Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Sports

Lady Wildcats bowlers win division title


The Depew girls bowling team is a co-champion. The Lady Wildcats tied with Maryvale at 8-2 to share the ECIC Small School North Title. The starting lineup had no seniors and was made up of girls who were around last year and will be again next year.

The top bowler is junior Rachel Wagner, who has a season average of 197.33. She had the team’s high set of the year at 726, which was accomplished at Airport Lanes in a match against Tonawanda earlier this year.

Next is Katie Gasiewicz, a junior with a 178 average. She’s followed by Olivia Thornton, a sophomore with a 175 average. The leadoff bowler on the A squad is junior Cora Stoddard, who finished with a 156 average. The anchor of the B squad is Reilly Rogowski, a sophomore with a 164 average.

“There could be a slight change next year because the anchor bowler on my B squad is really good,” Depew coach Rick Wargala said. “She’s got a really good average. She’s more valuable to the team as the anchor on the B squad than she would be, say, as a leadoff bowler on our A squad.”

Other B squad bowlers include Haylie Petyk, an eighth-grader with a 140 average, eighth-grader Kaitlyn Banasik with a 128 average and the leadoff rotation of Marcianna Cardona and Emily Zehler. The 10th bowler is Rachel Gonzalez, who stepped in at different points at different spots.

The team finished up league play last week and then competed at the Section VI Invitational Tournament. The Lady Wildcats finished ninth of 20 teams. Wagner had the third-best individual game at 221, and finished sixth overall, 88 points out of first place over the course of six games.

“She was pretty solid,” Wargala said. “She had a poor game the second game in the morning for whatever reason. She started with a 221 and finished the sixth game with a 199.”

The team will next compete in the Section VI Championship Meet Feb. 15 at Airport Lanes. The tournament kicks off at 9 a.m. and both large school and small school champions will punch their tickets to the New York State Championship Meet. Six All Stars from teams that did not win will do the same.

Wagner made the state meet as an All Star last season. If the team does not win the small school division, it will be her goal to do so again. However, the team is aiming to challenge for that title. The Lady Wildcats will likely have to deal with members of their own division in Cheektowaga, Maryvale and Tonawanda if they want to win.

“We have a lot to look forward to coming up on Feb. 15,” Wargala said. “We’re going to challenge for that title. If we do secure that, we as a team would travel to the state championships in Syracuse.

“Our first goal was to win our division, and we succeeded. We were very pleased and very proud of the girls that they held in there and are now co-champions. Our sites are set on sectionals. We just want to compete and come away with small school title and go to states.”

While it’s been a successful season for Depew, next year appears to have even more potential. No one on this team will graduate, so there’s a good chance everyone will be back. The team is setting some lofty goals.

“I have everyone returning,” Wargala said. “Our initial goal will be to be better than our division record this year. We’re looking to go 10-0.”

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