Winter Sports Preview: Bowling

Tribune Staff • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:08 AM

The Grand Haven boys bowling team is coming off an O-K Red Conference championship season and is looking to hold their place among the Division 1 elite at the statewide level. The Buccaneer girls went through some growing pains last year, as the team had to replace the vast majority of their team from the year before. Now, they look to become conference title contenders.

Both squads will be looking to replace key members of last year's teams. The boys will be without All-State performer Jimmy Mitchell, while the girls will have to find replacements for program staples Meagan Batka and Breanna Olthof.

Here's a look at how the two Grand Haven teams are shaping up this winter:

Head coaches: Pat and Angela Mitchell

Last year: Boys: 9-1; O-K Red Conference champions, Girls: 4-6 overall; fourth place in the conference.

Key Returners

Boys: junior Logan Batka, senior Maverick Green, junior Jonathan Garland and junior Cameron Brenberger.

Girls: junior Abby House, junior Kaleigh Batka, freshman Alexis Thompson and freshman Mercedes Mitchell.

Quoting coach Pat Michell

"For the boys, we will be gunning for another conference championship and a trip to the state finals again. This will be an exciting year. The boys are poised to have another good run with a good balance between the players. We have a lot of upperclassmen who have a lot of experience in big matches.

"For the girls, it really could be a special year with Kaleigh, Abby and Veronica (Parise) returning. Mercedes and Alexis Thompson bring solid bowling skills to the team as two of the top young bowler in this area. We are focused on improving every match and putting ourselves in a good position to threaten for a conference championship. After that, we want to make it as a team to the state finals."

Conference Outlook

For the boys, state finals qualifiers Hudsonville and Caledonia should return plenty of talented performers to once again challenge for the O-K Red crown, while Rockford always seems to be in the mix, as well.

For the girls, Rockford and Caledonia will pace the league, while Hudsonville will also challenge for top honors.

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