Congratulations to the Garfield G-Men varsity girls and boys teams, the Kent Roosevelt varsity boys team and the Springfield Lady Spartans and the Coventry Lady Comets.
Those teams are the 2012-2013 PTC Champions in the County and Metro Divisions.
A CONFERENCE EXPANDING
It was nice to welcome the Streetsboro Rockets to the Metro Division PTC tournament this season.
Bowling is expanding across the state as well as in the PTC.
High school bowling has enough teams that the OHSAA may split bowling into two divisions for the 2013-2014 season.
That would certainly help teams in the PTC including perennial champions Garfield who would not have to go against the largest schools in the state to be able to advance through to the state tournament.
AN EMOTIONAL METRO GIRLS DIVISION
The Portage Trail Conference season concluded at Bill White's Akron Lanes on Saturday as the teams earned their championship banners with a combination of the regular season and the tournament.
It was fitting the Springfield Lady Spartans and the Coventry Lady Comets shared the title.
The Lady Spartans went 10-0 through the season but struggled on their home lanes at the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Lady Comets dedicated their season to Dave McCormick, head coach of the bowling team who did so much more for Coventry before his unexpected death last summer. The voice of the Comets at basketball games and a very visible presence for Coventry, he inspired many young athletes.
The Lady Comets won the tournament in an emotional struggle against the Kent Roosevelt Lady Rough Riders.
The Metro girls division was a hard-fought battle that saw the conference title ending in a tie with a heart-broken Kent Roosevelt finishing second in both the regular season and the tournament.
Many underclassmen populate both teams so it is expected the conference will be very competitive in 2013-2014.
A BRIGHT SPOT FOR KENT ROOSEVELT…
Depth and youth is important for any team and Kent Roosevelt received both from freshman Kaitlyn Jastromb.
Sometimes bowlers have to pay their dues, rolling games and being a part of the team for several years before they get the opportunity to compete on the varsity level but Kaitlyn was a veteran bowler when she walked onto the team this season, her freshman year as a Lady Rough Rider.
Jastromb bowled for years, coming up through the Kent Lanes youth program and following her brothers onto the Kent Roosevelt varsity bowling team.
Kaitlyn finished with the bronze medal at the PTC bowling tournament in the PTC Metro Division and is one of several underclassmen promising the Lady Rough Riders a bright future under the watchful eye of head coach Liz Cawley.
MEANWHILE, GARFIELD JUST KEEPS GOING AND GOING
I heard someone at the tournament say "if we could just get rid of Garfield…"
The statement was made in jest but, honestly, Garfield should make all of the teams in the County Division strive for excellence.
Even as the Garfield boys were topped by an energized East Canton Hornets team in the PTC tournament, the G-Men still earned the overall County Championship…again.
With the girls earning the championship repeatedly it is time for the teams in the County Division to step-it-up and challenge the Garfield teams.
In the tourney, not only did the Garfield Lady G-Men demolish the competition, the girls swept the three high series medals.
Joe Brigham is always gracious in victory and Howie Moore was pleased with his bowlers to again repeat as the PTC champions.
AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE
While Kent Roosevelt was sweeping the conference with both the tournament and the regular season titles in the boys division, Matt Long was keeping his Crestwood Red Devils competitive for Coach Vince Fortney.
The Red Devils were the defending champions but their road to the championship this season was an impossibility after finishing fifth overall in the regular season.
Enter Matt Long who gave the Red Devils something to cheer about in the tourney.
PTC Bowling Tournament.
Rolling a 770 series, Matt put together games of two 246 games and ended with a 278 game.
A "wow" is appropriate.
For a team finishing fifth in the regular season, Crestwood gave the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders a run at the tournament title, bouncing back and forth into the lead and in second place throughout the three games and six Baker games.
Ultimately, the Rough Riders stood atop the leaderboard, winning by 51 pins but not without Crestwood giving them a scare.
HAPPY TO BE AT THE TOP
"It's been awhile since we won both," said Terry Adolph, coach of the Rough Riders.
The Rough Riders are one of those teams who coaches always pick as a possible contender for the title and seem to reload when seniors graduate.
This season was no different but in the highly competitive Metro league that gave the impression that any of five teams could win the title, the Rough Riders were the best.
The boys of Kent may not have had any flashy games but they were solid throughout the tournament and remained consistent.
"I said do you want to win," said Adolph? "Relax and bowl."
They followed their coach's lead and rolled a final Baker game of 203, topping Crestwood's 180 and earning the championship.
THE NEXT STEP
Teams now turn their focus toward the season-sending tournaments sponsored by the OHSAA.
Sectional tournament action gets underway this weekend as many of the Portage Trail Conference teams compete at Sky Lanes in Garrettsville on Saturday and Sunday.
Other teams, including Summit County teams will compete on Feb. 16 and 17.
It is tough for all teams to compete against the top bowling teams in the state from the most-populated schools but the PTC schools have proved they are up to the best the opposing teams have to offer and could advance deep into the tournaments.