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January 23, 2013

Chippewa Valley bowling hopes to be amongst best in state

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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John Short is one of four seniors on a Chippewa’s Valley team that is hoping for a long postseason run.

As impressive as three consecutive Macomb Area Conference White Division championships are, Chippewa Valley boys bowling coach Charles Schultz is hoping for even bigger and better things this season.

A spot in the state finals would certainly fall into that category, and that is exactly what Schultz is aiming for.

“We didn’t make it to the state finals last year as a team, and that is certainly our No. 1 priority,” he said.  “That’s our goal. That’s the only thing we really haven’t done. I know these guys are hungry. They’re going to get there.”

Schultz believes the Big Reds have some things going in their favor, as they pursue what Schultz said would be a program first: qualifying for the finals.

Chippewa won last season’s Macomb County Championship, as well as the Tri-County Invitational, and Schultz believes having that experience could be beneficial. He also thinks the team’s move to the MAC Red Division will help Chippewa accomplish its goal of having an opportunity to be the last team standing.

“When we were in the White Division, the teams we were facing — we were definitely better than them,” he said. “So there wasn’t as much pressure on the kids. Now that we’re in the Red Division, we’re going up against the best teams in the county. It’s better for experience. It’s going to do nothing but bode well for them, if they can make it to the states.”

Senior Jeffrey Pietryka is hoping Chippewa can find its way to the top of the MAC Red.

“It’s our first year in it,” he said. “We want to win the MAC Red first, and then qualify
for states and do well there. Overall team goals.”

Senior John Short has given thought to what he and his teammates can do to achieve its goals.

“Staying relaxed. Don’t get too stressed out,” he said. “If we bowl like we know how to bowl, the scores will come. We won’t have to worry about those. Primary goal would probably be just to come together as a team and bowl the best we can.”

Perhaps the biggest advantage Chippewa takes to the alley is experience. The Big Reds have returned each member from last year’s team in Hunter Ioppolo, Stefan Panetta, Short, Pietryka, Aaron Sanders and Paul Jurgelewicz.

Despite all the Big Reds appear to have going for them, Schultz understands the challenge that lies ahead.

“The competition’s brutal,” he said. “Only a couple teams out of each area make it, so all you can do is hope for the best. Hope we have a good day on the day of the qualifying.”

Chippewa had an overall record of 6-1 at press time.

The girls team, which is coached by Sandy Schultz, also resides in the MAC Red Division. They had a record of 4-3 at press time.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.