By: Butch Harmon
Saginaw Heritage bowlers reach state finals
By DAVID COOK
DIVISION 1 BOYS
For the Heritage boys' bowling team, it was a season to remember.
After showing steady progress the past few seasons, the Hawks set the bar to new heights as they advanced to the Division 1 state championship match at Northway Lanes in Muskegon. That was where the Hawks met Plymouth Salem in the Division 1 team final. While Salem came away with a 1,388 – 1,258 victory, the loss could not dampen the joy of what was an outstanding season.
“It was kind of an unbelievable day,” coach Todd Hare said. “We started out bowling really well today. We had good rotations and we came out of qualifying as the number-one seed. We just fell a little short in the last match.”
Derrick Norman led Heritage with 193 in the finale against Salem, while Tyler Sutt rolled a 192.
The Hawks earned their way to the state finals by defeating hometown Mona Shores 1,292 – 1,209 in the semifinal match.
The final appearance was the first in the history of the bowling program at Heritage.
“This puts us on the map,” Hare said. “We bowled real well in the conference this year, and to make it to the state finals means a lot for our program. We have a good nucleus of bowlers coming back next year, so we hope to build on this.”
DIVISION 2 BOYS
John Glenn turned in another solid season. It reached the state semifinals, where it fell to eventual state champion Sturgis. John Glenn came out of the qualifying block with the top score and was seeded first.
Individually, Alex Ouellette of John Glenn reached the championship match in singles, where he fell to Andrew Anderson of Holly. Senior Tyler Evans of Ionia qualified for the finals, where he lost in the round of 16.
DIVISION 2 GIRLS
The Ionia bowling team capped a big season by advancing to the Division 2 team finals, where it dropped a 1,262-1,221 decision to Northwest in the championship match. Kendra Butler led the Bulldogs in the finals with 237, while Kristen Nash added 178.
Owosso and Kearsley both qualified for the finals but fell in the quarterfinal round.
In singles action, Kearsley sophomore Kayla Emmendorfer fell in the semifinals to Jordan Richard, the eventual state champion from Tecumseh. Owosso senior Samantha Eldridge and Kearsley freshman Hannah Ploof both reached the round of 16 in the finals.
DIVISION 3 BOYS
A pair of area teams qualified for the finals in Division 3. Freeland lost in the quarterfinals to Pinconning, while Bridgeport fell to eventual state champion Clarenceville in the quarterfinals.
In singles action, Ethan Ayala of Garber reached the semifinals, where he fell to eventual state champion Adam LaRoe of Napoleon. Jacob Spencer of Belding, Mark Gibson of Freeland, and Oscar Gutierrez of Bridgeport all qualified for the finals and lost in the round of 16.
DIVISION 3 GIRLS
Perry was the lone girls' team to qualify for the finals in Division 3. The Ramblers reached the quarterfinals, where they fell to Flat Rock.
In singles play, Frankenmuth senior Samantha Kubiak lost in the semifinals to eventual state champion Laurynn Ball of Armada. Alma junior Hannah Chase also qualified for the finals, where she fell to Kubiak in the quarterfinals. Belding sophomore Madeline Laux, Ovid-Elsie senior Makaylin Palatka, and Swan Valley senior Carly Macomber also qualified for the finals but fell in the round of 16.
DIVISION 4 BOYS
Valley Lutheran and St. Louis both advanced to the semifinals. Valley Lutheran fell to East Jackso,n while St. Louis fell to eventual champion Gabriel Richard.
In singles action, Ithaca senior Travis Cojocar finished first in qualifying and reached the quarterfinals. Morley Stanwood senior Bradley Malmberg finished third in qualifying and advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Bailey Budnik of Rogers City. New Lothrop senior Tyler Moore was second in qualifying and was eliminated in the round of 16. Valley Lutheran senior Chad Jaskiewicz also qualified for the finals and fell in the round of 16.
DIVISION 4 GIRLS
St. Patrick Catholic led the way for area schools as it reached the state semifinals, where it fell to eventual champion Vandercook Lake.
A pair of local bowlers qualified for the finals in singles play. Ithaca senior Haley Hofmann finished fourth in qualifying and advanced to the quarterfinal round, while Hemlock senior Shauna Trieb bowed out in the round of 16.