"What we don't want to see is a really high score and a really low score," Techel said. "We don't want to see a nice 200 game, then that girl turns around and shoots a 130. We don't want to see that, we want to see something really consistent."
Techel noted how quickly the start of the season approached this year.
"It seems like this meet is earlier than we've ever had," he said. "Usually we don't have our first meet until December so this meet came up quicker than usual."
Though the girls' team, with its senior-heavy makeup and its sophomore prodigy, looks impressive on paper, Techel said there is always room for improvement.
"I think in the state tournament we missed 26 spares, the coach said, "if we pick up half those spares we win. The girls will know from experience how important each pin is near the end of the year.
"Everything will be a building block to substate and hopefully the state tournament."
Meanwhile, boys will try to build on an impressive season that was defined by steady improvement — improvement that reached a crescendo when Ottumwa took second overall at the state tournament. While the boys will miss senior graduates Isaac Goodman and their inspirational leader Anthony Roberts, the majority of the bowlers who made up the crux of last year's team will return. Aside from Palmer, Joey Lee, Jordan Mitchell and Braxton Coble — who all made important contributions to last season's success — will all be back this season.
"Braxton and Austin will have to be the leaders just based on their experience," Ottumwa bowling coach Brett Salter previously said.
Coble was the only Bulldog to crack the top 10 individual scores at the state meet. In addition, Mitchell rolled a 222 average at the state qualifying meet, which was good enough to garner him a third-place finish overall.
"We're young, so we need to be constantly improving," Salter said. "Our goal is always to reach state. I think it's reachable."
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