It was a shaky start but a strong finish for Troy High School.
In the first game of the Southwest District boys bowling championships, more than half of the 24-team field posted better scores than the Trojans. Heading into Baker play, they were in seventh place but only the top four teams would move on to state.
“We were down by 50 pins right off the bat,” Troy coach Cevin Wagner said. “The boys were frustrated and we were definitely on the outside looking in, but we’re a good Baker team.”
The Trojans came on strong in Baker play with a 269 high game to clinch the fourth and final state berth at Beaver-Vu Bowl Saturday.
“It was a definite confidence boost for all of them,” Wagner said. “This team is not as strong as some of the teams we’ve had in the past but we were able to use everybody’s talents in key situations.”
Senior A.J. Bigelow led the Trojans with 690 and teammate Andrew Spencer was close behind with 665. Bigelow, Spencer and Cameron Hughes are all state tournament veterans, having competed on the Trojans’ 2011 state championship team. This marks the third consecutive and sixth overall state appearance for the Troy boys.
“The road to state is so difficult, you can’t ever expect to get there,” Wagner said. “But it’s great when you do.”
Perennial qualifier: To say Fairmont always qualify to state would be an exaggeration, but not by much. Since the Firebirds fielded their first bowling team in 2000, the boys have only missed making the state cut once.
Fairmont placed third in the district tournament Saturday. Oak Hills and Beavercreek claimed the top two spots to round out the state qualifying teams.
After a huge first game (1,104) the Firebirds faltered a bit and were in sixth place heading into Baker play.
“We started huge and probably scared everyone and then we tried to give it back,” Fairmont coach Rex Wolfe said. “But we pride ourselves on our Baker play, because Baker is all about being the best team you can be.”
The Firebirds were steady with Baker games ranging from 165 to 233. Wolfe and the Firebirds can breathe a sigh of relief now.
“I told the boys ‘you’ve done your job, now relax,’ ” Wolfe said. “Now we just need to get the girls through.”
The girls district tournament was rescheduled for Monday.
Solo success: It was a first for Northmont’s Ricky Reed. The sophomore became the first Northmont bowler to qualify to the state tournament as his 679 landed him an individual state berth. The top four boys on teams not qualifying to state earned individual berths.
“It’s great for my confidence,” Reed said. “I always felt like I belonged, now I know I do.”
Versailles junior Michael Davidson won the individual district title with a 771.
Boys District Bowling
At Beaver-Vu Bowl
State qualifying teams
1. Oak Hills, 4,328
2. Beavercreek, 4,276
3. Fairmont, 4,207
4. Troy, 4,181
State qualifying individuals
1. Michael Davidson, Versailles, 771
2. Ricky Reed, Northmont, 679
3. Joey Francis, St. Xavier, 668
4. Matthew Diamond, Centerville, 666