Penn Hills boys, girls bowling teams roll into postseason
This year's Penn Hills bowling team is among the hardest-working that coaches Nancy Lindsay and Mark Diehm say they have had.
It showed in their play this season, as both teams stayed at the top of their section nearly the entire way through the regular season. Both teams finished with 8-2 records, which was good for a three-way share of the section title for the girls team, and a second-place finish in the section for the boys.
“I have a solid six guys out there,” said boys coach Mark Diehm. “They take direction and criticism well.”
Lindsay, who has coached the girls team for a decade and watched her son and daughter play, said the team has rebounded from losing a sizable group of seniors and continued to play at a high level.
“We graduated probably seven or eight players two years ago,” Lindsay said. “We had a fair amount of new girls on the team, and I've really enjoyed seeing their growth and development.”
But being on top of your section doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.
“Even when they're bowling well, you can fine-tune them,” Lindsay said. “Last year with the girls, we spent a lot of time working on spares. Now we're working on putting three strikes together, and things that can really take them to the next level.”
Diehm said this year's boys team is one of the best he has coached, and it was extremely satisfying to watch them sweep rival Plum.
“They bowl together on Saturdays and separately on Wednesdays, and they bowl (on travel teams) as well, so they see a lot of each other,” Diehm said.
Senior Jonathan Morford and junior Mike Delle Femine are leading the team, and Delle Femine is the WPIBL's overall leader in average with a 220.15.
Both Diehm and Lindsay said their biggest challenge during the season is keeping the kids calm.
“We try to keep them focused and directed,” Lindsay said. “If you miss a spare, you can't worry about it because you can't change it. You just move on.”
Both teams are moving on as of Wednesday, when the boys competed in the WPIBL championships at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell. The girls team competes today, Thursday, at West Pike Bowl in Canonsburg.
In the days leading up to the championships, they were practicing at their home, Nesbit's Lanes in Plum, which both coaches could not praise enough.
“I wouldn't want to go anywhere else,” Diehm said. “(Rich Nesbit) is the best proprietor of any bowling center in the U.S. probably. He's just really wonderful.”
Check the Progress website for results from the WPIBL championships.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.