By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY—The Ashwaubenon Jaguars boys/coed team finished second amongst 25 competing schools at the Wisconsin High School Bowling Club State Championships held at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, Mar. 1-3.
“This was an unreal tournament to compete in,” said Ashwaubenon bowler, Nick Percy. “To have the people lined up five to six rows deep and the media coverage we had was super cool. It’s pretty neat that our home alley can host a tournament as big as this.”
Over 75 schools and 150 individuals took their skills to the lanes over the past weekend.
In the team format, five bowlers are selected and each bowls two frames comprising of the ‘baker format’ to accumulate a total score at the end of 10 frames.
“It makes a tremendous impact on the economy in and around the Green Bay area,” said Ashwaubenon bowling coach Dave LaBar. “People have to stay in hotels, eat out at restaurants and some will take in all the Lambeau district has to offer now.”
The Jaguars entered the knockout round as the number two seed after accumulating 3,091 pins in the qualifying round in which 15 total games were bowled.
In the semi-finals, Ashwaubenon took on the Peshtigo Bulldogs. The Jaguars had a comfortable margin of 78 pins heading into the second and decisive game, but the Bulldogs flipped the switch on them in the latter. Fortunately, for the Jaguars, they finished strong in the ninth and tenth frames to squeak out a 19-pin win and advance to the finals.
“We knew coming in we had to take one frame at a time,” LaBar added. “We won conference and sectionals, but these are the best teams in the state and its very hard to come back from an open frame. Our mentality all along was spares at the minimum.”
In the finale, the Jaguars took on the Antigo Red Robins who had qualified first by a resounding margin.
In game one, Ashwaubenon took a 68-66 lead after four frames, but fell behind quickly after encountering two splits. Antigo went on to accumulate seven strikes and win the opener 193-146.
“We had some really solid games before the final five teams advanced,” added Percy. “We left too much out there in the first game. It wasn’t how we normally bowl. Against a good team in Antigo, it’s hard when you fall behind by that much.”
The Red Robins provided a further knock-out punch too start game two after they went up 36 pins after just three frames and won the second game as well by a final of 237-177 in taking the championship.
“We ran into a hot-team today in the final,” added LaBar. “I’m pleased though with a runner-up finish. I’m happy for Brett, Ben, and Tanner that they got to bowl in the final match of their senior year. We’ve had success throughout the years and bring back half of our team next year. Should be very exciting.”
Ashwaubenon State Roster: District 8
Brett Powers, Ben Griffore, Bryan Schmit, Nicholas Percy, Tanner Kirsch, Jerrad Dettmann, Wyndham Srenaski, Sean Lacey, Bray Damro, and Tyler Damro.
Head Coach: Dave LaBar; Assistant Coach: Steve Gough
Wisconsin School Bowling Club State Championship Division 2 Boys-Coed Results
Peshtigo: 146, 206—352
Ashwaubenon: 224, 147—371
Ashwaubenon: 146, 177—323
Antigo: 193, 237—430