in the regular season, last year was 246. The Panthers are currently 2-1 this season; but even if they do not win their section, do not count them out once the WPIBL team championships take place in February.

After finishing in second place, among individuals, in average in the Southwest Division, Mike Smith is currently in first place, this year, when it comes to having the highest bowling average (210.3) in the division. Last year, his average, as a sophomore was a 202. 93. Smith's Bishop Canevin Boys Bowling team currently has a 1-2 record. Even if the Crusaders miss out on missing the playoffs, expect to see Smith bowl in the Boys Singles Championship in February.

Montour's Boys Bowling team had an overall record of 4-6 last year. This season, the Spartans have found rhythm as their record is currently 3-0. Josh Narehood (11) continues to have the highest bowling average for the Spartans. Montour's Boys Bowling team has four players that are in the "Top 7" in the Southwest Division when it comes to having the highest bowling average. Last year, Montour was considered a young team; but this year they have more experience and are succeeding so far.

Last year, Latrobe did not have a Boys Bowling team. This year, they do have a team and they are currently in first in place in the Southeast Division. Yes, they hold a tie breaker over Hempfield and they are doing better than Penn-Trafford. Anyone who follows WPIBL Boys Bowling knows that Hempfield and Penn-Trafford are known for having good Boys Bowling teams. This Latrobe team is reminding me of the inaugural season of the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL in 2017-18. Junior, Matthew Martinosky, and sophomore, James Gatto, are both leading the way for Latrobe as both of these guys are bowling an average of at least 190.

North Allegheny and Butler are still undefeated in the North Division. Last year, Butler won the North Division and we will see if North Allegheny can win the division this year. Dylan Scheidler (11) currently has the highest average for North Allegheny with a 206.89. Ryan Thoma (12) has the highest average in the North with a 224.56. Thoma bowls at Seneca Valley. Thoma's average, last year, was a 181.80. You could say that man practiced a lot at the bowling alley during the Summer.

Penn Hills Boys Bowling team had an overall record of 3-7 in the 2018-19 WPIBL Bowling season. This year, they have started off with a 3-0 record. Penn Hills has started off hot as out of the five best bowlers in the East Division, four of them are from Penn Hills. Ethan Grainey (11), Ryland Amato (12), AJ Collins (12), and Noah Houghtelin (12) have all helped Penn Hills become a strong team as they have the ability to bring a WPIAL championship to Penn Hills. In the first nine games that Collins has bowled, he has averaged 196.86. What is interesting to me is that Collins did not bowl last year at Penn Hills. I wonder if this is the first year that Collins has bowled in the WPIBL. Yes, Penn Hills is known for having good Boys Basketball and football teams; but they might start getting attention for having a good Boys Bowling team as well.

Beaver Falls, Blackhawk, and Ambridge are all in battle mode as one of these three teams have the ability to win the Northwest Division. However, Blackhawk does have the best four bowlers in the Northwest Division when it comes to average.

Ethan Dutka (11) has the highest average in the Center Division with a 232 average. Dutka is considered one of the best bowlers in the WPIBL as he continues to help lead Norwin to wins. Honestly, to me him and Alex Smith, senior at Franklin Regional, are the leading candidates to win the Singles Championship in February.

It is going to take a while for Moon to have another bowler like Jon Kleer on their roster. However, they have found bowlers that can help Moon win matches. Kyle Sheffield (11) has the highest average for Moon with a 175.17. Quaker Valley is currently tied with Moon for first place in the West Division, but you got to wonder how well Quaker Valley is really going to do since their best bowler is averaging 127.50. Moon currently has seven bowlers that have a better bowling average than Quaker Valley's best bowler. However, bowlers can become better as the season progresses. So, you never know.

This year, Central Catholic moved to the South Division and they are doing just fine as they are in first place in the division with a 2-0 record. Central Catholic has three guys that are in the "Top 4" when it comes to having the highest average in the division. Nathaniel Pearl had the highest average in the Southwest Division last year as a junior. This year, in his senior year, he currently has the highest average in the South Division with a 224.17.

Bowling is a fun sport and you can see that some of the players in the WPIBL are having this season due to how high their averages are. The season is only going to get more interesting as soon enough it will be February and it will be time to decide which team is going to win a WPIAL championship and which individual is going to win a WPIAL championship for themselves.

BY Hilton: bythebossandgoat@gmail.com and Twitter @BYHilton13



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