Fairmont’s bowling teams pin down successful season

Senior Dottie Deis warms up for her bowling match against Centerville on Tuesday, January 22nd 2013

Photo: Sam Barton

Senior Dottie Deis warms up for her bowling match against Centerville on Tuesday, January 22nd 2013

By Jared Bergstrom, Sports Writer

The 2012-13 Varsity Bowling teams had one of the best seasons in a long time. Both the Boys’ and Girls’ teams made it to the State Tournament this year, the first time since 2008. But making it to State isn’t necessary for Head Coach Rex Wolfe to be happy.

“I am always happy with the season,” said Wolfe. “It was highly competitive, but at the end of the day, it is supposed to be fun. As long as the athletes had a good time and learned something, it is always a good season.”

The boys’ team finished 13-2 (8-2 in the GWOC). The team consisted of senior captain Adam Lupp, seniors Daulton Cooper and Matt Schenkel, juniors Austin Mahaffey and Austin Paulick, sophomore Alex Holdeman, and freshman Paul Lyons. The boys had impressive season averages: Cooper with an average of 235.1, Lupp with 230.7, and Mahaffey with a 205.0 average. With these high averages came some perfect games (300 pins), two bowled by Cooper and one by Lupp.

When the boys made the State tournament again this year, they took a 3 seed into match play. In the first round of the State tournament, the Firebirds beat Austintown-Finch High School 3-1. In the State semifinals, the boys defeated Cincinnati Oak Hills 3-1, a win that secured the Firebirds a spot in the State Championship Match against the Canfield Cardinals.

In the final match, the Firebirds lost the first game 206-184, then won the second game 165-143. But the Firebirds couldn’t keep the momentum of the win as they lost the next two games, 190-180 and 200-167. This second-place finish marks the second time the Firebirds have finished runner-up in the state. The last time was 2009, when they lost to Kenton Ridge 4-1.

Despite their second-place finish, the team isn’t completely satisfied. “Highly competitive athletes are NEVER satisfied with a 2nd place finish,” said Wolfe. “With that being said, there were over 330 teams that started the season, and only one team was better than us on that one day.”

Many different players finished with honors and distinctions. In addition to rolling two perfect games, Cooper was the Kettering-Oakwood Times Athlete of the Week and was named to the OHSAA Kickoff All Tournament Team, the 1st Team GWOC All Division, and the 1st Team All Ohio. In addition, he was named GWOC Central Division Athlete of the Year and was named an All GWOC Conference recipient.

Lupp had a perfect 300 to open up the season, was the Jeff Schmidt WHIO-TV Subway Athlete of the Week, and was named to the 1st Team GWOC Central Division. Schenkel received as GWOC Special Mention and was named the Kettering-Oakwood Times Athlete of the Week.

The Boys’ Individual Team Awards were: Most Improved: sophomore Alex Holdeman; Sportsmanship: senior Adam Lupp; Coaches Award: junior Austin Paulick; and MVP: senior Daulton Cooper.  Rex Wolfe was also named GWOC Coach of the Year.

The Girls’ Varsity Bowling Team

Fairmont’s Girls’ Varsity Bowling team had their fair share of glory this year, too. The girls finished with a 13-2 record (9-1 in GWOC) and finished the season as co-GWOC Champions.

“Our girls have been working for four years to achieve their goal of making it to State,” said Wolfe. “This year, they made it a reality.”

The Lady Firebirds finished third in the State tournament. In the State Semifinals, the girls lost to Hubbard in five matches: 166-171, 168-164, 161-166, 209-173, and 155-163. The seniors on the team compiled a record of 64-34 in their tenure with Fairmont.

“The girls worked hard and they had a lot of fun, with some heartache at the end of this season,” Wolfe said, noting that the 3rd place finish at State is the best the Firebird girls have ever done. “It is very satisfying to achieve the goals that you set out at the beginning of the season, and then accomplish them at the end of the season.”

All of the bowlers on the Firebird team had respectable averages. Senior Captain Molly Crouch had a team high 209.3 average and game high of 279. Other bowlers’ averages were sophomore Jessica Wolfe with a 200.3, senior Brooke Swallows with a 186.0 and senior Dottie Deis with a 182.1.

Individual players’ accomplishments included: Swallows: 2nd Team GWOC Central Division and 2nd Team All Ohio. Wolfe: 1st Team GWOC Central Division, 1st Team All GWOC, and Honorable Mention All Ohio; Crouch: 1st Team GWOC Central Division, 1st Team All GWOC, GWOC Conference Tourney All Tournament Team, 1st Team All Division, and All GWOC Conference; junior Sarah Conard: 2nd Team All Division; and Deis: GWOC Special Mention.

Team award winners were: Most Improved: junior Alyssa Oster, Sportsmanship: junior Sarah Conard; Coaches Award: senior Brooke Swallows; and MVP: senior Molly Crouch. Tracy Wolfe was named GWOC Coach of the Year.