WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange bowling team is headed to the state championships on Feb. 7 after sweeping Nutley in the Essex County Athletic Directors Association (ECADA) County Championship at Hanover Lanes on Feb. 4. First-year coach Bill Urbanski and the "Fab Five" are confident that they can bowl well at the state championship games on Friday at Linden Lanes.
Heading into Tuesday’s Essex County Championship game, Urbanski said the key was that his bowlers feel good and roll well that day. “Any one of them can have a hot day and win it,” Urbanski said. The heat was apparent as the Mountaineers took the Essex County Championship with a West Orange score of 2,914, Nutley coming in second with 2,673 and Bloomfield coming in third at 2,620. Seton Hall Prep finished fourth with 2,609.
After a stellar season last year, the returning team is comprised of five seasoned upperclassmen: Seniors Adam Reinstein, Tommy Johnson, Lauren Pinkard, and Devon Harper, and Junior Torien Copes.
Last week, the WOHS Bowling Team clinched the Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division (SED) League title, winning over Seton Hall Prep, Livingston, Caldwell, Millburn, and Weequahic. It was WOHS’s first win in the SEC championship in the conference’s five-year existence. The Mountaineers previously won several Northern Hills Conference Championships until the NHC was disbanded.
The “Fab Five” Mountaineers have had a dominant season so far, going 102-10 in points for their matches, and losing less than 5 individual games all season. They have won every single team match, an enviable feat of endurance and consistency for any sports team.
Reinstein has had an especially impressive year, consistently rolling in the 210s and holding the highest average of the team. Urbanski said he’s very proud of Adam, who last year averaged scores in the 170s, but took the initiative in the off-season, and his average jumped over 40 points.
“Team practices aren’t enough,” said Adam Reinstein. “Each bowler practices individually almost every day, and that’s where improvement are made.”
Both Reinstein (high scorer in the Essex County Championship) and fellow Senior Tommy Johnson will be competing on Feb. 6 in the County Individuals.
Lauren Pinkard, who lead the girls in all three categories of highest score, series, and average, missed Girls Individual states last weekend by 12 pins, but is competing for County Individuals on Feb. 6.
Urbanski says that though all four of his male bowlers are eligible for states, there is no clear-cut winner between the four and it would all depend on their scores on Feb. 7.
With the SEC and Essex County Championships under their belts, and Team States slated for Friday, Reinstein is already looking to the future for the team. “We’ve been bowling super well, and we should focus on winning individually in states now.”
The games begin at 2:00 pm at Linden Lanes. Linden Lanes is located at 741 N Stiles St, Linden, NJ 07036.