Pearl City Bowlers Are On Track For A Strong Post-season

History has a way of repeating itself, and in the case of the Pearl City girls bowling team, that’s the case again this fall.

The Chargers won the 2011 state bowling championship, and all signs point to them being in the mix again this November. Not that they haven’t been challenged. If anything, they’ve found that every opponent has them on their radar.

“We have the target on our backs, and we have to keep running so nobody shoots us in the back,” head coach Millie Gomes said. “The kids understand that. Hopefully, we can do a repeat, but there’s still a lot ahead of us.”

To date, the team appears to be on pace for another strong post-season run. With two weeks remaining in the OIA season, it holds a 750-pin lead on second-place Mililani. Pearl City also posted the “high-game” among OIA teams Aug. 30 with a final tabulation of 972. The Chargers are gearing up for their OIA overall competition, which will play out Oct. 18 at Schofield Bowling Center and will pit East schools against West schools. (The state bowling Championships will take place Oct. 27 and 28 in Hilo.)

Gomes’ current team is a mix of veterans and promising newcomers. Among the new ones is freshman Chelsi Morishige, who has per- formed more like a senior, according to Gomes. “She’s pretty much been a powerhouse, averaging 194. She’s bowled great scores every week. She loves competition. She tries real hard. Her brother (Blaize) is on the boys team, and that drives her to beat her brother.”

In addition to Morishige, the Chargers also feature stellar freshmen in Kristin Frost and Kylie Malilay. “We call Kristin ‘Frosty.’ She’s been pretty strong so far. Kylie is fairly new to the sport, but she’s improved a lot since day one. She’s really, really improved. I see her doing very well. She’s an up-and-comer.”

Also back are sophomore Ashlynn Castro and seniors Alera Chock and Brianna Nakamura. All three were key components in Pearl City’s state title run last November.

“Ashlynn has been doing well,” Gomes said of Castro, whose individual game of 246 earlier in the season was tops among OIA West bowlers. “She’s a happy-go-lucky bowler who never gets down on herself. She’s a team player.

“Alera is steady. She’s our lead-off bowler. She sets the pace for our game. Brianna is our captain and a real morale booster for us. She picks everybody up and cheers them on.”

The Charger boys team, which also won the 2011 title under head coach James Hayashi, also is leading the OIA’s West with two weeks remaining in the regular season.