FAIRFIELD TWP. — The learning process is just as important for Jimmy Beltz than it is for his Cincinnati Christian Schools bowling program.
While Beltz is in his first year at the Cougar helm, the boys team is making things look easy on the lanes during the first half of the season.
They’re on a five-game winning streak and off to the best start in school history at 5-1 after falling in the season opener against Miami Valley Conference leader Norwood.
“I’m trying to take as many classes as I can to give my knowledge to our bowlers,” Beltz said. “I’ve got a good group of kids who are excited and like to have fun. My mission is truly to make this season as enjoyable as we can regardless of the outcome.
“Can everybody learn and can everybody grow? That’s where I’m putting the focus,” Beltz added. “We can use that as a springboard for the next season.”
But right now, Beltz said the inexperienced Cougars — who won a program-high 17 matches last season — are bowling well heading into the holiday break.
“The kids are exuding with confidence,” he said. “We’ve really focused on what we can do as a team to win.”
CCS sophomore Keller Harrison is fourth in the Miami Valley Conference with a 196.5 average on the boys side, while junior David Brown has a 171 average.
“Keller has got a strong form,” Beltz said. “He performs really well under pressure. He’s been bowling for 12 years, since he was a little guy. He’s the strongest bowler right now.”
Sophomore Harvey Hollandsworth (161.5), freshman Michael Brown (157.8) and senior Jack Diebold (154.2) round out the boys squad.
The girls team only sports three bowlers on its roster, and according to Beltz, the primary goal is to get them better as the season continues and in shape for next year.
“We’re looking for individual accomplishments for them,” Beltz said. “We won’t win matches pin for pin because we have three girls bowling, so we have to make sure they’re doing the right things and setting goals for themselves.”
Sophomore Brooklyn Porter leads the way with a 153.8 average, while junior Seleste Brinker bowls a 151.7 and sophomore Tamryn Clark a 124. Porter and Brinker are third and fourth, respectively, in the MVC.
Porter finished fourth in the conference with a 158.3 average as a freshman.
Beltz said the boys and girls teams came out a little on the rusty side, but have been picking up the pace as the tougher part of Cincinnati Christian’s schedule approaches.
“We’ve got some good competition once we get back at it in January,” Beltz said. “Everybody came in wondering if they were going to be able to do this. That mindset has changed from the boys side because we have eight bowlers. We have the full team and concentrating on what the team can do, as opposed to what each individual can do on the girls side.”
Cincinnati Christian faces Roger Bacon on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. at Gilmore Lanes.