Clarke bowling will head into the 2019-20 season with one of the smaller groups Dale Helgevold has had in his tenure as head coach. However, he’s hopeful for growth and excited to see what both the boys and girls teams are capable of as they hit the lanes this season.
“This is the smallest group we’ve had,” said Helgevold. “In 2015, we graduated 16 seniors and we had 40 plus at times, this year we’ve got 12 or 13 all together. The numbers are down, ... we’re really young and inexperienced.”
The Indians will have three seniors, two of which are returning, and three returning sophomores. Helgevold knows there’s going to be a learning curve with a majority of the bowlers being new.
“Most of them are first time bowlers. They really, other than bowling with family, have never bowled in a league. ... A lot of it is teaching the fundamentals as well as trying to fine tune the ones that are a little more experienced.”
Of the experienced group, Helgevold will look for multiple girls with experience to have a strong influence on the underclassman and to put up good numbers from the year prior.
“I’ve got Jessinda Davenport and Jadie Bowlsby returning from last year on the girls team,” said Helgevold. “They were freshmen last year, first time bowlers, and improved tremendously throughout the season. They’re both really doing well so far this season. Landi Helgevold is our lone senior on the girls’ team, and with the Helgevold name, she’s had to bowl for many years. She has a brother and sister to follow behind, and they’ve both done well for us at Clarke. ... She’s just doing her thing and bowling the best she can.”
Helgevold expects the same on the boys’ side also.
“We’ve got Jayden Giza and Ely Crawford, our returners that are experienced and aren’t seniors (both are sophomores). Ely improved quite a bit last year, and Jayden has some pretty good experience at the alley. Alejandro Davis is the returning senior, and he’s kind of going to be the leader on the boys team for seniority.”
Last season, the Clarke boys finished 10-10 with an average match score of 2,363 pins and an average individual game score of 162.2. The girls finished the year 16-3-1 with a pin average of 2,066.2 and an average game score of 140.0.