NOTEBOOK: Messing with Corvin keeps Falcons loose


Corvin Pittenger is a happy go lucky kinda guy.

His Clinton-Massie bowling teammates know that.

And take advantage of it as they prepare for each match during the season.

Call it “Messing with Corvin.”

Said Pittenger, “I think we put so much pressure on each other (to be successful), that we joke with each other before a match. It helps us have fun. We all do it to each other. It’s not like they’re bringing anybody down.”

Taking the edge off helps many athletes perform better. There’s a fine line between nerves and focus.

“Last week before districts, everyone was real nervous and it (messing with Corvin) helped out,” said Wyatt Smith.

This pre-match ritual dates back to the start of the season.

“Ever since the beginning of the year, when we walk in here (Royal Z Lanes), Corvin is always the happiest one here,” said Brandon Moritz. “We just started messing with him. He loves it. We all get along very well. We enjoy each other’s company.”


During the season, Clinton-Massie’s bowling team is good enough that it has more strikes than anything.

A Tuesday afternoon shot in December at Royal Z Lanes is much different than what’ll they see Saturday at state.

And equally different than what they’ve bowled on the past two tournaments.

“Every year, the OHSAA puts out a new sectional/district (oil) pattern,” said CM coach Tyler Hayslip.

Oil is put on each lane and affects how much and when the ball breaks. More oil means less break to put it simply.

“This year’s pattern is challenging,” Hayslip said. “We were fortunate enough to practice on this oil pattern starting the first of January. It has been a steady increase to build confidence on this pattern.”

Even understanding the oil pattern, doesn’t mean the shot is the same from house to house. So many factors are involved in how a ball reacts on a given lane that even the same bowling facility can product a different shot from lane to lane.

“It took me four weeks to figure out the shot,” said Smith.

The general notion is there are fewer strikes with this oil pattern and spares are now more important than ever.

And sometimes that can get into the head of a bowler.

“From the time I was a freshman and sophomore, you kind of expect to strike every time if you’re one of the good bowlers,” said Gavan Hunter. “Get to sectionals and districts and strikes will go down. I used to get super made when I didn’t get a strike, with a perfect ball.”

Mason Keck believes being a left-hander helps him against the oil pattern. With fewer lefties bowling, the oil pattern on that side changes less than the right side simply because of volume.

“For a righty, the oil pattern changes every few frames,” said Keck. “Being a lefty, the oil pattern doesn’t really change for me.”


With Moritz, a junior, and Hunter, a senior, Clinton-Massie was going to have a good bowling season.

The emergence of three sophomores, though, has put the Falcons in the state tournament. Keck, Massie and Pittenger all average better than 190 and give Clinton-Massie five solid bowlers.

“I have started three sophomores all year long,” Hayslip said. “In the second half of the season, all three sophomores were in a groove and that’s when our scores began to soar. The confidence they gained from (Moritz and Hunter) has them in a great spot.”

Three other sophomores — Ian Adams, Wyatt Smith and Cooper Huddleson — have played key roles in baker games throughout the year.

“Last year I felt they (sophomores) didn’t take it seriously,” said Hunter. “At the start of this year, they didn’t start out serious but as the year went along, they started to get more serious about it. That was good to see.”

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