ROCHELLE — Head coach Jim Lyles saw several young players on the Rochelle Hub varsity bowling team step up through the 2021-22 season. With five seniors set to leave the program, Lyles will look for those players to continue improving as the Hubs look to build on a challenging three-win season this year.
Rochelle finished 3-12 overall and 2-6 in the Interstate 8 Conference this season. The Hubs took third in the Rockford Christian Invitational before placing ninth in the LaSalle-Peru Cavalier Classic and eighth in the Dixon Toughman Tournament. Rochelle closed out the season with a fifth-place finish at the Interstate 8 Conference Championship meet and a ninth-place performance in the IHSA Sterling Regional.
“I thought some of our younger bowlers really stepped up this year,” Lyles said. “Some of the houses we bowl at during the season have synthetic lanes and we struggle to hook the ball at those houses, but our kids learned how to play those lanes better so their balls can hook. We need to continue working on our spares, but I thought our kids really learned how to throw the ball better and how to adjust to the lanes.”
Rochelle will graduate five seniors from the team this season including varsity starters Sergio Guevara, Devansh Patel, Luke Orlikowski and Max Orlikowski, who recorded the team’s high series in the regional. Guevara and Patel each spent four seasons with the Rochelle Hub bowling team and provided both leadership and experience that Lyles said the Hubs will miss as the team retools its roster for next season.
“Sergio and Devansh were really good leaders for us and they were always really positive,” Lyles said. “They were always asking questions and Sergio was huge for our program because he helped bring a lot of bowlers into the program when he first came out. Devansh was a really good asset for us as well. He barely averaged 100 during his freshman year, but he finished his career averaging anywhere from 170-180.”
Junior Evin Odle headlines a core of five returning players who could step up for the Hubs next season. Sophomores Christian Thorne and Jonathan Alanis each earned first-year varsity experience this season, while freshmen Logan Frye and Trent Kreider are two more players who could see larger roles next season.
“I think we’re going to be solid with those five players,” Lyles said. “Trent takes everything in and he’ll try anything we teach him. We’re worked with Christian on throwing the ball a little softer and Evin has been very consistent for us. Evin’s goal is to make sectionals and qualify for state. We have three new pieces of equipment coming in next year that will help us during practice and help make these boys a lot better.”