Lynchburg-Clay High School bowling team opened their fifth season on Monday at Highland Lanes in Hillsboro.
The Mustangs will be coached by James OConnor on the boys side, in his first season as coach, with five seniors on the team.
“Seeing improvement on their side and seeing improvement on my side. I am also looking for consistency and improvement throughout the season,” said OConnor.
OConnor, who also coaches track and field in the spring, believes that his previous experience coaching high school athletes will benefit him with the bowling team.
“From a mechanics point of view there are a lot of similar ideas of efficiency of motion and muscle memory, I think that is something that translates across sports. The mental game too. Track is similar, a lot of pressure for a short period of time. You have to do it right right now,” said OConnor.
OConnor has lofty goals for his team, “I think the team has good enough scores that they could possibly advance to regionals. Individually I think Jonah and Noah Fenner could make it out if we do not make it as a team.”
The Lady Mustangs are coached by fifth year head coach Shawn McLaughlin and will feature three seniors for the 2017-2018 season.
“We are bringing back quite a bit of experience. The seniors on this squad got to bowl a lot last year. We also have some sophomores that were able to get varsity experience last season. I feel pretty good about the experience we have coming back this year,” said McLaughlin.
Despite bowling not being considered a league sport Lynchburg-Clay will be tracking their record against four other teams in a league like arrangement.
McLauhglin said, “We would like to see that we are the best te3am in our league because this is our fifth year bowling and it will be the other team’s first year.”
Tia McConnaughey and Taylor McLaughlin are two athletes that coach McLaughlin is expecting big things from this season.
“McConnaughey and McLaughlin are two seniors that have bowled for four years. If the entire team does not make it to regionals, I look for them to make it out as individuals. The scores this year are already better than last year, so I would like to see our entire team make it out,” McLauhglin said.
Coach McLaughlin said, “The biggest thing I see that everyone needs to improve on is bowling under pressure. I think that is what we need when we get into tournaments.”
“If you have never come out to a high school bowling match it is worth coming out,” said McLaughlin.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.