(Shenandoah) -- A year removed from a stellar season, the Shenandoah bowling team has new faces in the lineup and are working through the growing pains for what they hope is a strong push at the end of the season.
"This year is definitely a different year," Coach Darin Pease said. "At times, we show glimmers of hope. We are doing a lot of things we need to do, but then we get to our little slopes. We are growing, but I feel we are on the verge of doing something special and maybe unexpected."
The boys team was a state qualifier last year and placed fifth. However, four of the six bowlers from that team graduated, leading to some turnover within the program.
"There was some competition coming into this year," Pease said. "It's just a matter of gelling as a group more than anything."
Zayne Zwickel is the top returner for the Mustangs while Dylan Gray, Seth Zwickel, Alex Razee, Treye Herr and John Henning have also been key cogs in the lineup.
On the girls side, Bailey Maher is leading the way for the Fillies.
Pease notes that Maher and Zwickel's experience has been much-appreciated with the young lineup on his hands.
"They have been pretty much everywhere we go," Pease said. "Zayne is super tough. Bailey is very consistent. We've had some ups and downs, but I feel like we are moving in the right direction."
Alexa Munsinger, Hanah Pelster, Emma Herr, Hannah Stearns and Grace Teague have also been mainstays in the lineup on the girls side.
Shenandoah's bowling season continues next Monday when they head to the Thunderbowl to face St. Albert.
"We've just got to do the little things," Pease said. "Make our spares, adjust the lanes and have some confidence. We have to keep our confidence up. If we can get everyone to believe they can do what they can do, I think we will surprise some people at the end."
Pease admits his team is far from the finished product, but he's OK with that, as long as the end-result shows continued improvement.
"We want to be bowling the best we have all year come the middle of February," he said. "That is key. We have to keep building, building and building."
The complete interview with Coach Pease can be heard below.