The Emerald Ridge bowling team is anticipating the road to the postseason.
The Jaguars, who won Class 4A state bowling titles from 2009-11 and finished second last year, are 4-4 overall. Head coach Al McCormack gave his team a break for the holidays, but the Jaguars are set to return to practice Thursday to prepare for Monday’s showdown with the undefeated Curtis Vikings.
“It is a really important match against Curtis,” McCormack said. “We’re going to try to stop their undefeated season. That is the one we’ve really been looking forward to.
“Even though I gave the team the week off during Christmas, they were still out there, practicing on their own. They know how big this match is against Curtis.”
The Jaguars have rattled off three consecutive wins after they started 1-4.
“We beat Puyallup the second time around, and that took a lot of pressure off of us and gave us confidence,” McCormack said. “Our team is looking forward to finishing out the South Puget Sound League schedule and get to the league tournament. We’re pretty happy with where we are at, considering how the season started.”
The Jaguars will have three matches next week. The SPSL tournament is scheduled for Jan. 16.
“The girls realize it is going to go by fast,” McCormack said. “If they blink, they are going to miss it. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
McCormack said teams aren’t as scared of the Jaguars as they had been in years past.
“We got beat early on by a lot of teams who, over the last four years, haven’t had any success against us,” he said. “Teams aren’t as leery of us right now.
“We are improving on a daily basis and are hoping to make a big run.”
McCormack said the Jaguars will rely on sophomore Elisa Couch during the final month of the season.
“Elisa is our No. 1 bowler and brings a lot of confidence to the team,” he said. “The biggest challenge I have as a coach is to make sure she doesn’t put too much pressure on herself, and make sure she is bowling relaxed. All of the girls on the team look up to her and feed off what she does.”
Sports editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002.