Penn College Bowlers Growing Under New Coach
Pennsylvania College of Technology's new bowling coach Debbie Vincenzes hopes that a good first half of the season turns into a great second half.
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action Thursday in the Johnson College Tournament at Green Ridge Lanes in Scranton.
"Among the men, talent runs fairly deep. I have six to eight who are capable of a 200 average or above," said Vincenzes, a longtime bowling instructor who is the general manager at Faxon Lanes in Loyalsock Township. "The problem is that they are young and don't have a lot of experience under different conditions. Most of them have bowled at one center most of the time and they don't have very much tournament experience," she continued.
Two men who do have considerable experience are Andrew Hurst (sophomore/York), who is averaging 214, and Brandon Hendricks (sophomore/Northumberland), who is averaging 212. Both competed on the college men's squad that won the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association team championship a year ago.
In matches until the state tournament in March, three individuals compete as a team. Penn College's top men's squad in the Blue Division is comprised of Hurst, Hendricks and either Preston McKay (freshman/Kersey) or Chris Beirne (freshman/Morrisville). The White Division is any combination of a school's next best three men or women and Penn College has three teams in that category with various combinations of Hurst, Hendricks, McKay, Beirne, Dave Pierce (freshman/Warren), Mike Pollock (freshman/Sugarloaf), Dave Florist (freshman/Horsham) and Ryan Forry (freshman/Lancaster) competing on the top two teams and Tim Nealer (freshman/Rochester Mills), Ryan Greenland (freshman/Clearfield), William Dillingham (freshman/Annville) and Thornton "Ty" Redman (freshman/Harrisburg) on the No. 3 team. The Gold Division consists of three women. Marly Artley (sophomore/Milton) returns from last year's squad while Amanda Cole (freshman/Williamsport) and Keara Brussell (senior/Honesdale) joined late last semester and competed only in the last of the three tournaments. Everybody bowls in each tournament and alternates vie for individual honors rather than team awards.
At the semester break in Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference action among six colleges, the Wildcat Blue team was in second place by 100 pins, Penn College's No. 1 White team is in third, Penn College's No. 2 White team is in second, Penn College's No. 3 White team is in fourth and Penn College's Gold team is last.
This semester, Penn College has matches remaining Thursday and Feb. 7 (at Penn State Scranton), then will compete in the EPCC Tournament Feb. 21 at Northampton County Community College and the PCAA Tournament March 3-4 at Pleasant Valley Lanes in Altoona.
"The men are going to be in real good shape when we come to the end of the year," Vincenzes said. "When we get to the state tournament it is five (individuals) on a team, which will help our position.
"We're definitely not out of the ballpark of winning these (remaining EPCC) matches and becoming first place by the end of the semester. I have great hopes that our White team and our Blue team will take over first place in their divisions," the coach added.
Vincenzes began coaching bowling when she took over the junior program at Faxon Lanes in Loyalsock Township in the late 1960s as an 18 year old.
"Running learn-to-bowl classes, running the junior program, that was my love and what I did for a number of years," Vincenzes said.
She had been out of coaching for about four years, but says, "I am excited about being back into where my roots were in bowling."
(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college's Athletics Web site.)