Ed Tackett takes over reins of bowling program

Ed Tackett (middle), the new head of Huntington North High School’s bowling program and head coach of the boys’ varsity team, gives some pointers to AJ Martin (right) during practice at Oak Lanes Bowling Center, in Huntington, on Thursday, Nov. 14. Photo by Steve Clark.

Ed Tackett owns and operates Oak Lanes Bowling Center, in Huntington, the home of the Huntington North High School boys' and girls' bowling teams.

So, it's fitting that Tackett would ultimately be the person to run the school's bowling program after a search for new leadership earlier this year.

The head coach of the boys' varsity team in addition to being the school's bowling overseer, Tackett was a professional bowler from 1988 to 1992 and has been in the bowling business since 1995.

"I've been doing it for a long time," he says.

Sharing his years of experience with others is something Tackett enjoys.

"There's nothing I get more pleasure out of than helping somebody get better and that's what it's all about for us coaches," he states. "There's no ego in us. It's all about trying to help (the kids) get better and maybe it rolls over into something else in their life."

A beneficiary of Tackett's tutelage over the years has been Eric Stahl, the new coach of the boys' junior varsity squad.

"Hopefully I can take some of the knowledge that he's given me and pass it on to some of the kids," says Stahl, who estimates he's bowled with Tackett for 11 years.

Tackett expects the boys' varsity team to experience some growing pains this season with the loss of last year's team leader, Tyler Krepp, to graduation.

"Tyler Krepp was the guy that kept the team pumped up," says Tackett of the former Viking, a state finalist last season. "We're still looking for that guy this year. We haven't found him yet."

Tackett cites AJ Martin and Jordan Gray as early season standouts, adding that he also expects Team Captain Zac Tackett to factor heavily into the team's fortunes this season.

Despite having what he terms a "very young team," Tackett believes in its potential to transform into a competitive squad.

"We have the ability to do it," he says. "It's a matter of whether we can get it all to come together."

Tackett's expectations for the girls' varsity team couldn't be higher.

Coached this season by Mel Fruit Jr., with Bob Gottschalk running the junior varsity unit, last year's team made it to the state finals, where it finished 10th. The squad returns largely intact, led by sophomore standout Mackenzie Faurote.

"This girls' team is awesome," says Tackett. "They have the chance to go all the way."

The first home match of the season for Huntington North's boys' and girls' bowling teams is Dec. 7 at Oak Lanes at 2 p.m.