Preps notebook: Local bowling squads ready for 2021 season to begin

photo by: File photo

In this file photo, Free State sophomore AJ Baker rolls a ball down the lane during a meet Friday at Royal Crest Lanes on Jan. 10, 2020.

First-year Free State bowling coach Taylor Stuart has already been warned about the proper etiquette at bowling meets.

Stuart, who has been an assistant for the Free State football program for six years, has often been the source of energy on the sideline during football games. He is constantly chest bumping his players in celebration.

Bowling is a different sport entirely, however, and Stuart has been advised to limit the chest bumps at the bowling alley ahead of the start of the 2021 season.

“That’s what Dr. (Amanda) Faunce, our AD, warned me of,” Stuart said. “The energy level and the atmosphere of football is a lot different than bowling, so (I have to) be ready to adapt to that. I’ve done a fairly good job.”

“When I see a kid bowl a strike or a turkey, I want to give them a chest bump,” Stuart added. “I have to keep it down a little bit.”

Stuart still plans to bring his unique energy to bowling, because this is the first time he will be a head coach of any sport in his career. So Stuart plans to substitute his chest bumps with some fist bumps instead.

The 2021 campaign officially begins on Tuesday, when Free State hosts a quadrangular meet at Royal Crest Lanes. It has been an adjustment for Stuart since being named the head coach in late November. He replaced Burton Gepford, who was the head coach of FSHS bowling between 2013-17 and again in 2020.

Stuart was actually around bowling until he reached high school, where he focused on his own playing career on the football field at Free State.

“It is a different experience,” Stuart said. “I grew up around bowling. Just the fact that I’m getting to coach kids that I don’t normally get to see, because I’m mainly around football guys, so it is just a whole new experience. It is just fun to be around different kids in a different sport and put my passion into coaching somewhere else too.”

Stuart said he’s had a lot of help from members of both teams as well assistant Alex Jimenez, who is a former player for FSHS himself, throughout this transition.

“They are teaching me in a lot of ways too,” Stuart said of his players. “Just like some of the drills that they do. Anything they like to do that helps them with their game, I’m open to listening to.”

Since Stuart is still learning more about his team, he doesn’t have set expectations for either the girls squad or the boys team. He’d obviously like for the Firebirds to qualify for the state meet as a team.

The FSHS boys bowling squad has claimed sixth place as a team in each of the last two state meets.

Juniors Warren Williams and AJ Baker are two of Free State’s top returners on the boys side. CJ Rickert, a sophomore transfer from Ottawa, has shown a lot of promise early on as well. Koda Gosser also has a chance to make an impact as a freshman.

On the girls side, Ashley Edwinson, Roberta Gonzales, Khloe Polian and Aleah Garber will all be key contributors for FSHS.

“We are just trying to find that consistency,” Stuart said. “I want to be in the mix of competition at every meet we go to.”

Free State’s opening meet is slated to begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Royal Crest Lanes.

photo by: File photo

In this file photo, Lawrence High junior Wheeler Battaglia-Davis is congratulated by his teammates during a meet Friday at Royal Crest Lanes on Jan. 10, 2020.

Lions return to lanes on Monday

Lawrence High’s bowling program will be in action one day sooner, when the team travels for a quadrangular at Olathe Lanes East Bowling Center on Monday. Competition is slated to begin at 3 p.m.

Numbers are down this year, and extra precautions are being taken during practices and meets while playing during a pandemic. But second-year head coach Gary Graves is excited to be back in the bowling alley with both the girls and boys teams.

“It’s kind of nice to have a sense of normalcy again even though it’s quite a bit modified,” Graves said. “Everybody is enjoying getting to interact with people instead of seeing them over a computer screen. Just a lot of positivity on this team.”

A lot of familiar names are back for the Lions to lead the way.

On the boys side, sophomore Maison Albarado will be a key player after a strong freshman season. He actually bowled a 300 at a youth tournament recently. Senior Wheeler Battaglia-Davis, who has shown great composure in key moments, is back for one more year.

For the girls, senior Bean Foster has continued to grow as a bowler during her career and is looking to end on a high note. Junior Karla Tyler will also be one of Lawrence’s main producers this winter.

Graves hopes the boys team can qualify for state at the end of the year, while the girls could have multiple individual qualifiers. His main goal is for the Lions to compete in as many meets as possible.

“I just hope we get to bowl in all of our meets,” Graves said. “We are going to do our best to stay safe to make sure it’s not our fault if a meet has to get canceled.”

Graves said the point of emphasis in practice this season has been no open frames. LHS has done drills to pick up as many spares as possible to have a chance to contend at every meet.

“We are trying to improve our spare percentage this year,” Graves said. “That really increases the score in bowling, a lot more than strikes usually do.”

photo by: Chance Parker

Lawrence sophomore Giuliano Lule-Paredes launches off the wall during the backstroke in the boys swim dual against Free State Thursday afternoon at Lawrence High School on Dec. 10, 2020.

Lawrence swim wins road triangular

Lawrence High’s boys swim and dive team was victorious in a road triangular Friday afternoon at the Shawnee Mission Aquatic Center.

The Lions scored 231 points as a team, which was eight points higher than runner-up Shawnee Mission North. Shawnee Mission West finished in third place with a team score of 106 points. It was the first win and first meet of 2021 for LHS.

Lawrence won five of the 12 events on Friday en route to a team victory. Ryan Christian finished first in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. He finished with a time of 1:57.79 in the former race and clocked a time of 5:34.74 in the latter event.

Giuliano Lule-Paredes won the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.81. Maximilian Whittaker recorded a winning time of 50.48 in the 100 freestyle. Keyan Crawford won the diving competition with a score of 196.95.

LHS will be back in action at SM Aquatic Center at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Shawnee Mission North triangular

Friday at Shawnee Mission Aquatic Center

Team scores: 1. Lawrence 231; 2. SM North 223; 3. SM West 106.

200-yard medley relay: 2. Lawrence (Giuliano Lule-Paredes, Jack Tell, Maximilian Whittaker, Christopher Oral) 1:49.35.

200 freestyle: 1. Ryan Christian, 1:57.79; 2. Trenton Snyder, 2:03.13; 5. Adam Stoddard, 2:46.41.

200 IM: 2. Giuliano Lule-Paredes, 2:11.12; 3. Giovani Lule-Paredes, 2:19.50; 4. Jack Tell, 2:26.86.

50 freestyle: 2. Maximilian Whittaker 23.26; 4. Christopher Oral 23.65.

Diving: 1. Keyan Crawford, 196.95.

100 butterfly: 2. Andrew Augustine, 1:04.70.

100 freestyle: 1. Maximilian Whittaker, 50.48; 2. Christopher Oral, 53.38.

500 freestyle: 1. Ryan Christian, 5:34.74; 2. Trenton Snyder, 5:52.62; 5. Carson Schraad, 7:12.24; 6. Drake Khatib, 7:17.88.

200 freestyle relay: 2. Lawrence (Christopher Oral, Andrew Augustine, Trenton Snyder, Maximilian Whittaker) 1:35.91.

100 backstroke: 1. Giuliano Lule-Paredes 59.81; 8. Cole Ahlander, 1:40.90.

100 breaststroke 3. Jack Tell, 1:13.13; Giovani Lule-Paredes 1:15.01; 10. Drake Khatib, 1:33.42.

400 freestyle relay: 1. Lawrence (Andrew Augustine, Ryan Christian, Trenton Snyder, Giuliano Lule-Paredes) 3:29.24.

Free State swimmer Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck competes in the 100 breaststroke Wednesday afternoon at FSHS on Dec. 4, 2019.

Free State swim claims runner-up at home triangular

Free State’s boys swim and dive team was also in action on Friday, finishing as a runner-up in its home triangular to begin the 2021 portion of its schedule.

Shawnee Mission East won the competition with 269 points as a team. Free State secured second as a squad with 213 points. Manhattan High took third out of as many teams with 144 points.

Free State won four of the 12 events, all four of which were individual events. Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck won the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.80 and netted a victory in the 100 breaststroke with a mark of 1:03.34.

Max Bates bested the field in the 100 backstroke, claiming the top spot in the event with a time of 1:02.00. Michael Leonard won the diving competition with a mark of 205.40 points.

Free State triangular

Friday at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

Team scores: 1. Shawnee Mission East 269; 2. Free State 213; 3. Manhattan 144.

200-yard medley relay: 2. Free State (Alexander Moore, Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Dawson Bonnell, Max Bates), 1:48.15.

200 freestyle: 2. Finn VanDyke, 1:54.03; 8. Jackson Rea, 2:24.41; 9. Gabe Clark, 2:28.26.

200 IM: 1. Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, 2:06.80; 2. Dawson Bonnell, 2:14.99; 5. Max Bates, 2:27.51.

50 freestyle: 10. Alexander Moore, 24.86.

Diving: 1. Michael Leonard, 205.40; 3. Jack Keathley-Helms, 121.85.

100 butterfly: 3. Dawson Bonnell, 59.18; 5. Jacob Heinz, 1:02.94; 6. Noah Mast, 1:05.11.

100 freestyle: 2. Finn VanDyke, 51.81; 6. Jackson Waggoner, 1:01.71; 9. Jackson Rea, 1:05.18.

500 freestyle: 5. Jacob Heinz, 5:50.62; 6. Gabe Clark, 6:28.25; 8. Jamie King, 7:08.72.

200 freestyle relay: 4. Free State (Alexander Moore, Max Bates, Jackson Waggoner, Finn VanDyke) 1:41.49.

100 backstroke: 1. Max Bates, 1:02.00; 2. Alexander Moore 102.20; 5. Noah Mast, 1:06.22.

100 breaststroke: 1. Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, 1:03.34; 6. Levi Bates, 1:23.33; 7. Owen Polson, 1:25.33.

400 freestyle relay: 2. Free State (Finn VanDyke, Jacob Heinz, Dawson Bonnell, Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck) 3:40.63.

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