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High school bowling: Vermilion's Jose Modic enters postseason in a good groove

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    Vermilion senior bowler Jose Modic has his game in a good place as the postseason tournament begins.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

Jose Modic has it rolling at the perfect time.

Which is always a good thing for a bowler.

The senior is Vermilion’s No. 1 player, boasting a 209 average heading into the Northwest Division II sectional tournament at Port Clinton’s Star Lanes at the Harbor. The girls team is in action today, the boys play Saturday.

“Last year was a bit of struggle,” Modic said. “This year I put in a lot of work in the offseason and I’ve been putting in work about every single day to try and get better.”

Modic’s average is a huge step up from his first three years of high school bowling.

His average stagnated last year at 181 after he had a 186 average as a sophomore. He averaged 180 for the varsity and 172 for the junior varsity in split duty as a freshman.

“Jose put in a lot of practice time this summer,” Vermilion coach Scott Hugo said. “He’s a year older and is better able to understand the changes better. There’s a big difference between junior and senior year.”

To say it’s been a career year is a bit of an understatement. Modic managed to stay well-grounded after bowling his first career 300 game in the Sailors’ road match on Jan. 26 against Kansas Lakota at Fostoria’s Seneca Lanes.

He rolled games of 300 and 253 for a school-record 553 series against Lakota, breaking the 544 former teammate Dylon Wilson rolled.

It wasn’t that Modic bowled poorly prior to his senior year. He was the Sailors’ No. 5 bowler last year in a stellar lineup that featured Spencer Labis (204), Tony Hugo (203), Bryan Martin (203) and Hunter Cyran (198).

Labis, Hugo and Martin graduated in June, giving Modic a chance to step up … and he’s responded.

“There was a lot of stuff going on last year and I was trying to change my bowling game. It didn’t work too great,” Modic said. “There’s a feeling of satisfaction when everything pans out and all your hard work pays off. I’m still working on it. We’re still getting there.”

Modic’s performance and leadership were instrumental in Vermilion’s conference run this season. The Sailors finished 15-1 overall and 13-1 in their Sandusky Bay Conference debut, sharing conference honors with Perkins.

“Jose has embraced the role of being a leader, taking on the role of an assistant and helping out whenever he can,” Scott Hugo said. “Last year, we had three seniors who were pretty outgoing that led. This year Jose has stepped up and leads in things like group practices. We’re looking forward to the tournament season and seeing him cash in on his senior year.”

Modic is a three-time Division II district qualifier as a team member and advanced to state with his team in 2014. He competes in the Saturday morning league at Star Lanes in Sandusky and in Junior Tournament Bowlers Association events when not competing for the high school team. He and his dad won a doubles tournament at Star Lanes last year with Jose rolling 746 in a three-game series and his dad 742.

Last year, Tony Hugo (fourth, 680) and Martin (5th, 661) led Vermilion at the Port Clinton sectional with Modic coming in with the tournament’s 10th-besth series (631), which was 88 pins over his average.

“The keys for us are spares and we need to make sure that we’re relaxed,” Modic said. “We tend to get tense, we start to get down. Usually then I have to come up with a pep talk to calm us all down. I throw in some jokes in there so that we’re a little less tense so we can continue making spares and our shots for the day.”

As part of the Vermilion program, Modic what it takes to be successful.

“The thing that we strive off of is good teamwork and communication,” Modic said. “We always make sure that we’re telling each other what’s going on on the lanes. If we’re having fun, then we’re bowling well. As long as we’re being a team and having fun and are in high spirits we usually bowl pretty well. I’m very satisfied with our performances.”

Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

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