Boyle County bowling off to strong start in 2018

Published 7:46 am Friday, November 9, 2018

The Rolling Rebels are off to a roaring start to their season.

Boyle County’s bowling team has two tournaments under its belt so far, and the boys team has two first-place finishes. The girls side has two second-place performances.

Their first tournament of the season, held Oct. 18 at the Danville Bowlarama, featured 16 teams — eight boys teams and eight girls teams. Then, last weekend, Boyle took the trip to Louisville to take part in the Kickoff Classic, the largest bowling tournament of the year.

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There were 24 boys teams and 12 girls teams at the event, one of the most prestigious of the year. And Boyle came out on top.

“I think it’ll be a special year for our bowling team,” head coach Zach Cooley said. “Our girls have taken some lumps over the years, our guys team has had some success. But this is a prime year for us, I think we can have success across the board. We’ve got a lot coming up.”

On the boys side, the Rebels have been led by a core trio that was a part of the team’s state championship two years ago: Luke Morris, Chip Carter and Montana Jarman. Throw in experienced bowlers like Jonathan Burgess, Parker Price and eighth-grader Bennett Coffey (whose older brother, Addison, was a key member of the bowling team when it was first created).

“It’s truly amazing, what we’ve been able to do in, this is just our sixth year that we’ve been an actual team,” Cooley said. “But having the success that we’ve had has certainly helped us, not only this year but I can see it down the road. Kids who take up bowling, they see the level that we’re at and they strive to fit in at the level that we need to succeed.”

Cooley and Jed Roth, who is in his second year coaching the girls team, have laid the groundwork for one of the best bowling teams in the state.

“Jed Roth, he’s got the girls team and I stick with the boys side,” Cooley said. “But this wouldn’t be possible without him, especially with the girls but he has input on the boys side as well. It’s just the two of us, a lot of teams that we bowl against have several coaches but he and I are on the same page about a lot of things and it makes things run smooth when we’re on the same page. The kids buy into what we believe and want to do everything we ask them to do. It helps to have coaching that has a bowling background, he and I both do.”

Roth has led the girls team to a strong start this season, with two second-place finishes to two top-five programs in the state. In the Bowlarama tournament, Boyle girls lost to Harrison County, a dominant force in the 7th Region. At the Kickoff Classic, Boyle girls lost to defending state champion Pleasure Ridge Park.

“We’ve got everybody back. Didn’t graduate anybody last year,” Cooley said of his girls’ team. “We’ve got seven girls, all of our key pieces and starters are back. We certainly have key pieces there on the girls side. I really believe that we’ve got a strong chance to do something we haven’t done yet on the girls side, make a run and win the region championship and have a shot come state tournament time.”

Cooley said that the team’s success early this season shows that they have put in the work in the offseason. Bowling season lasts from October through February.

“The work ethic of these kids, not only during our season, it’s the day after our season ends, they’re back in here on their own, three to five days a week,” he said. “They do tournaments around the state and even travel outside the state and go to major youth tournaments. Their work ethic on their own is why we are where we’re at. It’s definitely nice to be successful. Success breeds success and that’s where we are at.”

And that makes it easy for the coach: Boyle’s team is willing to learn and wants to be the best.

“The kids, they just buy in to everything that we put them through, drill-wise and our expectations on the lanes,” Cooley said. “Even off of the lanes, we strive to set the bar high. The way they handle themselves in public, they do everything we ask of them.”