With an early season that’s already seen solid numbers in terms of turnout, Sequim High’s bowling squad is primed for postseason run at the program’s first state tourney berth.
That’s how head coach Randy Perry sees it, now in his 16th year at the helm of the Wolves.
“Basically, the 10 or 11 that are returning, they all went through it last year,” Perry said, looking over his roster that boasts 17 bowlers, six of them new to the club. “They all have chances to make varsity.”
SHS has plenty of high level experience in returnees Morgan Kayser and Nikoline Updike. Kayser placed fifth at districts last season and earned a spot at the state tourney as an individual, while Updike placed 18th at districts last season and and earned her second state berth in as many seasons. The pair tied for 37th at the prep final.
Several returning players have their own ball and have been getting some offseason practices in, Perry noted, and he has high hopes for Keira Morey, Kimberly Heintz, Olivia Ostlund, Jovi Weller, Ginger Hiatt, Skylar Krzyworz and Victoria Nava.
With Kayser and Updike and at least one other bowling consistent 150s in games, he said, the Wolves should be pushing for a league title with powerhouse Klahowya.
With a number of players still finishing up fall sports and the bowling schedule starting several weeks before other winter sports, Perry noted “we might struggle off the bat because of [a lack of] practice.”
But those players’ absences will open opportunities for others to gain early season experience, he said.
“My attitude this year, we’re going in to go to state this year,” Perry said. “It is every year, (but) realistically we’ve never had a team that could do that.
”I think Klahowya is still going to be strong,” he said, while other teams — including Port Angeles, the upstart squad that in its inaugural season in 2022-23 placed second in league — should be competitive but beatable.
“I’m really excited (for the season),” Perry said.
Wolves earn split in season openers
Sequim lost a 4-3 heart-breaker at North Mason on Nov. 7 but came back to top Bremerton 4-2 at home two days later and finished the opening week 1-1.
Against North Mason, Sequim dropped the first game 592-539 and won game two 529-492, then split the Baker-format games, losing 130-91 and winning the second, 155-128. Sequim lost the pin total tiebreaker by 28 pins (1342-1314).
Updike paced Sequim with a 259-pin series and single game best 141, while Heintz had a strong first game (122).
Against Bremerton, Sequim won the first match 641-543 and fell to the Knights in game two, 626-557. The teams split the first Baker game, setting up the possibility of a tie, but the Wolves won the second Baker game by 29 pins (152-106) and in overall pin total (1198-1169).
Updike again led the team with a 304-pin series, including 166 in game one, while Krzyworz bowled a 246-pin series (142 in game one) and Nava bowled a 226 series.
Krzyworz and Nava are both figuring out how to throw their new balls, Perry said, and the Wolves should get a boost this week when Morey returns to the squad after finishing her swim season.
Sequim was slated to take on Port Angeles on Nov. 13. The Wolves, whose “home” matches are at Laurel Lanes in Port Angeles, host Klahowya on Nov. 16, are at Bremerton on Nov. 21 and host North Mason on Nov. 30.
“We will need to be pushing 650 each game with good Bakers to have a chance versus Port Angeles and Klahowya,” Perry said.
Winter sports preview: SHS bowling
Head coach: Randy Perry (16th season)
2022-2023 record: 4-9
Returning players: Morgan Kayser, Nikoline Updike, Olivia Ostlund, Ginger Hiatt, Kimberly Heintz, Victoria Nava, Paige (Skylar) Krzyworz, Keira Morey, Jovi Weller
Newcomers: Sallie Alhaddad, Sarah Alhaddad, Moon Cornell, Kai Folstrom, Mikylah Lanning, Mya Osltund, Esther Irene Zetina Sanchez, Journey Simpson