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High School Bowling

Late-season surge pushes Brunswick's Josh Gerda to district berth

  • mgb1gerda4xcolor-jpg

    Brunswick's Josh Gerda.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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It seemed like any other January day in Northeast Ohio — light snow, high of 30 degrees with a low of 28 — but it was hardly a case of the Mondays for Josh Gerda.

A solid bowler for the Brunswick boys team, the senior came into his own Jan. 22 in a 2,563-2,053 Greater Cleveland Conference win over Elyria and hasn’t let off the pedal.

“I think it has been consistent in whatever he does,” Blue Devils coach Ryan Jakubczak said. “Whether it’s at practice or on the lanes, I don’t think he lets a whole lot of the finer parts like oil patterns and what’s going on, on other lanes bother him. He just wants to get out there and bowl.”

That day against the Pioneers changed Gerda’s world after he led Brunswick with a 515 two-game series of a season-high 260 as well as a 255.

Not too shabby for a bowler averaging 175.0.

“I think before that I wasn’t bowling nearly as much as I thought I should have been,” Gerda said. “I think ever since that 515 two-game series, my confidence has skyrocketed. I really didn’t change my approach or anything with the way I bowled.

“I wasn’t confident in myself before that because I didn’t think I could do it. After that, I thought I could do a lot better than I was. At first, I thought it would fade away eventually, but recently I just felt like I’ve been on top of the world.”

That’s hard to argue after his showing at the Summit Division I Sectional.

Gerda rolled a 525 three-game series (176-177-172) to finish third as an individual at Stonehedge Lanes and advance to the Summit County District on Sunday at Roseland Lanes.

“It’s nice to be able to have a kid who is out here to have fun,” Jakubczak said. “He comes to practice every day and works hard every day. Obviously, it has paid off for him. The oil pattern they’re using is conducive to the type of ball he throws, anyway.

“I knew that it would be a good day for him as long he stayed clean and made all his marks. For him, he’s just having fun bowling. He’s not worrying about what’s next and all that.”

The oil pattern the state is using is called the Tower of Pisa, which is asymmetric in design with a shift to the inside, on the left — or if looking at it from another perspective, to the outside on the right. It retains shape throughout the entire 41-foot length.

While all that sounds highly technical, it’s a pattern that Gerda is quite poised rolling on.

“I’m a lot more confident going into district than I was sectional,” he said. “I know the oil pattern, and I know where I need to lay the ball down. I’m just going to go practice on the pattern.

“Because the oil is more on the outside, if you’re farther than the 10th board, it’s just going to go directly into the 10 pin. I lay the ball directly down on the 10th board, so I think it really helps.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Gerda is headed to a bowling alley Jakubczak cut his teeth on growing up.

Gerda is ready to let it rip.

“It means a lot, especially considering how I started off the season,” he said. “I feel like I definitely deserve to be there, and I wasn’t definitely feeling that at the beginning. I feel like I’ve worked my way up and put in the work.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.
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