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Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Second-year coach Kathy Pond believes both the Tioga boys and girls bowling teams will compete for division titles. More importantly, however, she’s happy the kids will have the opportunity to compete.

“(Valley Bowling Center proprietor) Greg Joseph has gone above and beyond to make it so that we are able to bowl, and we can’t say ‘thank you’ enough,” she said. “It allows our kids to be active, and to participate in a sport, which they haven’t been able to do.

“We’re excited just to be able to bowl,” Pond added.

Pond says a number of her bowlers got an early start on the season.

“One thing that will be advantageous for us is that a lot of our kids enrolled in the Saturday youth leagues here at the Valley Bowling Center, so some of these kids have been bowling since September.

“They’ve been building strength, and working out the bugs in their games,” said Pond.

“We have a lot returning this year,” said Pond. “We basically have our top five back.”

The Tigers will be led by former state qualifier senior Kolton Pond in their quest for a sixth consecutive IAC Small School Division title.

Dylan Slater, Rocco Fariello, Gage Cain, and Frank Chapman all return to the top five.

“I’m thinking there aren’t many teams in our (Small School) division that can match up with us, but you never know,” Pond noted.

Pond believes seventh-grader Nick Slater is a newcomer to watch.

“Nick (Slater) is going to be a good one. I think he’s going to help us a lot this year,” said Pond.

Levi Card, Reed Cook, and Alex Middendorf will all vie for time.

“Levi Card has stepped it up, and could surprise people this year,” said Pond.

“We have some depth, which is good to have, because you never know what’s going to happen,” she added.

“The girls have never won a division title, but this might be the year,” said Pond. “I’m really optimistic.

“We have quite a few girls returning, and a newbie or two that could contribute,” added Pond. “Everyone is very enthusiastic, this could be the year they break through.”

The Lady Tigers return BobbiJo Tarbox, Cassie Birney, Destini Sweet, and Jaime Card.

Pond said newcomer Chloe Gillette is someone to keep an eye on.

“Chloe Gillette could be our dark horse. She is coming in from Owego, so I’ve never seen her in a match,” said Pond. “I was impressed with her at practice. She could be a big surprise.”

Sara Burrowes, Alex Creller, and Breanna Witting will also for time in the top six.

The Section IV state qualifier and the state tournament have already been canceled, and, at this point, there are no plans for IAC or Section IV Championships. Pond said the lack of a postseason hasn’t impacted her team’s preparation for the season.

“I think these kids are just happy to be here, and they’re happy to be together.

“I’m not worried about not having a postseason,” said Pond. “This is about the kids, and having fun — that’s what matters.”

Tioga opens the 2021 season today against Waverly.


IN PHOTO: Clockwise, from top left: Kolton Pond, Dylan Slater, Rocco Fariello, and Gage Cain. ... VSR STOCK PHOTOS.

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