WARSAW – Coach Glen Ransbottom loves seeing his bowlers succeed.
He’s hoping his talented group of kegglers are able to make a little bit of history come Saturday with a little more success on the lanes.
The Warsaw bowling team, a club sport at WCHS, will compete in the semi state in South Bend in a bid to advance to State for the first time under Ransbottom.
“Our goal is to make it to State and all of us are pretty excited,” said Ransbottom, now in his 11th year coaching the boys squad at Warsaw. “We’re capable of doing it. We know we’ll have to step it up a notch on Saturday, but these guys can do it. They know the further you go in the tourney the tougher the competition gets.
“It’s really anybody’s ball game at semi state. But, our guys are hungry for this. They want to get to State and it would be a shot in the arm for our program to do that for the first time. We’ve taken two individuals to State before, but never the boys team as a whole.”
The Warsaw contingent, which is in the semi state for the second time under coach Ransbottom, placed third at a regional last weekend in Lafayette. The team will be one of 12-14 in the semi state Saturday at Chippewa Bowl in South Bend. The top six teams at South Bend, along with the top six at the semi state at Greenwood Saturday, advance to State on Feb. 16 at Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette.
The Warsaw boys team is allowed two organized practices per week at its home facility, The Bowling Alley on SR 15 in Warsaw. Ransbottom, who began coaching the team when his son was a bowler at WCHS, and Kirk Wyman coach the boys squad.
“It’s just a passion of mine,” Ransbottom said. “I love seeing our kids have success. It’s a group effort. We have great kids, I have a great coaching staff as does the Warsaw girls team and The Bowling Alley is great to us. All five of our coaches at Warsaw also coach in the local youth leagues too.”
“I run our program as a varsity sport. It’s competitive. It’s not intramurals. These kids learn the game, they mature and they improve. It’s just a great winter sport to be a part of. A lot of these kids go on to bowl in college.”
It’s definitely a family affair too for Ransbottom, whose wife Jenny takes care of much of the paperwork required by the IHSB.
The Warsaw semi state team features seniors Camden Wysong, Chris Dausman and Jim Miller, along with the sophomore trio of Chris Stichter, Jim Pifer and Caden Roberts and freshman Logan Vetor.
“It’s a group effort with our team,” said Ransbottom. “All of them are close in average and any one of them can get hot at a given time. It’s all about who’s hot on that day and about making adjustments as a team too.”
Stichter will also compete in the semi state on Saturday as an individual. He earned that with a big day at the regional round last weekend, where he placed eighth.
“Chris is just a rock,” Ransbottom said. “He’s so focused and mentally tough. He has ice water in his veins and just leads by example.”
Ransbottom knows his talented team will give it their best effort on Saturday.
“I don’t know what will happen, but we will go in there ready and with no fear on Saturday,” said Ransbottom. “We’ll just hope that the numbers and the pins fall in our direction.”