ROCHELLE — The Lady Hubs varsity bowling season is just around the corner, and with a core group of girls returning from the 2016-17 school year, head coach Joey Johanning is looking forward to getting back on the lanes with the Rochelle players.
“The beginning of the season is always an exciting time,” Johanning said. “We have a couple of girls returning for their senior seasons and they have high expectations for themselves.”
One of those seniors is Carlie Elder, who has reached sectionals individually in each of the past two seasons. Elder also earned All-Conference recognition last year, and Johanning said a big reason for her improved play has been spare shooting.
“Her spare shooting continued to get better,” Johanning said. “I enjoyed watching her be able to play different parts of the lane. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone as a bowler, but to move to different parts of the lane on certain shots is important.”
Another senior coming back to the Lady Hubs this winter is Katie Dummer, who advanced to sectionals her sophomore year and just missed the cut in 2016-17. Dummer was also an All-Conference honoree last year, and both Dummer’s down-and-in style and Elder’s outside line will be the keys to Rochelle’s individual and team success this season.
“They play two different shots,” Johanning said. “Watching them continue to diversify their game and continue to make those moves… Katie’s been putting in the work all offseason, and it’s their senior season so it’ll be exciting watching them lead the team again.”
With roughly 7 to 8 girls expected to begin practice on Monday, Johanning is working with one of his thinnest rosters since becoming head coach of the Rochelle girls program. But quality is more important than quantity, and returning junior Autumn Headon is a player Johanning thinks could cement a role as Rochelle’s No. 3 bowler this winter. Senior Ashley Ramos is also expected to come back.
“I want to watch them take those next steps and see how they can help move the team forward,” Johanning said. “My expectation is always for the girls to work their hardest when they’re on the lanes and to work together. You can have a lot of great individual bowlers, but if they don’t work together than you don’t always see the results.”