“Our season ended, in my estimation, somewhat disappointing,” he said. “We finished second in our (Burlington County Freedom) Division and fourth in the (state) sectionals, and only the top two advance. I hoped we would have come back a little better. But hopes and wishes, you know how they go.”
Nonetheless, the Scotties finished 11-4-2 with three solid bowlers, while league champion Maple Shade had a team whose fourth and fifth bowlers averaged as high as Bordentown’s top guys. So, when asked if Jones got as much as possible from his team, he conceded, “Absolutely.”
Senior Brandon Weaver, the team’s leading bowler, felt along the same lines. It was a good season that could have been great, but he wasn’t complaining.
“I thought this year was a really good year,” Weaver said. “I feel like if we did a bit better during one or two matches, we could have won instead of coming in second. But I was really happy how this year went, and we knew from the beginning Maple Shade was going to be hard to go against.”
The Scotties were led by the trio of Weaver, sophomore Gabe Ostrowski and junior Lucas Frader. Weaver, the team captain and lone senior, led the way with a 179 average, followed by Ostrowski (176) and Frader (164). Last year, Weaver was the third best among that group behind Ostrowski and Frader. It wasn’t that the other two slipped as much as Weaver got better.
“I would bowl one or two times a week after the school season was over,” said Brandon, who is unsure of his future but hopes to continue bowling. “I was expecting to get my average up more than last year, which I did. I came in hoping to do the best that I can, and I did hope a little to be number one this year. I was also hoping to win most of our matches, which we did.”
Scott praised his captain, saying, “Brandon worked all summer long. His sister used to bowl for me a couple years back, she always kept on top of him, saying ‘You gotta keep rolling, you gotta keep rolling.’ He really stepped up, no doubt about it.”
He helped make a formidable trio with Ostrowski and Frader, who both return next year.
“I was expecting a big year from the three of them,” Jones said. “When you looked at the weekends, Gabe and Brandon would bowl over the weekends. Lucas can sometimes be better than the both of them, but he wasn’t bowling on weekends all that much. He was doing some other things. He would take a day off and then throw in a clunker of a series. We just need him to be a little more focused, he’ll be all right. He began learning that as the year went on. Just because the team is not bowling competitively or practicing, he needs to go to the lanes and roll.”
Aside from the top three, it was a mix and match as to who would fill in the final two spots. Freshmen Andrew Croux and Tyler Quinn eventually took over there, although junior Bryan White held down the fourth spot much of the time.
“We had five others vying for the fourth and fifth spot and depending on who was hot and who was not, that was kind of how we tried to go,” Jones said. “We started off the year with a freshman and sophomore filling those two spots. By the time we got to the end of the year we had two freshmen filling them. I’m looking forward to some bigger things out of them. They both improved all year long. Between the two of them we should be able to recover from what we lose from Brandon.”
As the team veteran, Weaver did what he could to help out the young guys.
“I would help people if they wanted it, otherwise I would just let everyone do their own thing,” he said. “I see room for improvement in most of the current players and I see two that are capable of doing the same thing we did this year with the group next year.”
In looking at next season, Jones feels there is potential.
“I’ll be looking for a three, four and five,” he said. “There’s the two freshmen and the other guys hopefully realize what needs to be done and start coming around. We still have five players that are gonna fit in it, whichever ones step up will be the ones who step into the position.”