SBC athletic departments have wait and see attitude about initiating varsity bowling teams

The six Clermont County high schools that do not have bowling programs are cautiously observing and reviewing the pros and cons concerning the prospect of creating a varsity level program for their respective schools.

Amelia and Glen Este, currently members of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference (FAVC); Goshen, a former member of the FAVC; and Milford, currently a member of the Greater Miami Conference and soon to be a member of the FAVC; already have varsity boys and girls bowling teams.

This year the Ohio High School Athletic Association has approved recognizing the sport as being officially sanctioned for state tournament competition.

Steve Borich, the commissioner of the FAVC said, “It is a very positive move for a very positive sport. It gives kids who have never played a high school sport a chance to play and a chance for other kids to play another sport.

“The Fort Ancient Valley has already sanctioned bowling as a varsity sport in our conference.”

Kings and Ross are the only two members of the 15-school league that do not compete in bowling.

Bud Phillips is the commissioner of the Southern Buckeye Conference (SBC). Batavia, Bethel-Tate, Clermont Northeastern, Felicity, New Richmond, and Williamsburg are the Clermont County members of the SBC who do not currently have bowling programs.

Said Phillips, “At this point it was the decision of our athletic directors not to have bowling right away, but there is no objection to the sport. The superintendents of our member schools have no objections.

“I don’t really have a particular personal feeling about it, but we’re going to look at it in the future. Two things seem to be the major obstacles of approving bowling – availability of facilities close to our member schools, or most of them anyway, and our athletic directors and administrators are concerned with facilities that serve alcohol.”

“We had bowling at one time, but because of budget cuts we had to drop it,” said Terry Sheehan, Batavia High School athletic director. “It doesn’t look like we will have it for awhile unless we can get some volunteers to coach.”

“I haven’t had anybody ask me about having a bowling team. I don’t know if there is any interest here,” said Rick Wilson, Bethel-Tate High School athletic director. “I think we may have had a bowler from Bethel at one time.”

“I have been thinking about it as an independent team and not as a member of the conference in the sport,” said Lew Lady, Clermont Northeastern High School athletic director. “I may have trouble scheduling games, but we could have some with other county high schools Goshen, Amelia, Milford, and Glen Este nearby. It would be an opportunity for kids who don’t play any sport to possibly play a sport.”

“At this point we’re not going to create a team. We’re interested, but it’s a financial question. It’s not feasible for us,” said Pat Hill, New Richmond High School athletic director. “At some point we’ll take a look at it. Any sport the state sanctions is good and it gives us more chance to become involved and participate in a state sanctioned sport.”

“We’ve discussed it as a league sport and took it to the principals and they agreed not to sanction it as a league sport,” said Ron Ogden, Williamsburg High School athletic director. “Some of the schools don’t have bowling alleys near by their school. Schools in our league can have bowling individually, but there will be no official league competition.

“Before we add any new sports at Williamsburg, we’d first take back some of the old sports we’ve dropped.”

Through the years Wildcat High competed on the varsity level in boys golf, boys and girls cross country, and boys soccer, plus several other junior high school sports.

Although they were never officially recognized as team sports, the Blue and White’s Betsy Brockman was a state champion in swimming and Brandon Malott was a champion in powerlifting. Both competed as individuals, but did represent their school.