Bowling: LC looking to take advantage of wildcards
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent February 7, 2013 9:12PM
Lake Centrals coach Gregg Schmied (left) and player Nathan Maciejewski keep scor in between frames in the finals round during the Post-Tribune Northwest Indiana Preseason High School Bowl O-Rama held at Stardust Bowl II in Hobart on Sunday October 28, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 10, 2013 6:39AM
DYER — For the past two weeks, the Lake Central boys team found ways to advance in the Indiana High School Bowling postseason tournament —literally by the skin of their teeth in the Westlake Sectional at Hobart Lanes and last Saturday’s regional at City Lanes – thanks to the wildcard.
Coaches Gregg Schmeid and Rick Young confess that they’re both grateful that neither suffered any visible signs of heart failure in the process. They’ve also, rather humorously, attributed a new nickname to the boys as they prepare to compete in Saturday’s semistate at Chippewa Bowl in South Bend.
“We’ve renamed the team the cardiac kids,” Schmeid said. “Rick and I don’t travel in the same bus anymore because both of us feel like we could have a heart attack at any time. We want one coach to get there. It’s been quite a last few weeks for us. If this keeps up, they’re going to put us in the hospital.”
Yet Schmeid and Young know the remedy that is ailing his group of extremely talented bowlers — which have reached the state meet the previous two years — and it starts with getting the boys to alleviate the pressure of high expectations they’ve placed on themselves individually, as well as collectively.
“The guys have simply been putting too much pressure on themselves and each other,” Schmeid said. “They just need to get back to having fun and just bowling. We’re creatively trying to get the kids back to that place, focusing on positive things rather than the missed spares which cause a snowball effect.”
Both coaches also are breathing a sigh of relief that the team was able to advance out of sectional and regional at two centers where it has experienced setbacks over the past couple of years. LC is now competing in a house where it has an established track record of success.
“The numbers don’t lie: The team has not bowled well at Hobart or Michigan City,” Young said. “And we’ve won tournaments at Chippewa Bowl. What has been amazing is we’re still in the mix even without our A game and we haven’t had three or four of the five bowling well at one time yet this season.
“When you look at the archives, you’ll see that teams don’t get to the state finals three times in a row very often, and I think the kids have felt some pressure over that. They just have to start having fun again.”
Despite the stress, Schmeid also praised his team for its ability to deliver its best Baker effort at the very end of regional in the final game — right when the pins were ultimately needed the most.
“I believe I have seven of the best bowlers in the state on this team,” Schmeid said. “Four kids in the starting lineup have been to state twice in the last three years. There are not many teams in the state that can say that. We know how well these kids can bowl. On an off day, they’re a good team. They just need to get back into a happy place and get laughing again.”