Greensburg Salem bowlers eye singles success
After winning two consecutive WPIBL and Western Regional team championships, the Greensburg Salem boys bowling team has enjoyed a recent string of success.
But after losing a group of talented seniors, both the Golden Lions boys and girls teams were faced with somewhat of a rebuilding season in 2014.
With the regular season now over, the boys team finished in third place in Section 1 at 6-4 while the girls are currently second at 7-3.
While every head coach aims to win a championship each season, Greensburg Salem's Greg Piper adopted more of a realistic approach entering this year, knowing the talent that had departed.
“Going into it you know what your potential is …,” Piper said. “I went into this year knowing it was going to be a completely different team than we've had in the last couple and that we were going to have to work a lot harder to come anywhere near what we've done in the past.”
While Piper's teams are out of the WPIBL team playoff picture for this year, they now shift their attention to the Western Regional singles event March 7.
The Greensburg Salem boys team will feature seniors Brandon Doumont and Adam Bernard, along with sophomore Zach Heater (196), a bowler who Piper has high praise for.
“He's very talented. … In the past, he's been better at singles competitions than team competitions,” Piper said of Heater. “We're looking forward for him and the rest of our seniors to have a good outing.”
The girls team will send all six of its bowlers to the event. The Golden Lions have a unique roster that features three freshmen along with a trio of seniors.
Freshmen Kyra Shrum (163), Gianna Brant (166) and Racheal Heater (173), Zach's cousin, complement seniors Marissa Falkosky (165), Courtney Auman (166) and Molly Gaetano (187).
Piper credits his freshmen's experience in the junior league for their immediate impact this season and has high expectations for his top bowler, Gaetano, at the regional championships.
“She's definitely our best girl so we're looking for her to light ‘em up,” he said. “She should have no issue competing against everybody else.”
While Greensburg Salem will miss out on the team aspect of this year's postseason, that doesn't change the fact the Golden Lions could still boast individual champions as the season draws to a close, that is something Piper is pushing for.
“There's no reason why they shouldn't be at the top,” he said. “Especially with our seniors, they're very experienced. We shouldn't have an issue being at the top. The knowledge is there it's all going to come down to execution.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.