Sidney winter sports previews: Bowling teams return all starters

By Bryant Billing -

SIDNEY — Sidney’s boys and girls bowling teams have high hopes for the season with all five starters returning for both squads.

The boys squad finished 13-5 overall and 10-5 in Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division play and is off to a 4-0 overall start and 1-0 start in Miami Valley League play this year. The squad advanced to districts last year.

The squad returns all five starters from last season in seniors Jaxon Rickey, Harrison Fisher, Logan Finke and Drake Cromes and sophomore Kaden Abbott. Rickey and Abbott were all-GWOC selections last year and Cromes was a second team all-GWOC American League selection.

“We have high expectations this season,” Sidney coach Trent Knoop said. “We hope to bring a conference title back to Sidney. Also, this could be a team that can get Sidney back to the state tournament for only the second time in school history.

“Not too many teams can say they return all five starters, and that’s a big thing. We have experience with four of them being seniors. I also think we have great depth behind them.”

Knoop said the team’s bench will be made of seniors Jonathan Napier and Brodey Morrow, junior Sam Bailey and sophomore Jarred Kirk.

“I’m very excited to coach this team. We have a solid tournament schedule and a hard nonconference schedule this season. We will see what our team is made of very early.”

The girls squad finished 4-14 overall and 3-3 in GWOC American North play last year after losing most of its bowlers from 2017-18. The Yellow Jackets are off to a 0-3 overall start and 0-1 MVL start this year.

“Last year was a rebuilding season for us where we started three freshmen,” Knoop said. “We now have some more experience, so we definitely looking for a stronger season this year.”

The team returns all five starters in senior Camryn Smith, junior Kate Miller and sophomores Cassie Trudeau, Sarah Bell and Emma Hurley. Senior Dakota Slife will come off the bench.

“I believe we will see some more wins this season with some experience for the girls,” Knoop said. “I look for Smith and Hurley to lead the way this season for the girls. If they continue to work hard this year, it could be a fun year for the Sidney girls bowling team.”

Sidney wrestling has 10 returnees

Sidney’s wrestling team has 10 returnees from last season and has three freshmen who are expected to perform well this season.

Brent Anderson takes over as head coach for Clayton Westerbeck, who left the district to take an assistant principal position at Greenville last summer.

“We are very excited about this upcoming season,” Anderson said. “Being our first year at the helm we’re looking forward to the opportunity to help our student wrestlers achieve great things. Winning an MVL championship will be at the top of the list. That is the goal and always will be. Secondly we want to be 1-0 against our rival just down the road (Piqua). That rivalry means a lot to these kids and community and I would be remiss to not put that high on our list.”

Key returnees include seniors Isaac Edwards (132 pounds) and Omari Batusin (184) and juniors Aiden Tangeman (152), Trenton Wade (152) and Isaac Belt (126). The team also has several key sophomore returnees: Jada McMillen (106), Ben Savage (132), Kaydin Wolaver (120), Scott Deats (230) and Blake Kizer (112).

“We have a young team but the foundation we set this season will pay big dividends in the next few seasons,” Anderson said. “Fortunately our guys and gals are spread out over the weight classes pretty well and once a few make slight weight adjustments we have the possibility to cover every weight class. That will be a huge advantage for us.

“The great thing about wrestling is that is just not all about the wrestling, it’s about developing strong character. It’s easy to say you’re a tough guy or girl but it’s anther thing to be willing to put your foot on the line and prove it. Developing our mental toughness, positive body language and disciplined behavior are all as important to success as any wrestling move. We hope to develop these traits with our team.”

Key newcomers include freshmen Josie Davis (120), Hayden Cottrel (240) and Augustus Henry (195). Davis had much success in youth and middle school regional and national tournaments and is expected to make an immediate impact.

“Josie Davis comes in with a lot of high-level experience and we look forward to seeing her continue to progress in the sport and continue her past success,” Anderson said.

“All and all we are very excited about this team’s potential, just need to focus on our weaknesses and put the work in everyday. If we do that I have no doubt we’ll put ourselves in position to reach our goals.”

By Bryant Billing

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.