North Penn’s Lucas Francis and Pennridge’s Maribeth Baker return to the lanes this season after dominating in 2020.
Francis, a junior, rolled two perfect games during his sophomore campaign and helped the Knights win their sixth straight Suburban One League American Conference championship. Francis won the individual SOL American championship and earned first team All-SOL American honors.
Baker, a sophomore, also won the individual SOL American championship and helped the Rams win the SOL American title. She finished fourth in the qualifying round for regionals and reached the semifinals. She qualified for states, but the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Francis and Baker are two of the top players to watch in the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media area during the 2021 season.
The Hatboro-Horsham girls team also has a pair of players to watch – junior Tori Bone and sophomore Liberty Pancoast. Both players qualified for regionals last year. The Hatters look to turnaround their 17-39 season from a year ago. They played most of their matches with three bowlers against five and managed to average just a 30-pin margin of defeat.
Elsewhere in the SOL American, Upper Dublin is looking forward to rebuilding year and losing four girls and three boys from their 2020 team.
In the Bicentennial Athletic League, Jenkintown will look to make up for the loss of Cynthia Klingensmith, who won BAL girls tournament in 2020.
Head coach: Mike Burns (1st year)
Last year: Boys 12-40; Girls 17-39
Key returners: Bobby Elliot, Tori Bone, Liberty Pancoast
Season outlook: “We are looking forward to getting back to a sense of normalcy through friendly competition this year,” assistant coach Matt Field said. “Our Varsity boys squad has been honing their skills and developed quite the comradery last season. We expect they are a force to be reckoned with this year! As for the girls, we have two returning regional qualifiers, mentioned above, that we expect to be in the top 5 this year, and hopefully a trip to states!”
Head coach: Andrew Santangelo (1st year)
Notable losses: Michael Casey, Cynthia Klingensmith
Key returners: Chris Higham, Ethan Hopkins, Jack Keim, Maggie Lynch, Samantha Zazulak
Season outlook: “The team lost some strong leaders in Mike Casey and Cynthia Klingensmith, but there is a strong young core that is hungry to build upon their individual and team successes from last year. The girls team has a number of sophomores and juniors with Maggie Lynch, Sam Zazulak, and Malaika Mbithi who have set high expectations for themselves. The boys are led by Senior Chris Higham, also with some strong youth behind him such as Ethan Hopkins and James Martin, who have set their sights on making the League Tournament. Both teams enjoy playing with their teammates and the competition within the League.”
Head coach: Don Stadnycki (16th year boys, 15th year girls)
Last year: Boys 52-4, SOL American champs, 12 in regionals; Girls finished 4th in SOL American
Notable losses: James Carnal, Martin Grace
Key returners: Lucas Francis, Naman Parikh, Ryan Baker
Season outlook: “For this season a much different look to the team trying to add and just get bowlers to participate,” Stadnycki said of the boys. “The team only has 5 bowlers due to conditions. Looking forward to see how newcomers can gel and progress in this shortened season cut in half.
“This year only one returning bowler and now just having enough to field a team,” he said of the girls. “Mostly a leaning and growing time to play out the season.”
Head coach: Kris Detweiler (4th year)
Last year: Boys 2-50; Girls 45-7, SOL American champs, 8th place regionals
Notable losses: Evan Lechowicz, Kelcie Mannon, Liz Detweiler
Key returners: Reid Lechowicz, Cole Thomas, Ben Carnes, Maribeth Baker, Megan Smith, Kaitlyn Smith, Ellie Sarro
Season outlook: “If we can fill both rosters I expect the boys to improve on last season and be more competitive and the girls have a really good shot to repeat as S.O.L. American Conference Champions. Looking forward to the season.”
Head coach: Michael Morgan (6th year)
Last year: Boys 21-35; Girls 43-13
Notable losses: Mikayla Johnson, Gwen Hoffman, Carly Adelman, Olivia Haff, Brendon MacNeal, Ben Hoffman, Emanuel Lee
Key returners: Ari Weiner, Sam Goldberg
Season outlook: “This is a rebuilding year. Looking forward to new players joining the team.”