The Cortland High School boys’ and girls’ bowling teams will boast 15 returnees from last season’s squads, as they begin a new season against Homer at Cort-Lanes this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
On the girls’ side, Cortland is returning Calista Van Epps, Makayla Cotterill, Victoria Strobeck, Autumn Wells and Jillian Riccardi. Newcomers include Kendall Keep, Hailey Moore and Alison Oaks.
Van Epps, the team’s MVP last season, was a first team all-league selection, co-captain and Section III shootout qualifier. The senior posted a high game of 279 and a high series of 662, a season-best for the Purple Tigers.
Strobeck, who was the most improved last season, had a 124.08 average during her sophomore year with a high game of 149 and a high series of 414.
Cotterill recorded an average of 162.97, a high game of 247 and a high series of 615. The junior was last season’s most dedicated bowler.
Wells had a high game of 206 and a high series of 518 last year as a freshman, while Riccardi posted a 114.33 average, a 176 high game and a 412 series as an eighth-grader.
Cortland will be without Taylor Cullip, who earned the coach’s award after a season where she was an SCAC all-league selection and Section III shootout qualifier.
The Purple Tigers went 14-5 overall with a 7-3 league record last year. They were third in Division 2 out of 13 teams and fifth in Class B out of 10 teams.
On the boys’ side, the Purple Tigers return Adam Minnard, Jake Keep, Joe Kane, David Benjamin and Cody Wink. They will be joined by Koby Davis, Mason Bellrose, Michael Frederick, Kian O’Connell, Austin Cotterill, Boston Lockwood, Ja- cob Moran, Isaiah Craig, Erik Decker, Corey Smith and Zach Norton.
Kane, a senior, won the award as Cortland’s most improved bowler last season, posting a 120 aver-age, 172 high game and a 379 high series.
Keep took home the coach’s award last year. The senior had a 158.31 average with a high game of 213 and a high series of 551.
Minnard, a junior, recorded a 158.59 average, 232 high game and 587 high series last year, while Wink, a senior, averaged 155.49 last season with a high game of 176 and a high series of 420.
Frederick earned the team’s most dedicated award last season. The junior had a 106.65 average.
The team’s most valuable player, Dylan Luther, graduated. He also recorded the team’s high game (264) and series (718) last season. Luther also was a second team SCAC Empire League all-star.
The Purple Tigers are coming off a 7-12 season, where they went 4-6 in the league to place fourth out of six teams in the SCAC Empire Division. In sectionals, the boys were 10th out of 18 teams in Division 2 and eighth out of 12 teams in Class B.
“I’m seeing improvement after the first few practices and have hopes that we will do well and make it to sectionals again with both teams,” Cortland coach Annette McMahon said.
Today* HOMER, 3:30, p.m.
Dec. 3 FAYETTTEVILLE-MANLIUS, 3:30 p.m.; *5 CHITTENANGO, 3:30 p.m.; 6 at East Syracuse-Minoa, 3:30 p.m.; 10 WEST GENESEE, 3:30 p.m.; 11 at Cicero-North Syracuse, 3:30 p.m.; 17 SYRACUSE, 3:30 p.m.; 18 at Baldwinsville, 3:30 p.m.; 23 LIVERPOOL, 1 p.m.
Jan. 2 AUBURN, 3:30 p.m.; 7 CENTRAL SQUARE, 3:30 p.m.; 8 at Oswego, 3:30 p.m.; 13 at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m.; 14 at Fulton, 3:45 p.m.; 16 EAST SYRACUSE-MINOA, 3:30 p.m.; 22 at Central Square, 3:30 p.m.; 23 at Auburn, 3:30 p.m.; 28 OSWEGO, 3:30 p.m.; 29 FULTON, 3:30 p.m.
All home matches at Cort-Lanes. *denotes non-league match.