Hempfield bowling teams again leading section standings
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In his fifth year as the Hempfield boys and girls bowling coach, Dave Montell has known nothing but success.
Winning three combined state championships in that span — two girls and one boys title — the Spartans have consistently been one of Pennsylvania's top programs.
The 2014 season appears to be no different, as both teams sit atop of their respective WPIBL Section 1 standings at 7-0.
While many factors have contributed to Hempfield's strong season, Montell credits the depth of each squad that allows him to shift lineups on a game-by-game basis.
“Most coaches will tell you they have a varsity team and a JV team,” he said. “I don't think I have a varsity team and JV team because I can swap my kids and never miss a beat. So I never use the term JV with my team.
“It's been like that all five years. I've always had talent that I can fall back on.”
While each team is deep, each roster also features top-end talent. The girls team boasts last season's Western Regional runner-up in senior Cortney Weirs, while the boys team features junior Javon Trout.
Trout, also a standout on the Hempfield golf team, has taken the cerebral approach that makes him so successful on the course over to the bowling lanes.
“Most of it is his mental game,” Montell said. “He has good physical ability in both golf and bowling but his mental game, he just understands the game so well.”
Trout, along with junior Benjamin Carr and freshman Josh Bittner, have led a young Spartans boys team to an unblemished record that has even come as a bit of a surprise to the head coach.
“It's been a really good year, especially with the boys,” Montell said. “The boys have actually impressed me. I didn't expect my boys team to be as strong as they are this year. They've been doing a great job.”
Along with Weirs, the girls team features strong bowlers in seniors Rachel Inks, Alysia Dube and Natalie Herman.
Montell and the Spartans hope to ultimately win state titles this season, but until the playoffs begin at the end of the month, Montell has another goal he would like to reach.
“My goal from now until playoffs begin would just be undefeated in our section,” he said. “You can ask any kids that have ever bowled for me, I have always stressed that I love being an undefeated section champ more than I like just being a section champ.”
While having an undefeated record is something Montell is pleased with, the stat that he looks at most is his team's game average. With the boys team averaging 1,078 per game and the girls averaging 940, each number ranks the Spartans first in their respective leagues.
“That's the important number for me,” Montell said. “That's one that I take more serious than anything because if we're averaging that many pins per game, there's no reason we can't beat everybody in the league.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Crosby says Edmonton would be good spot for prospective top pick McDavid
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
- Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
- Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
- Rangers’ Miller matures into productive player
- Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
- Use of multiple contractors could leave oil, gas operators open to hackers
- Penguins notebook: Johnston says Perron needs to shoot
- Penguins’ Martin a marked man in series with Rangers