Wildcat Bowling patiently awaits first matches of the season

Morgan McCoy, Sports Editor and Social Media Manager

It is no secret that sports seasons have been altered and changed this year to follow rules set by Governor Dewine and the Ohio High School Athletic Conference, OHSAA. After multiple season delays, the Westerville South Bowling team has been patiently awaiting their first matches for the 2020 season. 

Tryouts for both the boys and girls teams were held in early November at the Columbus Square Bowling Palace, where South home matches are competed. The season was set to begin on Nov. 13, but won’t begin officially until the week of Dec. 18. 

Due to the impact from COVID-19, OHSAA has put a pause on winter sports. Sports could not begin practicing again until nearly a month later than the original start date. 

“The delays are probably taking the biggest toll on our new bowlers because they’re still learning the basics, which they can’t learn when we don’t have practice,” senior member Taylor Hughes said. 

According to OHSAA, there are certain protocols that must be followed by all winter sports, and some protocols that must be followed specifically by the bowling program. 

Each team member must monitor themselves and check for symptoms to limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as no sharing of equipment. 

The biggest requirement, set by the OHSAA, is that only six bowlers per team are permitted per contest, as compared to the 8 for the boys and girls respectively. 

While the season is going to be very different than years past, there are some big team goals for the 2020-2021 season. 

“My overall team goal is to make it to states this year. We have a lot to work on if we are ever cleared to start practicing again. We need to mold a few new players into bowlers this season to set ourselves up for success in the future,” Coach Mark Candella, second year head coach for Wildcat Bowling, said. 

The pandemic has changed the program this year. “This season has been different from the past in that we only lost one person from last year which was our rebuilding year, so we basically have the same team,” Senior Henry Tran, ranked 90th in Central Ohio said. 

Even though the season isn’t typical, at all, Hughes said she is “ hopeful that we’ll be able to participate in those once we come back from break!” 

The team has several tournaments scheduled for January and February and 

“It is looking promising for South,” Coach Candella said.

The Columbus Square Bowling Palace, the home of the Wildcats following social distancing and adding safety precautions to keep bowlers safe.