Bluejay bowlers take third at State
TINA L. SCOTT
The Merrill Varsity Bowling Team rolled their way into the top three at the State High School Bowling Competition in Green Bay last weekend at Ashwaubenon Lanes, March 5-7. Out of 96 teams, the Bluejay bowlers finished in third place. Six bowlers competed as a team: Dylan Smith, Kyle Semling, Brandon Humphrey, Aaron Arndt, Paige Plautz, and Piper Plautz. “They bowled a 15-game qualifying round and knocked down 2827 pins, averaging almost 189 pins per game, which put them as the third highest scoring team there,” Coach Scott Smith said, “They were only 65 pins away from being high score for Division 2. The top five teams moved onto step ladder finals, bowling two games, total score wins. Antigo qualified just below us and had to bowl Marinette. Marinette won that match, and we played Marinette. We beat them 386-373, then faced off against Elkhart Lake and lost to them 369-328. Marinette lost to Clinton in the final.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of how the kids handled themselves under the pressure,” Coach Smith said. “The theme of the weekend was if someone had a bad frame, we would focus on making it up for them instead of getting down. They covered for each other all day. They never counted themselves out and would keep pushing to the final frame to get as many pins as they could.”
Merrill High School (MHS) Senior, Piper Plautz, also competed in the Singles Division for Girls. She ended in 33rd place out of 55 top girl bowlers in the state, with a three-game series of 538, missing the qualifying cut by 48 pins, according to Coach Smith.
Dylan Smith, who competed in the Singles Division for Boys at State, was Merrill’s first Freshman to make it to state. Dylan finished 51st out of 100 top boy bowlers in the State, Coach Smith said. He had a three-game series of 565 and missed the cut by 38 pins.
“They bowled on difficult oil patterns all weekend and showed they have what it takes to compete at a high level with the top kids from around the state,” Coach Smith said proudly.
This coming Saturday, Mar. 13, Piper Plautz, Paige Plautz, and Dylan Smith will represent Division 9 in the All Stars Competition in Milwaukee. They are among the top five girls and top five boys in each Division to advance to the All Stars. Dylan is the only freshman to make the All Star Team.
The All Stars will complete 3 games of single bowling and 10 games of team baker. Total pinfall will determine who moves to the stepladder final.