New South Lake bowlers learning on the fly, full of promise

By: Jon Malavolti | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 17, 2011

 Members of the South Lake boys varsity bowling team poses for a team photo before a recent practice. Pictured, from left, are coach Darlene Wedyke, and seniors Ryan Moran, Eric Taylor, Paul Levy, Dominique Khatib and Steven Gregory.

Members of the South Lake boys varsity bowling team poses for a team photo before a recent practice. Pictured, from left, are coach Darlene Wedyke, and seniors Ryan Moran, Eric Taylor, Paul Levy, Dominique Khatib and Steven Gregory.

Photo by David Schreiber

Darlene Wedyke doesn’t sound too worried talking about St. Clair Shores South Lake bowling, despite the fact that the program has had to replace virtually all of its varsity members from last season.

The coach knows the boys and girls teams, chock-full of newcomers and members who bowled on the JV squads last year, will be battle-tested veterans sooner or later.

That’s because Wedyke, who coaches the teams alongside her husband, Gary, makes it a point to schedule as many tournaments and practices as possible for the program.

“It helps the kids get used to competition,” she said. “They need to learn how to get their head into the game, and then they won’t be so nervous.”

“We try and bowl in a tournament every weekend; that helps big time,” she said. “When nerves start getting involved and there’s more pressure, the more experience the better. They’re going to need that.”

Wedyke said the teams, both of which are off to a 1-1 start in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division at press time, may be young in terms of varsity experience, but include “some strong bowlers.”

She highlighted senior Sidney Jackson, who also plays varsity boys basketball, and junior Brooke Brancato, who recently finished in sixth place at a tournament, as two of the top players.

And the rest of the varsity rosters, including some underclassmen, are full of potential.

“There’s some promise for the future of the teams,” Wedyke said. “If everyone pulls it together, bowls the way they should, we’ll be all right. We’ve always done well, and hopefully, that will continue.”

The Cavaliers certainly have a penchant for rising to the top. Last year, the boys team finished as runners-up in the Division 3 state tournament. The year before, the girls won the MAC Gold Division title. Both teams won a share of the league title in 2006-07 and since have regularly had success.

South Lake’s bowling teams will be in action next at 4 p.m. Jan. 14 against Warren Lincoln at Hazel Park Bowl.