During competition last season, Wilmington won its first SBAAC girls bowling championship since the 2017-18 season.
Led by 2021 graduates Ariel Comberger (185.7 average) and Kennedy Harcourt (160.7 average), both first team all-league, and Tori Piatt (164.9 average), a sophomore first teamer last year, WHS shared the league crown with New Richmond.
Comberger had a high game of 245 and a high series of 433. She was the American Division girls bowler of the year in 2019 and 2020.
Joe Gigandet took home coach of the year honors in the American Division. He enters his third season as WHS girls head coach.
“Both team captains, two-time league MVP Ariel Comberger and two-time district qualifier Kennedy Harcourt will be missed,” the WHS coach said. “They were both a big reason why our team was a district qualifier last year. Ariel was also an individual medal winner in some of our tournaments last year.”
There are four returning letterwinners. Led by Piatt, returnees are Haylee Wright, Kala Hatfield and Lexus Reiley.
Reiley did not bowl last season but did two years ago. Freshman Kylie Fisher is a newcomer who will make an impact on the SBAAC.
”Kylie is a dynamic bowler and we have high expectations for her,” Gigandet said. “I would not be surprised if she is pushing for top bowler in the league. She already has a good deal of experience bowling youth tournaments and leagues.”
Wright and Hatfield are vocal leaders for WHS while Piatt has been helpful working with the younger bowlers, Gigandet said.
With the loss of six seniors, Gigandet said the Lady Hurricane will look different this season.
“But I’m confident we have some girls that will step up,” he said. “We have some new positive faces and I can already tell the returners are excited to be back.
”We need to improve our consistency at the line to compete with the top teams in the state. We need more back to back strike frames and increase our spare percentage.”
Gigandet said his team will take each match as it comes but as a coach he hopes to his team contend in the American Division as well as knock on the door to the state tournament.
“We definitely can compete for the league but it’s not going to be handed to us,” he said. “I would love to see this team make it to districts and state but we have to put the lane time in if we are going to make those goals happen. Getting to districts is hard and getting to state is very hard.”