Men’s bowling team advances to State, women finish second at Regionals, but advance one to State

By: Zuhayr Alam

At the regional bowling tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the women’s team placed second and missed advancing to State by 24 pins, but the men’s team advanced after placing first.

The men’s’ bowling team has heavily built on a successful season last season to make it to the state tournament in Des Moines again this season. Last season, the Tigers finished fourth at State, and after another successful season, they are looking for a little extra push.

Senior captain Brandon Jerome is said he is happy with how the season is going in all aspects of the game.

“As an individual, it’s been going great. My average has improved up to 225 from 220 last year,” Jerome said. “As a team, we have a lot more consistency than last year. We’ve grown a lot more being the same six from last year. I feel we’re a lot closer as a team than we were last year.”

Head coach Brad Baker echoed Jerome’s remarks.

“We met all of our goals we set at the beginning of the season,” Baker said. “We finished second in our division, we didn’t lose at home and we qualified for State. Now we just have to see what we do at State.”

Jerome has one more goal to achieve.

“I’ve met all but one of my goals for the season so far,” Jerome said. “I bowled a 300. We made it to State. All that’s left to do now is win.”

Baker looks forward to future seasons.

“We have extraordinary depth in the JV team this season, and they will be pushing for varsity spots next year,” Baker said. “We want to get some younger kids bowling over the summer. We’ll have four varsity members returning, as well as a strong JV core to back them up.”

The women’s bowling team has improved heavily on last season, barely missing out on a chance to qualify for State this season, while still sending one individual bowler, junior Jayden Robe, to State.

Head coach Scott Holman said he is pleased with how the season turned out.

“This bowling season went really well for the varsity girls. We won the Mississippi Valley Conference this year and finished with a winning record,” Holman said. “Unfortunately, at Regionals, we finished in second by just 24 pins.”

Junior Emily Barth agreed. “As a team we have made so much progress. We exceeded all the hopes that I had for this team at the beginning of the year, and the fact that we could actually put a scare into the top team, Bettendorf, is amazing,” Barth said. “We’ve changed the way that everyone looks at us. No one has really seen us as competition, and now after only losing by 24 pins they aren’t going to overlook us. I’m so proud of everyone on the team, and none of us would have made it this far without our coach and dedication.”

Holman is also looking forward to the future.

“We had three new varsity members this season, and they all finished the season strong,” Holman said. “We are returning all of our varsity bowlers next year, and there are many JV bowlers that are improving as well. The team is improving as a whole, and I like what I see in our future.”

Holman has lofty goals for next season. “My goals for next season are making it to State, winning more meets than this year and to get better as individual bowlers,” Holman said. “Their teamwork is always getting better and I am looking forward to an improved team next season.”

Barth also said she wants to help her team make it to State.

“My goal is to go to State. I know we can do it. We were so close this year. It was literally at our fingertips. Now we just need to reach a little farther to get it,” Barth said. “My individual goal is to be able to compete with the boys. Not literally, but I want to have an average close to there’s. I want to average about 190 to 200 a game.”

Reynolds is grateful to have been a part of the bowling team.

“Bowling has been a huge part of my life for the last two years. It has definitely affected my high school experience for the better. It taught me so much about commodity and competition,” Reynolds said. “I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this team. Hopefully we can end the last season for Brandon [Jerome] and I on a state championship.”

Jerome agreed with Reynolds. “I’ve been able to meet a lot of new people and develop some really awesome friendships through bowling. I’ve met so many amazing people from all over the state,” Jerome said. “It’s made high school a lot more fun being able to compete for a team each week.”

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