Finishing runner-up to defending girls state champion Circle Christian School at the July 30-31 U.S. High School Bowling National Championship, was a good pre-season indicator for Coral Springs Charter.
Two months later, the Panthers success continued with a 5-0 record and two county records after nearly three weeks of high school bowling at Sawgrass Lanes.
In the Panthers’ winning match against Coral Glades, junior Crystal Singh broke county records for bowling a career-first perfect game of 300 and two-game total of 536. Singh finished last season with the county’s highest average of 197.
Coral Springs Charter lost only one bowler off last year’s undefeated three-time district champion team and are even stronger with a year’s experience under its belt. The Panthers finished fifth at the state tournament, the program’s best finish in its’ nine-year history.
“That was a really good finish for us,” said Panthers coach Nelson Martin, who started and built the program into a high school powerhouse.
“They worked their butts off and bowled really well at state,” Martin said. “They just caught a couple of bad breaks at the end.”
Joining Singh are junior Harmony Romano, district champion with the county’s second highest average (181) and bowled a 299 in the singles event of the national tournament; junior Julia Galang, who bowled the highest Broward series at state; and sophomore Larkin Kramer, who had the third highest average and finished fourth at districts last season; Madison Foster and seventh grader Melody Romano.
In addition to defeating Coral Glades, the Panthers have beaten Taravella, another top Broward team; Miramar, Douglas and Coral Springs on Tuesday. High scorers were Harmony Romano (215), Singh (202) and Galang (189).
The bowling program is one of the most popular and winningest sports on campus.
“With the whole team back we absolutely have high hopes for the season,” Martin said. “They have really jelled nicely together. They are leaning on each other and supporting each other. It’s a beautiful thing. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
“The girls’ expectations are to win district, go to states and come in better than they did last year. They are looking to go No. 1 or 2, preferably one.”
The boys’ team, after graduating two bowlers, return with nine on its’ roster but still in the developmental stages, Martin said.
“They have got the initiative and drive to want to learn and get better,” Martin said. “They are getting there. They are pushing and working together. The older kids are getting the new kids up to speed. I feel like they have a chance to make some noise. Our hope right now is to get to the playoffs.”
The Panthers return seniors Jacob Austin, Ryan Hernandez and Joey Galang. All had averages of 176 or higher last season. The team finished fourth at the district tournament.
Last season Hernandez, a senior, had the county’s third-highest average (211).
“I would really like for them to at least come in second at districts,” Martin said. “I think realistically they have the ability to do it. It’s a matter of bringing them all together. I think they can do it. Now, they have got to believe they can do it.”
American Heritage has added a bowling program bringing the county’s total to 12 schools.
“Any time we can get new blood in there it’s more competition and that’s always a good thing,” Martin said.
Other top returnees in Broward are: Miramar senior James Booker IV, who averaged 200, was a district runner-up and state individual qualifier; Taravella senior Zachary Conrad, who averaged 189; and Taravella sophomore Gavin McCarthy, who averaged 181, was third at districts and led his team to a runner-up district finish.
The regular season runs through the second week of October. There are 12 regular season matches held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for six consecutive weeks before post-season play begins.
In Dade County, Ferguson is also off to a good start with its boys and girls teams undefeated at 5-0. Ferguson girls won the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Bowling Tournament last season at Bird Bowl.
Ferguson returns seniors Vanessa Perez, a runner-up in high game and high series and Angela Chapman, third in high game and high series. Also returning are senior Valerie Chapman, and juniors Kassandra Buell and Emilia Alvarado. The boys are led by Josue Mena, who recently bowled a 224 game and 610 series against Columbus.
Another girls’ contender is Braddock, led by Patricia Velasco and Katrina Hernandez
Miami Christian, (4-1) another top team led by seniors Igar Rodriguez, Liam Reloba and Ricardo Mesa and sophomore Cody Stevens, returns four of its top bowlers, who won the Youth Fair Tournament.
BROWARD/DADE GIRLS TO WATCH
Angela Chapman, Ferguson; Maria Alejandra Chavez, Archbishop McCarthy; Madison Foster, Coral Springs Charter; Julia Galang, Coral Springs Charter; Nia Grinion, Ransom Everglades; Amanda Grullon, Coral Reef; Katrina Hernandez, Braddock; Veronica Junco, Terra; Larkin Kramer, Coral Springs Charter; Joanna Miranda, Taravella; Savanna Nix, Coral Reef; Vanessa Perez, Ferguson; Alexandra Poit, Sunset; Harmony Romano, Coral Springs Charter; Melody Romano, Coral Springs Charter; Crystal Singh, Coral Springs Charter; Alanna Thompson, Taravella; Patricia Velasco, Braddock; Cassandra Zuria, Coral Reef.
BROWARD/DADE BOYS TO WATCH
Jacob Austin, Coral Springs Charter; Marek Bochnik, Terra; James Booker IV, Miramar; Shawn Chouniard, Coral Springs; Zachary Conrad, Taravella; Joseph Crusan, Killian; Arturo Diaz Dube, Miami Christian; Jorge Herrera, Ferguson; Joey Galang, Coral Springs Charter; Ryan Hernandez, Coral Springs Charter; Gavin McCarthy, Taravella; Ricardo Mesa, Miami Christian; Jorge Orfila, Killian; Liam Rebola, Miami Christian; Igor Rodriguez, Miami Christian; Cody Stevens, Miami Christian; Joey Watynski, Taravella.
DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS
GIRLS: Orlando Circle Christian
Sept. 13-Oct. 20, Tuesday and Thursday Matches, Sawgrass Lanes, 3:45 p.m.
Sept. 30, Miami-Dade Youth Fair Championships, Bird Bowl, noon
Oct. 4, Goleman at South Miami, Bird Bowl, 3 p.m.
Oct. 10, Hialeah Ed Academy at Goleman, AMF Pembroke Pines, 3 p.m.
Oct. 18, GMAC Championships, Bird Bowl
Oct. 24, Districts 16 and 17, AMF Pembroke Pines
Oct. 25, District 15 tournament at Sawgrass Lanes, 9:15 a.m.
Nov. 2-3, State tournament, Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center, Orlando