St. Clair Shores Lakeview bowling secured the school’s first-ever undefeated season en route to a Macomb Area Conference White division title this year.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview bowling secured the school’s first-ever undefeated season en route to a Macomb Area Conference White division title this year.

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Shaw

Senior catalysts set up history-making season for Lakeview bowling

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 17, 2023


ST CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview bowling’s success this season shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — it was written in the stars long before this season took place.

While the 2020 “COVID season” was crazy in its own right, Lakeview’s dynamic of four freshmen on the varsity roster was high school bowling’s modern-day “Fab Five” from the University of Michigan’s glory days in basketball, but the boys are all grown up now.

“We came up with the decision like, ‘You know what … we’re going to bring them all up and throw them into the fire,’” Lakeview coach Jeremiah Shaw said.

A true testament to the “forged in fire” saying, Lakeview’s band of freshman brothers have turned into one of the strongest veteran cores in the state of Michigan.

Led by seniors John Wendling, Micah Francis, Pablo Gomez and Thomas Hatcher, Lakeview (12-0) earned its first-ever undefeated season this year and back-to-back Macomb Area Conference White league titles, including the first outright MAC White league championship in 15 years last season.

Wendling, the MAC White MVP last season, has been Lakeview’s anchor bowler this season and has anchored the team since he was brought up his freshman year.

While the boys’ initial year was one to remember, it was their fifth-place finish at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state finals in 2021 that put Lakeview on the map.

“Especially after we made it to states our first time our sophomore year, we definitely knew then that we could accomplish a lot,” Wendling said.

Now, they’re the veteran group leading the charge towards the 2023 MHSAA state finals.

An undefeated 12-0 record was a great start, but their mentor role for the younger bowlers has been an impressive feat for the group.

Freshman Keith Quail III and sophomore Joshua Ciegotura, who mans the third spot in Lakeview’s rotation, have emerged as the promising young talent for Lakeview. Junior Cameron Fedenis, the lone junior on the squad, has been a reliable bowler for Lakeview this season as well.

Gomez said his group attributes their leadership to 2020 seniors Logan Slavin and Dominic Tiseo for their roles in helping the 2023 senior class become mentors.

“It’s (our leadership is) good because our freshman year we had all four of us on varsity, and we listened to the two seniors on varsity,” Gomez said. “Our sophomore year, we kind of figured it out on our own because we had no seniors,” Gomez said.

Currently ranked No. 5 in the Division 1 rankings according to the MHSAA, Lakeview is on a mission to bring home the school’s first-ever state title.

The team is looking to improve on their 15th-place finish last season, and their mix of youth and experience has shown this season that they can hang with anyone.

Shaw said at the beginning of the year, it was all about bringing it back to the basics.

“My mindset was if we do A, B, C, and D, we can beat anyone,” Shaw said. “This year, we’ve done A, B, C, and D about 85% of the time, and that’s why we’ve been successful.”

Regionals will start on Feb. 25 for Lakeview, and it’ll be one last ride for the senior group that put Lakeview bowling back on the map.

It’ll be an opportunity for Quail III, Ciegotura and Fedenis to continue what the senior class started, but for now, the job is not finished.

Reminiscing about their accomplishments, Hatcher said this group has played an important part in his life.

“We grew a lot together,” Hatcher said.