First ever Merrill all-Girls Varsity Bowling Team wins State Championship

Merrill Fire Department escorted the bowlers back into town Sunday

Riding high sitting atop Merrill Fire Department equipment after returning to Merrill victorious as 2024 Girls State Bowling Champions. L to R: Marley Krueger, Avery Frisch, Izzy Scheffler, Peyton Smith, Jayden Dellinger, and Bella Kottke. Photo courtesy of Merrill Bowling Program.


The Merrill Girls Varsity Bowling Team made a victorious re-entry into Merrill on Sunday, March 3, 2024, with an escort provided by the Merrill Fire Department, after winning the WIAA High School Girls State Bowling Championship in Ashwaubenon earlier in the day by a single pin.

It started with Singles

“What a wild weekend!” said Merrill Girls Varsity Bowling Team Coach Brad Krueger.
“It started on Friday with Singles qualifying, and for the boys, [Senior] Dylan Smith finished 61 out of 127 and ended his chances of moving on.”
“On the girls side of things, Peyton Smith missed the cut line by 3 pins and finished 13th out of 57 girls as a Freshman. “This will not be her last trip to the State Tournament,” Krueger said. “Also for the girls, [Junior] Marley Krueger did make the cut and was in third place after the first round of qualifying, moving her to the second round of qualifying, where she then dropped to fifth place but still earned a shot at bowling for the State Singles title,” he said. “Unfortunately, she finished in a respectable fifth position.”
“As a side note, she is the first girl to advance to the State Finals for Girl Singles for Merrill bowling,” Krueger said. That will go down in the Merrill record books and future girls will be looking to meet or beat Marley Krueger’s accomplishment and she herself will no doubt be looking to advance even further next year as a Senior.

State Champions Merrill Varsity Girls Bowling Team. The first-ever all girls bowling team from Merrill won the State Championship last Sunday, March 3, 2023. Shown in front, L to R: Izzy Scheffler, Avery Frisch, and Peyton Smith. Back row, L to R: Coach Missy, Marley Krueger, Bella Kottke, Jayden Dellinger, and Coach Brad. Photo courtesy of Merrill Bowling Program.

Both Boys and Girls Bowling Teams competed at State

“On the team side, the Boys Team bowled Friday night and bowled well, just not good enough to move on to the semi-finals,” Coach Krueger said. “And their season came to an end in 13th place out of 26 teams.”
“Then the Girls took the lanes Saturday morning for Team qualifying and bowled a 2531 series for 15 games,” he said. “After three squads of qualifying, they were the number one seed by one pin over second place, earning them a direct trip to the State title match Sunday morning.”
“The Girls bowled two games to decide the State Champion,” Krueger said. “They bowled games of 237 and 167 for a total pinfall of 404. Their opponent had a 403 series, and they won the Girls Division 2 State title by one pin.”
“As a coach, I am so proud of how the girls handled themselves in that environment and never got down on themselves or let the pressure get to them, and just kept fighting,” he said. “Our motto all weekend was ‘Have fun and enjoy this and every pin matters,’ and as you can see, they sure did.”
“We would like to thank all the bowlers, parents, and fans that came to support us over the weekend,” Krueger said.
“A special shout out to the Boys Team who – even though they were knocked out of competition on Friday – stuck around through the whole weekend to cheer on the Girls Team,” he said.
“Also thank you to the Merrill Fire Department for the escort back into town Sunday night when we arrived and for all the people who stood by and watched as we drove through town,” Krueger said. “It was amazing how many people were out when we got back.”
“Thank you to Les and Jim’s for the victory dinner,” he added.
This was the first all-Girls bowling team Merrill has ever had, Krueger said. ““It was an incredible weekend for Merrill Bowling.”

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