Eight years ago, head coach Mark Hensley took over the Shelbyville High School Golden Bears Boy’s Bowling team. One of the teams, who are always present on the schedule, are the Eastern Hancock Royals.
Hensley began his coaching career in 2008. Every season since Hensley took over, the Golden Bears (6-0) have always have always beaten the Royals (0-6). But unlike past seasons, Hensley said his team is more solid from first through fifth.
“I think last year we had a couple of good bowlers and there was a little bit of a let off towards the bottom of the lineup,” Hensley said. “Whereas now, our lineup is pretty solid. We got four or five guys that can be our one on any day, I think that’s a big plus.”
One of those solid players is sophomore Ryan Pikowski. This season, Pikowski has been able to play in nine matches for the team and has averaged a score of 168 in each game. Pikowski’s average is second on the team.
“My personal goal is to bowl 200 against Eastern Hancock,” Pikowski said. “Maybe bowl a 400 series against them as well.”
Another solid player is senior Dakota Walker, who is third on the team with an average score of 165. In these matches, Walker has bowled with his Storm bowling ball.
“It’s the first ball that’s always out of my bag,” Walker said. “I can get that out and hook it a lot, because it’s one of the most aggressive balls that I have.”
Going into this match, the Golden Bears are tied for first with Greenfield Central while the Royals are in last place in the Indiana High School Bowling Southwest standings. The Golden Bears have bowled over a total of 11,304 pins whereas the Royals have bowled over 4,637. But this match has more importance for the team.
“I think it’s one of those matches that it will be good for all of our bowlers to be ready,” Hensley said. “We have had a few matches this year where our eight, nine and 10 bowlers weren’t able to play. They have to be ready because everybody is going to play.”
The match between the Golden Bears and Royals starts at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Southern Bowl in Greenwood, Indiana.