Max Oertling of Slidell, who led Brother Martin to the LHSAA team championship the last two years and in the process won the state individual title this past April, has been named a member of the 2015-16 Dexter/United States Bowling Congress high school All-America team.

Dexter Bowling, in consultation with the International Bowling Campus youth development staff, annually selects five boys and five girls for the All-America team. The 2015-16 team marks the 11th year a team has been selected.

Student-athletes, nominated by their coach or athletic director, must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) and must submit their high school bowling accomplishments, a letter of recommendation and a 500-word essay to be considered for selection. Each student-athlete receives a $1,000 scholarship and will be recognized at this year’s Junior Gold Championships later this month in Indianapolis.

Certainly the rock of coach Bruce Himbert’s dream of one and then possibly back-to-back titles, Oertling was third in singles in 2015 before finishing as the state champion in 2016 to conclude his high school career. Off the lanes, Oertling is a National Honor Society member and won the Marching Band Service Award in 2016. He has more than 200 hours of service at Greenbriar Community Care Center, a senior center. He will attend LSU in the fall.

Consider how tough this team is to make and that the team includes the USBC Star of Tomorrow winner (Jack Cook, New Jersey), the 2014 Junior Gold U15 winner (Ashley Channell, Tennessee), and Jerod Hromek (Kansas), who is making his second appearance on the team.

NCAA changes

With the city hosting the NCAA women’s championships in Baton Rouge in April, we will begin to keep an eye on things, especially with the Southland Bowling League having such success in its first two years. But unlike the USBC and its tournaments, including the Intercollegiate, which will follow the NCAA in Baton Rouge, there will be more transparency in upcoming NCAA matches.

The NCAA women’s bowling committee has proposed tough lanes patterns next year if approved later this month by the NCAA playing rules oversight committee.

The committee has lowered the lowest allowed oil ratio application, which in bowling parlance means the lower the ratio, the flatter and tougher the pattern. The committee has said pattern distance could range from 34 feet to 45 feet. These changes allow many of the international “sport” oil patterns.

The announcement from the NCAA included “The committee recommended that host teams and facilities communicate to visiting coaches at least 21 days in advance about what oil pattern is going to be applied.”

The USBC Intercollegiate does not tell the coaches and players the pattern, and the bowlers will not know the pattern in the USBC women’s event, which will follow the two college events.

My concern with these tougher conditions is how it will play on lanes that will have very little official play before the NCAAs. You do not want the televised finals to be a low-scoring, dull affair, and the facts have shown the lanes installed in the River Center surrendered scores reluctantly.

Spare notes

By the way, the 2016 versions will conclude in Reno (open) and Las Vegas (women) in the next seven days. A lot of the ladies are apparently excited about coming to Baton Rouge in April for the first time since 1993, and it will be the first time since 2011 that the event wasn’t held in Nevada. There were over 9,300 teams here in 1993, and there’s no chance of that in 2017. I think 5,000 would be fabulous, but we won’t know for a while what the total will be.

Also, if you are looking for that July BR singles event, remember last year it was moved to August and the entry was strong, so that’s where it will stay.

Honor roll notes

Jacob Garretson had the best league score of the period with an 803 at Premier Lanes that included a high-game 289. Sarah Broussard at All-Star Lanes led the women with a 730 that included a 278 game. Jerry Deslatte had 666 in the senior leagues and some great youth league scores on the honor roll headlined by the 706 of Austin Bertrand.

Harlan Hynes had his first 600 of 627 and senior bowler Marty Reid was 50 pins over his average for his effort.

We will be back with you July 19. Until then, good luck and good bowling.