Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — When Unioto’s Ty Schobelock qualified individually for the OHSAA State Bowling Tournament last winter, little did he know he’d be making a return trip one year later.
But there’s a big difference between last year’s trip and this year’s qualification. Last year, Schobelock had to fend for himself. This year, he’ll have his teammates alongside him.
After racking up 3,988 total pins in a Division II district tournament this past Saturday, Unioto claimed a district title and punched its ticket to the state tournament. It will be the program’s first state appearance, as a whole, in its history.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I will be there bowling with some of my closest friends,” Schobelock said. “It takes a certain level of stress from bowling the day of because you’ll be talking with people you know rather than seven other individuals you’ve never met before, and they’re just as anxious as you are.”
Schobelock won an individual district title as well, rolling a 724 in district competition with games of 237, 280 and 207. He finished 57 pins better than the district’s runner-up.
DIVISION II DISTRICT BOWLING RESULTS
|Place||School||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3||Regulation Total||Baker 1||Baker 2||Baker 3||Baker 4||Baker 5||Baker 6||Baker Total||Team Total|
Meanwhile, sophomore Zeb Moore bowled a 613 and senior Jason Shuman finished with a 590. Both were top 10 individual qualifiers as Moore took fourth and Shuman ended in seventh.
As a team, the Shermans posted a pinfall total of 2,862 during its three regulation games while beating its closest competition by 160 pins in the six baker games. In its final baker game, Unioto realized what it had accomplished early.
“It was game six [the last baker game] when we knew we had won,” Schobelock said. “The cheering between the four teams there was so loud and everyone was having lots of fun. It felt like a special moment because it seemed like nobody had lost and everyone was pushing for each other to do great. Everybody left a winner that day in one way.”
Senior Jackson Barnes said he never thought he’d see the day where he’d get to call him and his teammates “district champs,” and that he’s excited to see a banner hung in his team’s honor.
“I was initially really excited, both that we were going to state and that we were going to get our own banner,” Barnes said. “I honestly never thought I’d be able to call my friends and I district champs.”
Unioto coaches Bobby and Mindy Johnson have been waiting for this day to come as well. The hours of work that they’ve put in, Schobelock says, is a pillar of the team’s success.
“We have one of the best coaches in Ohio and Bobby and his wife, Mindy, are the most enjoyable people to be around,” he said. “They make everything fun while still wanting to compete and it’s just a great balance. Everyone on the team loves what Bobby and Mindy do for all of us, and we appreciate them and their hard work very much.”
The Tanks now have less than a week before they conclude their season. The 2019 OHSAA State Bowling Tournament will be held March 1 and 2 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
With experience at the event under his belt, Schobelock is hoping to share the lessons he learned last season with his teammates. It’s something he’s been trying to do all year.
“Last year at state, I had virtually no knowledge of bowling, the different types of balls, different patterns, anything,” he said. “But within the last year, I have learned so much that I feel confident in making changes, whether that be with adjustments on the lane, with a different ball, or a physical adjustment. It’s allowed me to help my teammates throughout the season.”
Whether the Shermans win a state title or not has yet to be seen. But that’s the hope.
And if not, they’re there, representing their hometown and surrounding communities.
“I hope that, at least if we don’t win at state, the team shows how great Unioto can be,” Barnes said. “But of course, I hope we win.”