Tyler Radcliff doesn’t need to hit the books. The Brunswick bowler understands history.
He knows what Eric Bator meant to the program. Ditto for Justin Vetrovsky and the countless others.
It’s why the senior isn’t taking his final weeks lightly.
A program rich in tradition, Brunswick has always had one or two solid leaders. Radcliff wants to make sure he joins the list.
“It’s an honor, to be honest,” Radcliff said. “I’ve known coach (Jonathan) Laube for many, many years. He’s seen me progress.
“It’s a major thing for me. Brunswick doesn’t expect anything less. You have to put in 100 percent all the time. I love the pressure. I live for it. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long.”
There is most assuredly pressure in leading the Blue Devils, who are unquestionably the most storied program in Medina County.
State regulars, Brunswick has reached the district level 10 of the last 11 years and won a league title in four of the last five.
With great bowlers littered throughout his program, Laube has his pick when it comes to leaders.
Radcliff (197.3 average) taking the reigns is no surprise to the veteran coach.
“He saw how the guys handled it last year,” Laube said. “Tyler is definitely his own character, so he has his own way of doing it. He’s been our leader for us this year. He’s been our anchor most of the time and tried to lead by example.
“He wanted to be the guy last year, but he knew there were some good players. He knew this was going to be his year, and he’s done a good job of that — not only on the bowling alley, but other ways, too. He’s been a good guy to reach out and kind of pull everybody together.”
Radcliff isn’t a carbon copy of those from the past. While some would look at other leaders and pull qualities from them, he does things his own way with a laid-back approach.
That has really pulled the team together as the Blue Devils get ready for the Northeast Division I District at AMF Hall of Fame Lanes this weekend.
“At the end of last year, the three seniors said, ‘It’s up to you now,’” Radcliff said. “I try to take the things that help me and provide it to them. I know when I’m trying to be too serious, it doesn’t work out too well. My parents told me if you have fun with what you’re doing, you won’t get mad as easy. Laugh it off and get back at it.”
Radcliff recognized when he needed to pull the troops together last weekend at the Summit County Sectional.
The team rolled a season-low 713 in the second Baker game — a mark not seen at Brunswick for years. The showing dropped the team to sixth place and put the Blue Devils in peril of not making it out with a top-four result.
Radcliff gave a few pointers, and the Blue Devils nabbed the fourth spot.
“I gathered them up and told them, ‘I’m not ready to quit yet. I’m not ready to go home,”’ Radcliff said. “We couldn’t give up. It wasn’t who we were.”
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.