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December 5, 2012

East Detroit girls, boys bowling teams push for state finals runs

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The East Detroit High girls bowling team will look to defend its MAC Blue title and make a return to the MHSAA state finals. Pictured are, back row, left, Shamrocks coach Cheryl DeFrance, sophomore Rebecca Zilinski, junior Sarah Corbit and senior Haley Jugowicz. Front row, left, sophomore Ashlee Gebstadt, junior Alyssa Komlenovich and senior Kaitlyn Paynter.

WARREN — East Detroit High girls bowling coach Cheryl DeFrance isn’t satisfied with her team simply qualifying for the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state finals last season.

DeFrance, who led the Shamrocks to an 11-1 record and a Macomb Area Conference Blue Division title, wants more than just a return trip to the state championships, set for March 1-2 in Muskegon.

“We want to win it,” DeFrance said. “We feel like we have some unfinished business to attend to.”

The East Detroit girls finished 10th in D-1 last season. Four of the six girls from last year’s team are back, including senior captains Haley Jugowicz and Kaitlyn Paynter.

The team also includes juniors Alyssa Komlenovich and Sarah Corbit, along with sophomores Rebecca Zilinski and Ashlee Gebstadt.

High school bowling is played baker style, where a 10-frame game is played by five team members.

“We’re going to practice hard and do everything we can to get back there,” DeFrance said.

The Shamrocks’ boys team fell in regionals last season. East Detroit boys bowling coach Michael Reeber said he has a solid, experienced team that can make a run at the state finals.

“We’re definitely looking to advance past regionals,” said Reeber, whose team went 6-6 in the MAC Blue last season. “We’ve got a good group. We haven’t played yet, but I think we’re going to be solid.”

That potentially solid group includes senior captain Darien Cook, seniors Cameron Kenaan and Ryan Halperin, junior Chad Sikorski, and sophomores Will Dyrval and Andrew Whitlow.

Both coaches recognize the mental toughness of their players. They agree that support from teammates is key in bowlers keeping their heads in the game.

“I bowl, and I know you can have two good frames and be on a high, and have a bad one and not want to go back out there,” DeFrance said. “It’s important to have someone who’ll keep your spirits up.

“Both teams do that for one another. The kids get so excited for each other. That’s something that’s great to see. They all want to play well, but no one puts themselves above the team.”

“We’re not co-ed, but we do travel together and support each other. I think that’s important for the players to have,” Reeber said. “This is really a team.”

Both East Detroit teams kick off the season against Warren Woods Tower in a matchup set for 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at Pampa Lanes in Warren.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.