EAST WENATCHEE — New Wenatchee Panther girls’ bowling coach Jeremy Anders has been getting to know his new team as part of a bowling camp this week at Eastmont Lanes in East Wenatchee.
Anders replaces previous coach Jeff Leavitt who guided the Panthers to the regular-season Big 9 championship last season. However, the new coach has some nice credentials of his own. He was the first coach of the Eastmont program.
In four years, he led the Wildcats to a state title, two league titles, and two district titles. He was twice the Big 9 Coach of the Year. Anders said there is no question that bowling is the hottest sport in the Wenatchee Valley.
He’s not wrong either. Eastmont has won the past three state bowling titles, while Wenatchee won the year before that.
“We are lucky to have a valley blessed with so many talented ladies. There is no other sport out there that can say between the two schools, we’ve been so dominant in the last five years,” Anders said. “In bowling, every year, is Wenatchee going to win? Is Eastmont going to win? Christy (Binge) has done a great job of continuing the legacy there and building the program.”
The Wenatchee bowling camp runs this week and next. Anders said he wanted to get the girls together to get some hands-on experience. They are doing a lot of one-on-one training, group training, and team building.
They are also giving the new bowlers a chance with some one-on-one coaching. Helping out is a new assistant coach Jennifer Thacker.
“She has been around the junior bowling program for a long time. She has helped coach a lot of the middle school and elementary kids. She bowled in high school. Not as much coaching on the high school side, but she’s definitely been around coaching,” Anders said of Thacker.
There are a couple of new bowlers but most are returning players. Anders said he did not have much of a chance to recruit bowlers, but plans to do that next year.
For the experienced and successful Wenatchee team, it is mostly team building, he said.
“The skill we have on the team is just a matter of fine-tuning. You want to get the team some great runs. You want to get that next level, winning a state championship,” he said. “We want all our skills tuned in the best we can. It really gives me a chance to interact with the girls and give them stuff to work on, on their own between now and when we start back up in November.”
The two top returning bowlers from last year, juniors Hannah Johnson and Kylah Hankins are still out for health reasons.
Anders said they held their camp later to give those girls a chance to come back.
He said it is a big thing to get those girls back on track and team building.
“Hannah is still dealing with cancer treatments. She was in Seattle doing treatments, but she’ll be back next week. Hopefully, she’ll be good to go after this week so she can participate in camp next week,” Anders said. “Kylah broke her finger in the middle of the state tournament. She just was cleared to bowl last week. She is touching the ball the first time since the state tournament.”
Besides bowling, Anders said they are conducting video sessions, looking at different coaching aspects along with some one-one-one breakdowns of player games. They also do some exercises to build team unity. He’s looking forward to batting Eastmont for state supremacy next season.
“They have a great group of ladies. Christy was my assistant coach for many years. It’s great to see she’s kept that program going strong. It’s going to be fun to bowling against her,” Anders said.