MIDDLETOWN, NJ:   Words such as ordinary or mediocre may often be bandied about in the world of sports, but they most certainly don’t apply to the 2019-2020 Middletown North High School girls bowling program.

   More appropriate terms to describe the Lions would include outstanding and victorious.

  Middletown North won the Shore Conference B North Division with an undefeated record. Tiffany Kenney, North’s head coach recalls major victories from this past winter.

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   “The North-[Middletown] South matchups are always competitive,’’ Kenney said. “Typically over the last couple of years, it has been North or South as the Division winner for the girls division. The cross town rivalry helps to maintain that competitive edge. We always seem to give one another a good game or a good match. There were a few close games with South this season. When you add in the pressure of having to maintain a lead in each individual game, the matches can be intense.’’

   Having not just leadership, but the right kind of leadership helped sustain the Lions this year.

   “Dakota Zadroga and Victoria Trigg emerged as leaders in the anchor positions,’’ Kenney said. “Victoria over the course of the season showed growth and discipline in her mental game. She was able to block out potential distractions and help to maintain the team's (re)focus with each passing game. Dakota always arrives with her game face. She allows for minimal outside distractions, welcomes pressure and is viewed as a silent leader.’’

   Coach Kenney mentioned Ashley Guglielmo, Brenna Trevett and Taylor Hanser as adding depth, leadership and improvements on the roster.

   “Ashley is in the leadoff position for the second season,’’ Kenney said. “She portrays consistency and poise to successfully maintain the leadoff position. Ashley is welcoming to the pressure of being in the '1' spot. Brenna and Taylor have filled in to the two and three positions in the lineup. Brenna and Taylor have shown tremendous improvements over the last year earning and maintaining starting positions.

   “Their work ethic carries into the off-season and the results are evident. Taylor is very coachable. If she is offered a directive, she will take the advice with immediate application. Brenna continued to advance her scores with each passing week. She portrays an instinctive competitive edge to personal gains each week.’’

   With the kind of success that the Lions enjoyed, numerous student athletes were contributors.  

   “Throughout the season, different girls have taken on different roles,’’ Kenney said. “Some offered positive encouragement to teammates when necessary. Some were great cheerleaders, keeping the energy alive. Some were more reserved and had a quieter approach to leadership. While some were very vocal, taking initiative to ensure cohesion among the group. The girls had a great season and we are hopeful for their continued success.’’

   Going forward, success may very well breed success for Middletown North.

   “There is definite optimism for the team's continued improvement,’’ Kenney said. “The team is mostly sophomores and a couple of juniors. Many of them seek private instruction outside of the season. This strategy has helped each individual with an accelerated approach to advancing her game. Each aforementioned team member, including Madison Lewis, Faith Coll, Sara Welsh and Justice Buonsante has offered contribution in matches throughout the season.’’