From left, Brittany LaBarre, Brittany Rittle and Rebecca Hresko are lined up to have a successful winter on the lanes. (LEBANON DAILY NEWS EARL BRIGHTBILL)
Move over guys, there's some girls who are taking over the lanes in Lebanon County and they're not going to give them up without a fight.

Or at least a rolloff.

Lebanon County is showcasing some "girl power" this winter as Cedar Crest and Lebanon both boast lineups that include girls near the top of the order. At Cedar Crest, Rebecca Hresko and Brittany LaBarre are averaging in the neighborhood of 200 this season in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and will be in charge of helping to turn around the Falcons' fortunes in South Lebanon.

As for Lebanon, Brittany Rittle is also one of the team's top bowlers and an anchor for the Cedars.

"I think we're going to do a little bit better than last year," said Falcon head coach Andy Hresko, the father of Rebecca. "The future looks bright.

"I think we have a good shot this year. I'd like to see us get back to the playoffs."

That would be quite a turnaround for a Cedar Crest team that went just 26-58 a season ago, a record that landed the Falcons in sixth place out of seven teams in Section One. Last season, Hresko finished with a 175 average and LaBarre was at 185, but those numbers are expected to go north.

Both Hresko and LaBarre bowl in leagues outside of the L-L, with Hresko having recently rolled a 740 series and LaBarre compiling a 680-plus effort prior to the start of their high-school seasons.

Not only are Hresko and LaBarre expected to be averaging close to 200, but so is fellow senior Devin Whitman, who averaged 193 last winter and has also improved his game during the off-season.


That trio, along with promising freshmen Janae Haller and Austyn Brandt, provides a starting five that will aim to make the Falcons contenders again.

Over at Lebanon, Rittle will share top average honors with Cameron Weaver, a freshman who at this point has the best numbers on the Cedar team - a squad of 14 that includes eight girls.

"I kept some kids from last year, and a lot of those I kept are females," said Lebanon head coach Brian Hartman, referring to his team that has a majority of girls.

"She's a leader and this year with there being more girls I see her hanging out with the girls, socializing and teaching," Hartman added.

Rittle is not only stellar on the lanes, she is also solid outside of them.

"She's a great kid," Hartman said. "I don't ever have to worry about her being on the academically ineligible list. She's a role model for our school district.

"She brings high academic achievement, she's a good musician and on top of that she's a good bowler."

Rittle normally anchors the Lebanon team, meaning she is the fifth and final bowler on the Cedar team and is called upon to roll strikes and make spares when the game is on the line.

"She does better under pressure," Hartman said. "It makes her focus and work harder.

From left, Cedar Crest’s Brittany LaBarre, Lebanon’s Brittany Rittle and Cedar Crest’s Rebecca Hresko.
From left, Cedar Crest's Brittany LaBarre, Lebanon's Brittany Rittle and Cedar Crest's Rebecca Hresko. (LEBANON DAILY NEWS EARL BRIGHTBILL)

Hresko also puts his daughter at anchor while LaBarre has been in the leadoff position.

"Brittany, she's my steady Eddie," Hresko said. "She makes the spares and makes the strikes."

As for having Rebecca as the team's final bowler?

"Having a girl as an anchor means she is usually going against the best boy," Hresko said. "For Rebecca, it doesn't matter who it's against, a boy or a girl, she just wants to win."

The coach doesn't think there's much difference in having a boy or a girl as the anchor to the team but admitted there could be a psychological advantage.

"Some guys let it get to them," he said, referring to the boy vs. girl matchup. "That's the difference. I think it's a matter of the individual.

"It's about getting the edge. If you (the boys) let them (the girls) get the edge, then it's in your head. You (as a girl) have to use it as a positive thing and let them worry about it."

What follows is a capsule look at the five high-school bowling teams in Lebanon County:


    Head coach: Andy Hresko, second season

    Last year's record: 26-58

    This year's record: 14-21

    Bowlers lost to graduation: Davis Arnold, Josh Demmy, Mary Monk, Katrina Tulos, Daulton Heisey

    Returning bowlers: Brittany LaBarre, Sr.; Rebecca Hresko, Sr.; Devin Whitman, Sr.; Bremenn Hansell, Sr.; Alex Gubler, Jr.; Anthony Haller, So.; Paige Boyer, So.

    Newcomers: Nikki Harner, Sr.; Madison McKenna, Sr.; Sara Miller, Sr.; John Bogets, Sr.; Sherry Moore, Jr.; Marc Shirk, So.; Janae Haller, Fr.; Andrew Kujusky, Fr.; Austyn Brandt, Fr.; Brandon Gubler, Fr.

    Outlook: The Falcons have seen an increase in bowlers out for the team this season, a number that rose from 13 to 17. With that is a large class of first-year high school bowlers, a group that includes four freshmen with a promising future.

    "There seems to be a little more interest," head coach Andy Hresko said regarding his team's jump in numbers. "The freshmen look really good."

    Hresko's team also includes eight seniors, led by Brittany LaBarre, Rebecca Hresko and Devin Whitman.

    "We have a bright future ahead of us, we just have to keep it on track," coach Hresko said.

  • ELCO

    Head coach: Mike Rittle, first year

    Last year's record: 47-23

    This year's record: 21-7

    Bowlers lost to graduation: Keith Harris, Dylan Maurer, Rebekah Rittle, Courtney Kreider

    Returning bowlers: Travis Heisey, Sr.; Emily Yingst, Sr.; Joshua Rittle, Jr.; Adam Foelker, Jr.; Rachel Rittle, So.; Christopher Johns, So.

    Newcomers: Vanessa Hamilton, Jr.; Tabitha Banks, Jr.; Zachary Sullivan, Fr.

    Outlook: The Raiders enjoyed a solid season last year, and Travis Heisey and Josh Rittle return from that team with hopes of continuing the program's upward swing.

    "They really anchor our team well," first-year head coach Mike Rittle said. "I see great potential in both of them. They lead the team and help encourage the others to bowl their best. The consistency of Rachel Rittle and Emily Yingst help stabilize the team and are a great asset to the team."

    But with graduation taking away four bowlers, numbers are an issue in Myerstown.

    "One of our weaknesses would be the lack of experience in some of our bowlers and the size of our team," Rittle said. "Although the size of our team can also be a strength in that they are building a closer unit."

    Rittle added that despite this factor, things are looking up at Elco.

    "My expectations and goals for this year and my team are to compete and finish competitively in our section," he said. "We are working on building a strong foundation to build upon in the years to come."


    Head coach: Brian Hartman, 10th season

    Last year's record: 49-35

    This year's record: 7-28

    Bowlers lost to graduation: Mike Enck, Jim Enck, David Mooney, Ryan Miller, Austin Diamond

    Returning bowlers: Dillion Hower, Sr.; Brittany Rittle, Jr.; Sarah Keller, So.

    Newcomers: Cameron Weaver, Fr.

    Outlook: Youth and inexperience will be a factor for a Cedar team that enjoyed plenty of success last season but that lost several key bowlers to graduation.

    "We lost five senior bowlers that were all core personnel for our team," head coach Brian Hartman said. "We feel that this will be a season filled with lots of ups and downs based on our team being so young."

    But whether they win or lose, Hartman hopes to build strong personal skills within each of his team members.

    "We look forward to working hard to accomplish the most we possibly can while maintaining a positive team attitude and experience," he said. "Our vision is way beyond the scoreboard's wins and losses, it is better viewed through the diversity and progression our team will exemplify throughout the season and years to come."


    Head coach: Mary Anoia, second season

    Last year's record: 0-70

    This year's record: 0-28

    Bowlers lost to graduation: Zach Nash

    Returning bowlers: Emily Morrison, Jr.; Luke Earle, Jr.; Michael Schramm, Jr.; Sebastian Maleszewski, Jr.; Morgan Credito, Sr.

    Newcomers: Adam Gross, Sr.; Bryce Hains, Fr.; Matt Behrens, Fr.

    Outlook: The Beavers are looking to bounce back from a winless season under second-year head coach Mary Anoia, who will use last year's rookie season as a learning experience.

    "I understand the game a little more," Anoia said. "I'm helping the kids understand the lanes a little more."

    With a small group competing, Anoia is looking to turn that into a positive.

    "It's a really close-knit team," she said. "They come from a small school and they all know each other."

    Freshman Bryce Hains and junior Luke Earle will be leaned on to get the Beavers some points this winter. But there isn't a lot of bowling experience on this year's team, and that will ultimately be a downfall.

    "We only have one person (Hains) who has bowled in a league before," Anoia said. "We don't get a lot of practice time."


    Head coach: Andy Bender, 17th season

    Last year's record: 50-20

    This year's record: 16-12

    Bowlers lost to graduation: Austin Wolf, Morgan Bender

    Returning bowlers: Jeremy Bender, Jr.; Ben Krizan, So.; Craig Stickler, So.; Tyler Lentz, So.

    Newcomers: Joe McCarr, Jr.; Matthew Snyder, Fr.

    Outlook: A young Viking team in terms of age does have some experience and should again make Northern Lebanon a contender in Section Three.

    "We have no seniors this year, so we're still on the young side, but we should be competitive," head coach Andy Bender said. "We should still be in the mix for the section title, it just depends who beats who on a given day."

    Sophomore Craig Stickler and Allentown transfer Joe McCarr are currently at the top of the team in average and will be counted on to provide leadership and scoring this season.

    "All three sophomores were starters last year," Bender said. "We're young but we have some experience coming back. ... We need our juniors to step up and take more of a leadership role."


    W - L - Avg.
    Hempfield - 34 - 8 - 1003
    Penn Manor - 23 - 12 - 1023
    Manheim Twp. - 21 - 14 - 975
    McCaskey - 16 - 19 - 968
    Cedar Crest - 14 - 21 - 972
    Warwick - 12 - 21 - 924
    Conestoga Valley - 4 - 31 - 904

    W - L - Avg.
    Garden Spot - 33 - 2 - 1042
    Elizabethtown - 26 - 9 - 987
    Lampeter-Strasburg - 23 - 12 - 953
    Manheim Central - 21 - 14 - 951
    Ephrata - 12 - 23 - 902
    Lebanon - 7 - 28 - 881
    Cocalico - 4 - 38 - 805

    W - L - Avg.
    Lancaster Catholic - 26 - 2 - 979
    Lancaster Mennonite - 21 - 7 - 963
    Elco - 21 - 7 - 877
    Northern Lebanon - 16 - 12 - 900
    Columbia - 0 - 28 - 736
    Lebanon Catholic - 0 - 28 - 514