ROCHELLE — Eric Widick has been bowling for nearly 40 years and his experience coaching athletics and activities including baseball, softball and color guard extends over two decades. Widick will be looking to utilize his wealth of knowledge in both bowling and coaching as he takes over the Rochelle Township High School girls bowling program from Joey Johanning.
Johanning coached the Lady Hubs for 14 years before resigning to take the head coaching position with Sycamore earlier this fall. Widick held his first practice as head coach of the Rochelle team at T-Byrd Lanes on Monday. Widick will inherit a promising varsity roster featuring a handful of returning players including juniors Alyssa Mickley and Alyssa Schwanert, who are both entering their third varsity seasons with the Lady Hub bowling team.
“I was a little nervous about coaching and I had no idea what to expect on my first day,” Widick said. “Rebuilding the program will be a challenge for me, but it’s something I’m looking forward to… I was impressed with what I saw on Monday. We talked about what has worked well and what hasn’t worked well for the girls in the past and we talked about what they want to learn.”
Senior Kiya Porter and junior Carly Summers are also returning to the Lady Hubs this winter. Rochelle will be aiming to build on a three-win season this past year that saw the girls finish fifth in the Interstate 8 Conference Championship and 10th in the IHSA Dixon Regional.
“I’m a very competitive person, but I also understand that we won’t have much fun if that’s all we care about,” Widick said. “Winning comes from having fun and enjoying the sport. My goal is to start with the fundamentals and I was impressed with what I saw from the girls on Monday. I don’t want to change how the girls bowl, but my goal will be to fit the basic fundamentals into their style of play… I want the girls to set small goals for themselves because if they set small and attainable goals, those goals will help them in life.”