By: Butch Harmon
Kearsley, Davison lead the charge for state titles in girls bowling
The Flint Kearsley girls bowling team is on pace to have one of its finest seasons in school history.
Led by senior Lindsey Ploof, who captured the Division 2 individual state title last season, the Hornets have climbed to No. 2 in the Division 2 state polls.
Ploof and fellow senior Jessica Dawes paced the Hornets in the Flint Metro League this season with 204 averages. Senior Chyanne Hibbs has provided plenty of support with a 202 league average, while Holli Hollister averaged 186 in league play.
“The girls' season has been going great so far,” coach Rob Ploof said. “Those girls are bowling really, really well. All of the girls on the team have been bowling well.”
One of the highlights of the season came in the Baker's Dozen tournament in Bay City the week before Christmas break. Kearsley not only won the tournament but also defeated Davison, the number-one ranked team in Division 1, in the finals.
Since then the Hornets have added the conference title to their resume.
The Metro League was strong this season, as Swartz Creek comes into the post season ranked seventh in the state. The Dragons are led by Savannah Dougherty and Stevie Lipp, who both averaged over 185 in conference play.
Both Kearsley and Swartz Creek will be looking to overtake No.1-ranked Tecumseh in the state tournament.
The Bay City area has a pair of top-ten teams in Division 2. Bay City Western is ranked third in the state in Division 2 and captured the Saginaw Valley League championship. Western is led by Jenae’ Snyder, who averaged a 201 in league play. Nicole Gilbert averaged over 180 in league play, while Abby Kuehne and Amber Boelter both averaged over 174.
John Glenn is ranked fifth in the state. The Bobcats won the Tri-City Conference title this season and were paced by Ashley Kerr, who finished the league season with a 196 average. Aydreaonna Pelton averaged 189, while Destiny Kennedy averaged 184 and Melissa West 180.
After coming close the past few years, the Davison girls bowling team has its sights set on the Division 1 title this season. Davison is ranked first in the state in Division 1 and has a mix of veteran and young talent.
Freshman Brooklyn Greene led the team with a 198 average in league play, while seniors Erin Brown and Brooke Wood both averaged 195 in league play. Senior Brittney Groulx and junior Heather Baur both averaged 188 in league play.
Along with some lofty averages, the Cardinals have been strong in Baker Games. Davison averaged 196 in Baker Games this season and had high Baker Games series of 494 and 477 during the regular season.
Davison will face plenty of challengers in the state tournament, including second-ranked Adlai E. Stevenson and third-ranked Mona Shores.
Defending state champion Kelloggsville appears to be the team to beat once again in Division 3. The Rockets are ranked first in the state and finished the conference season with a 960 team average. Jessica Lubbers, who carried a 183 average in the conference, leads the way for the Rockets.
Last year’s state runner-up, Pennfield, enters the tournament ranked third in the state. The Panthers are paced by Loretta Hinds, who posted a 183 average in the league.
A number of local teams are also ranked in the top ten in the state and are poised to make at run at the state title. Swan Valley comes into the tournament ranked second in the state. Carley Macomber led the way in conference play with a 184 average, while Nichole Duby averaged 178 and Ashley Wegner 177.
Garber is ranked fifth in the state. The Dukes are led by the trio of Lauren Pietryga, Erica Piotrowski, and Ashley Bookmeyer.
Alma enters the tournament ranked eighth in the state. Hannah Chase led the Panthers in conference action with a 191 average, while Rylee Donley averaged 182 and Ashley Johnson 170.
Hemlock comes into post-season play ranked ninth in the state. Tori Ludu led the Huskies with a 190 average in the league while Shauna Treib averaged 185.
A pair of familiar names will be the teams to beat at the Division 4 state meet this season. Defending Division 4 state champion Jackson Vandercook Lake is ranked first in the state this season while Sandusky, the state runner-ups last year, are ranked second in the state this season.
A trio of area teams are also in the top-ten mix in Division 4. Pewamo-Westphalia, led by Keisha VanElls, is ranked fourth in the state.
Ithaca is ranked eighth in the state. The Yellowjackets are led by Farrand Schneider who averaged 189 in conference action and Haley Hoffman who recorded a 171 average.
Bay City All Saints comes into the post-season ranked tenth in the state. All Saints earned a share of the Tri-City Conference championship and is led by the duo of Ashley Pike and Logan Brissette.