This year marks the last go-round in high school bowling for the Yaniz brothers at Miami Christian.
At the other end of the spectrum are eighth-grader Harmony Romano and seventh-grader Madison Foster, and the ride is just beginning for that talented duo from Coral Springs Charter.
Alex Yaniz, 18, is the two-time Miami-Dade Bowler of the Year and finished fourth at state last season. He has a 222 average, and his little brother, Jeffrey, 17, has an average of 188.
Despite their age difference, both are seniors, and they are the reason the Miami Christian bowling program even exists.
Their father, Amado Yaniz, spoke to school administrators about his talented sons in 2011. The end result was the creation of the program that features Amado as the coach.
“We have a strong team this year,” said Amado, who plans to continue coaching at Miami Christian even after his sons graduate. “We have all five starters back.”
At Coral Springs Charter, the future is bright with Romano, who carries a 157 average, and Foster, who checks in at 135.
“Harmony and Madison are great kids still coming into their own as bowlers and young adults,” Coral Springs Charter Coach Nelson Martin Jr. said. “They are competitive and love to bowl. They should become quite a 1-2 punch as they get older.”
Martin also coaches his school’s boys’ team, which made it to state last year before losing in the first round.
The Coral Springs Charter boys’ team is deeper and older than the girls’ squad and is led by senior Pablo Cerda, who averaged 221 last season. He had a high game of 289 and set a Broward County record with a 546 two-game series.
Supporting Cerda are sophomores Ryan Hernandez (179 average) and John Schneider (173). Rising eighth-grader Thomas Hoag (171) is a young teammate to watch.
Martin said the majority of his boys’ team competes at the youth-league level against the best bowlers in the tri-county area. Top competition, he said, does not bother them.
“We are expecting good things after winning District 15 last year and taking our first trip to the state tournament,” Martin said. “That experience is a great motivator for this coming season.”
Miami Christian and Coral Springs Charter are not the only promising teams in Miami-Dade and Broward counties this year.
Terra won a district title and finished 24th at state in boys’ and girls’ bowling last season.
Another similarity: Their top bowler in both programs is a senior who also plays basketball — Josh Munoz for the boys and Kristi Perlberg for the girls. Both made first-team All-County last year.
Among the two Terra programs, the boys are in better shape for 2014 because they return all six bowlers from the team that also won the GMAC championship last season.
The girls lost captain Tori Burstein to graduation and Samantha Boellard to relocation (Marathon).
Perlberg (152 average) will try to take up the slack after finishing second in the GMACs last year. She had a high game of 196 and a high series of 531.
Another team to watch is Ferguson’s boys, who finished 17th at state last year and return a crew led by senior Alain Larroche (185).
Dade and Broward season outlooks
2013 state champions
Apopka boys, Oviedo girls
StateNov. 5-6 in Orlando
AMERICAN: Coach: Sam Gbadebo; Last year: Sixth at districts; Top bowlers: Orlando Perez (Jr.); William Prego (Jr.); Trace Reid (Fr.); Noteworthy: Reid was a standout last year in middle school.
CORAL GABLES: Coach: Stephen Campagna; Last year; 13th at districts; Top bowlers: Matthew Monjarrez (Jr.); Rafael Gonzalez (Jr.); Juan Salazar (Jr.); Noteworthy: Four bowlers return.
CORAL SPRINGS CHARTER: Coach: Nelson Martin Jr.; Last year: Lost in the first round at state; Top bowlers: Pablo Cerda (Sr.); Ryan Hernandez (So.); Thomas Hoag (8th grade); Noteworthy: The team went 12-0 in the regular season and won its district.
FERGUSON: Coach: Dianne Coe; Last year: 17th at state; Top bowlers: Alain Larroche (Sr.); Igar Rodriguez (So.); Robert Hernandez (Sr.); Noteworthy: Team finished 10-1 in the regular season and was second in its region.
MIAMI CHRISTIAN: Coach: Amado Yaniz; Last year: 21st at state; Top bowlers: Alex Yaniz (Sr.); Jeffrey Yaniz (Sr.); Daniel Cortes (So.); Noteworthy: Team finished 13-3 in the regular season, winning its district.
MOURNING: Coach: Don Festge; Last year: 29th at state; Top bowlers; Omar Hafeez (Jr.); Alan Nelman (Sr.); Quinn Festge (Sr.); Noteworthy: Team finished second in its district.
PALMETTO: Coach: Chris Hirth; Last year: 1-6; Top bowler: Ryan Stoler (Jr.); Noteworthy: Only Stoler and Juan Padilla return from last year’s team.
SOUTHWEST: Coach: Rita Kaplan; Last year: third at districts; Top bowler: Jorge Osinaga (Sr.); Noteworthy: With the exception of Osinaga and Tyler Miller, the rest of the team is new to bowling.
TERRA: Coach: Ed Garland; Last year: district champions; Top bowlers: Josh Munoz (Sr.); Kevin Morrissey (Jr.); Chris Bacallao (Jr.); Noteworthy: Last year’s team also won the GMAC, and all six bowlers from that team return.
AMERICAN: Coach: Dianna Rose; Last year: fourth at districts; Top bowlers: Stephanie Wong (Jr.); Tiffany Wong (Jr.); Noteworthy: With only two returning bowlers, this will be a rebuilding year.
CORAL GABLES: Coach: Stephen Campagna; Last year: 14th at districts; Top bowlers: Sydney Campagna (Jr.); Araceli Sanchez (Jr.); Brooke Donner (Sr.); Noteworthy: Seniors Campagna and Donner will lead the way.
CORAL SPRINGS CHARTER: Coach: Nelson Martin Jr.; Last year: 20th at state; Top bowlers: Harmony Romano (8th grade); Madison Foster (7th grade); Ariel Liebowitz (Sr.); Noteworthy: Romano and Foster are two of the best young bowlers in South Florida.
FERGUSON: Coach: Marcela Del Rosario; Last year: 29th at state; Top bowler: Angela Chapman (So.); Kelsey Buell (Sr.); Melissa Perez (Jr.); Noteworthy: Team was district runner-up last season.
MOURNING: Coach: Don Festge; Last year: NA; Top bowlers: Gabriela Blagerman (Jr.); Carla Nicollela (Sr.); Sabrina Revilla (Jr.); Noteworthy: The team is building depth.
PALMETTO: Coach: Chris Hirth; Last year: fourth at districts; Top bowlers: Andrea Keeler (Sr.); Caroline Spilis (Sr.); Penny Farkas (So.); Noteworthy: Team went 4-2 in regular season.
SOUTHWEST: Coach: Rita Kaplan; Last year: NA; Top bowlers: Emily Fernandez (Sr.); Cristiane Negroa (Sr.); Noteworthy: Only two bowlers return from last season.
TERRA: Coach: Ed Garland; Last year: 24th at state; Top bowlers: Kristi Perlberg (Sr.); Melanie Serrano (Sr.); Lourdes Nunez (Sr.); Noteworthy: Perlberg, a basketball player, made first-team All-Dade last year in her first year as a bowler.