Coach Austin Aldridge began his first season as head coach of the Fenwick Bowling Teams earlier this year. He joins the Friar program after nine years working with the Hillside Youth Junior League, training bowlers from ages four to 18.
With the help of assistant coaches Tyler Kenny, Michelle Walker and Giovanni Casimer, girls’ varsity bowling is “off to a great start,” winning all three games in their first competition. The boys’ team is working its way back to full strength after a majority of last season’s bowlers graduated in May. “We have been rebuilding well, [but] we definitely would love to have more athletes that are interested in joining the team,” Aldridge said.
“The chemistry and energy of both teams has been amazing,” the coach said of the group of 14 Friar bowlers. “They have so much fun together, so much faith in each other’s abilities and do such a great job of encouraging [and] cheering each other on. They feel very comfortable with voicing opinions with each other to assist in any way possible to be successful.”
Olivia Cameron ‘25 has “played a major role in the team’s success thus far,” according to her new coach. She made history last year as the first female bowler in Fenwick history to qualify for state finals, but Aldridge believes her “incredible scores” (and 216 average) are exceeded by her team leadership. “She has taken on the team leader role and loves to share her knowledge and experiences of the sport with her teammates. She has consistently come through in clutch situations to seal victories.”
Fenwick Girls— Fenwick Friars' Bowling 🎳⚫️⚪️ (@FenBowl) December 9, 2023
Shout out to Olivia Cameron with very impressive scores this week in competition! She had high games of 236 against Rosary High and with 6 consecutive strikes against Loyola finishing with a 242!!!! Great bowling Olivia!! pic.twitter.com/msWP1IFsxL
On the boys’ side, “Connor Walsh is definitely someone to watch out for,” Aldridge said of the sophomore, who leads the team with a 161 average. Benicio Carideo ‘25 is close behind with 153, adding more than 30 pins to his average from last year. JR Welshons ‘27 is new to competitive bowling but has more than doubled his average to an “astonishing” 121.
“We’re definitely on the move and with hopes of progressing enough to take both teams all the way to state competition,” Aldridge said.
A lifelong avid bowler with a history of competing nationally, Aldridge comes from a family of bowlers – including his 12-year-old daughter Savannah, who averages a 160 score and is already competing in national tournaments.
“I have a passion for coaching, and I love to see the progression of the athletes’ improvement over time,” Aldridge said. “My goal is to create a culture that inspires greatness, encourages team motivation and elevates overall performance to unlock the fullest potential to be successful.”