West Milford bowlers have a bright future both on and off the team

Coach Caillie praises this years' teammate for their scores and character

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By Josh Lashley

The future looks to be strong for the West Milford High School bowling program — and oh, by the way, the season which recently concluded wasn’t too shabby either.

In fact, the 2017-2018 version of the Highlanders, they stood out as a team that not only earned big time victories on the lanes, but were admired and respected by their opponents as well.

This was indeed a winter to remember for all of those involved with the Highlander bowling squad and head coach John Caillie took note of some of the major highlights that the student-athletes on his roster captured.

“Winning the Storm New Year Tournament, Jan. 6, winning the PCCA Tournament Jan. 19, winning the NJSIAA North 1b State Sectional Tournament (Group 3) and then advancing to the State Finals where we placed 30th in the State [were all moments that were outstanding for West Milford],’’ Caillie said.

Coach Caillie is proud to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of the team leaders for this past season.

“Andrew Finke, senior, four-year letterman and tri-captain, First Team All-Conference and All-County had a great season finishing with a 205 average,’’ Caillie said. “He showed both athletic and leadership skills. Tyler Nicol, junior and tri-captain Honorable Mention All-County bowled well and had some key 200-plus games to pull us through. Tyler kept up the team morale as well as offering tips to the newcomers.

“Justin Gerity, senior and tri-captain was always a team player throughout his four-year career and was always there when we needed him. Due to the four man format, Justin was bounced back and forth between JV and varsity, maintaining a 170-plus average. Suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, he stayed positive and persevered, keeping an ever smiling face- truly our Most Dedicated Bowler.’’

There were several bowlers, beyond the above mentioned captains, who were always looking for ways to improve.

“Ralph (R.J.) Utter and Amanda Finke are freshmen who exceeded my expectations through their hard work, dedication and bowling skills,’’ Caillie said. “R.J. was First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-County and Amanda was First Team Conference and County,’’ Caillie said.

“Jennifer Goldberg, a junior, continued to aspire with a First Team All-County spot and her twin sister Jessica, although injured toward the end of the season, took Second Team All-County accolades.

“West Milford Highlander bowling had a fantastic 10-4 season winning three major tournaments with a very talented, respectful and energetic group of athletes. Their sportsmanship and leadership qualities are impressive and make me proud to be their coach.

"Although losing four seniors to graduation, we have some excellent veteran bowlers and a few freshmen prospects to bolster our roster.’’

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