By Bob Balgemann, REPORTER

 Harlem’s boys have already added more tournament championships to their 2016-17 list of successes as a new NIC-10 season gets underway.  The Huskies with a veteran Varsity that includes several newcomers won the preseason event at Don Carter Lanes by 300 pins over runner-up Hononegah. Auburn came in third. Senior Jake Nimtz paced that tournament action with a six-game 1,471 series, averaging 245 per game. His series contained a couple of 279 games. He was followed by Junior Kyle Gerl, who fashioned a 1,385 series with a high single game of 288. His average for the day was 230 per outing. Next up were Senior Dawson Jones, 1,244 series with a high 234 game; and Senior Collin Day, 1,228 series and a high game of 257. Sophomores Noah Mandujano and Nick Howard also competed in this tournament. Noah rolled five games and had a 1,040 series; Nick bowled once and contributed a 223. Harlem entered two Junior Varsity teams in the preseason and they finished first and third. Earlier, Jake was the individual champion at the Guilford Invite with a 1,534 series, an average of 256 per game. That series included a 255, 234, 245, 257, 275 and 268. He was followed by Kyle with a 1,260; Dawson, a 1,256; and Noah, a 1,253. Collin rolled five games and totaled 1,038 pins. Nick bowled once, contributing a 192. 

Harlem’s boys and girls opened the conference season Tuesday with a home match against Rockford Guilford at Forest Hills Lanes in Loves Park. The Huskies will be on the road today (Dec. 1), at Freeport, which should prove to be challenging for both boys and girls teams. Next outings will be home, on Tuesday against Rockford East and on Dec. 9, a Friday, against Boylan Catholic. Action will begin about 4 p.m. Jimmy Heathscott is in his 21st year of coaching and once again has a team that has lots of talent.

There is an outstanding Senior in Mylee McCracken who finished fifth, individually, at the 2016 State Tournament. Another Senior, Alexandra Buffington, logged playing time last season. Sophomore Becca Hagerman had the best per game average in the NIC-10 last season, at 218. She bowled a 300 game and was named the conference’s Bowler of the Year and finished 18th individually at the State Tournament, averaging 215 per game. Other returning regulars from the team who finished fourth in the state are, Sophomore Kayla Verstraete and Junior Stephanie Richards. Contributions are expected from Freshman Laura Bartelt, Junior Savanna Bogenfief, Senior Amanda Thompson, Sophomore Angel Grinnall, Junior Sydney Keller, Sophomore Amanda Wallace, Freshman Lianna Summers, Sophomore Delaney Lopez and Freshman Amanda Bohn. Goals for this team, and for the boys, are the same as every year: winning Conference and State Championships.

Last year the Lady Huskies were a perfect 9-0 while winning the Conference by two games over Belvidere and Belvidere North (7-2).

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