The North Ridgeville boys bowling team sets a pretty high bar, not only for itself but for the rest of the North Shore Bowling Conference. The Rangers have advanced to the district tournament five straight times since the sport first became sanctioned by the OHSAA in 2006.
This season shouldn’t be much different.
North Ridgeville knows it must continue making strikes, converting spares and salvaging splits. The level of high school bowling demands it as the sport continues to grow.
Junior Ryan Kordish was a big part of North Ridgeville’s success during the 2010-11 season. He led the Rangers with a 207 average during the regular season, which ranked him No. 3 in the NSBC to North Olmsted’s Jeff Beitel (214) and Vermilion’s Adam White (212).
“Last year was a big jump for me,” said Kordish. “I was surrounded by a lot of very good bowlers. We were competing every day. It was making me a better bowler.”
Kordish was the most consistent performer in the postseason at the sectional and district tournaments.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound bowler rolled a 638 series as the Rangers’ No. 2 bowler at the North Ridgeville sectional as he helped his team to a runner-up finish to St. Ignatius, 4,461-4,332. Kordish connected for a 601 series (third best on the team) at the Lorain district as the team finished 16th with a score of 4,096 — 222 pins out of qualifying.
“I try to bowl all year round, even when I’m playing baseball for the high school team,” said Kordish, a catcher and pitcher for the Rangers. “In the offseason, I’ll bowl in other leagues.”
Last year was a major improvement for Kordish, as he raised his average 21 pins. He bowled a 186 average for the Rangers junior varsity as a freshman.
Kordish bowls in the Saturday morning high school league in the offseason at Brunswick Zone, which features many of Lorain County’s top players in the NSBC.
“They changed the home shot a bit at Brunswick so I’m trying to adjust to that,” said Kordish. “I try to get around to different alleys. My shot seems to be improving.”
North Ridgeville has plenty of talent in its lineup to push Kordish along. Sophomore Joey Peterson returns with a 202 average, which tied him for ninth in the league last year. Senior Glenn Waligora is back with a 192 clip. He was the team’s No. 1 bowler at districts with a score of 638.
“We’re trying to go as far as we can in the tournaments,” said Peterson. “But we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves. We know that there are a lot of things we need to work on before that time.”
The North Ridgeville boys team has finished higher at the state tournament than any high school team from Lorain County. The Rangers finished sixth at the 2009 state tournament, then were seventh in 2010.
“We have a strong nucleus of players back so our hopes are very high again,” said Kordish. “It all comes back down to the basics for us. Things like making our spares and practicing every day.”
North Ridgeville fifth-year coach Frank Kotas likes what he sees so far.
“It’s not any different than it has been in the past,” said Kotas. “We graduated only two players (Mike O’Sullivan and Brandon Becka). There’s a lot of talent coming back, but there’s also a lot of new talent. They all have the ability, it’s just putting it all together. There’s a lot more focus required in terms of keeping their attention on the alley. How the newer kids perform under the fire of competition remains to be seen. We’ll have to see how they are.”
And like most well-developed players in his sport, Kordish has bowled for about as long as he has been able to walk, since 2 or 3. He comes from a family of bowlers, led by his dad, John Kordish.
Contact Paul Heyse at 440-329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.