SULLIVAN TWP. — The grind eventually catches up to everyone.
It finally snared Scott Schmoll and as a result the 48-year old won’t be back next season as Black River’s boys and girls bowling coach.
The 1987 Brunswick graduate was juggling duties as a sergeant at the Medina County Sherriff’s office and was a fire chief for Spencer along with hitting the lanes for the Pirates.
Needless to say, it brought many long days for Schmoll.
“I don’t have the time to commit to the kids that they deserve,” Schmoll said. “Both my kids are out of school now. My daughter (Kaina) is starting her college career down at Ohio University. You don’t know what the first year is. ‘Is she going to need something down there?’
“It’s a long season to commit all that time to and I don’t know that I’m going to have it between working at the sheriff’s office and the fire department. It’s tough, but I don’t want to shortchange the kids. They work hard and deserve somebody that’s going to give 150 percent.”
Schmoll leaves a girls program on the rise.
Last season, Black River finished 9-6 in the North Shore Conference and took Keystone to the final match before finishing second in the league.
Gazette MVP Shianne Wacker and his daughter became the first bowlers in school history to reach the district level. Wacker finished ninth as an individual at the Northeast District.
In five seasons, the girls team was 30-43 under Schmoll, but the Pirates tripled their win total last year from the season before.
The numbers game at a small school has been an issue for the boys team as the 12-61 record under Schmoll showed. Last season, Black River had just three bowlers and graduated Bryan Garra this spring.
“He’s definitely going to be tough to replace,” Pirates athletic director Josh Calame said. “Considering he got the program somewhat up and running and kept it afloat.
“He’s leaving it in a good spot. Replacing someone like that is tough. Especially in bowling, which is definitely going to be tough.”
Bruce Stevanus, whose daughter Hannah will be a junior on the varsity next season, is set to take over and will have help from former Pirates bowler Brandon Wacker.
Stevanus, 48, lives in Spencer and isn’t a teacher. That said, he knows exactly what he’s stepping into in his first varsity coaching gig.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” Stevanus said. “Since my daughter has been there, I’ve been watching things and helping out in practice. As long as I keep things consistent and keeps things rolling, we’ll be OK.”
While Stevanus is taking over the program, Schmoll won’t be deep in the shadows when Black River begins the 2017-18 season.
“You may still see me around there,” Schmoll said. “I told Bruce at the beginning of the year I would help get things going.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.