Spirits are high and enthusiasm abounds as the Cuyahoga Heights High School (CHHS) Bowling team prepares for the 2021-2022 season.
“We’re excited for the upcoming season,” said David Pesicka, who has been head bowling coach since 2017. Between then and now, the team has grown from 10 bowlers to 32. “This year we have 20 boys and 12 girls and we are the largest winter sports team at CHHS right now.” Currently the bowlers include one boys’ one girls’ varsity team and two boys’ and one girls’ junior varsity teams. Pesicka noted that according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, bowling is the fastest growing sport among Ohio’s high schools.
To prepare to face contenders, including St. Edward, St. Ignatius, and Garfield Heights for the boys’ teams, and St. Joseph, Magnificat, and Padua for the girls’ teams, the CHHS bowlers practice three times weekly. This includes two afternoons at Spins Bowling in Independence and one afternoon at the high school. “That day, we run, stretch, lift, and study videos of bowling techniques,” explained Pesicka.
The hard work appears to be paying off. Last year, Senior Logan Cohara became the first bowler from CHHS to qualify to compete in the state finals. And, for the past two years, the girls’ varsity team qualified for the district finals. Team member Mackenzie Horky finished just 27 pins from qualifying for the state finals. “She’s a junior this year and she’s part of a whole group of girls who are juniors this year, so we’re hoping to qualify out of district’s this year and maybe even advance to state, so that’s the goal,” said Pesicka. Besides the girls’ varsity team, boys’ varsity members to watch this year include Austin Malachin, Sam Borsuk, and Mason Jones
Pesicka is grateful for the support of the CHHS community for the bowling program. “We want to personally thank Rick Centa for his donations of bowling balls and equipment to our team. It's great to have deep community support for our program!”