The Springfield boys bowling team made history Thursday, qualifying to the state tournament for the first time, because they are just that — a team.
“In the past, we had guys who wondered what they had to shoot as individuals to advance,” coach Ray Davis said. “We were here for one reason today, to qualify as a team.”
That’s exactly what the Wildcats did, placing third at the Division I Southwest District tournament at Beaver-Vu Bowl with a score of 4,459 — 15 pins behind district champion Miamisburg (4,474). The competition was so tight that Beavercreek missed the top-five state cut by one pin as Wayne snagged the final state berth, 4,387 to 4,386.
The level of competition came as no surprise to Davis.
“We bowl against the best teams in the state every match in the GWOC Central,” he said. “We see what it takes to win.”
Seniors Sebastian Sharp and Cody Cooper led Springfield with 662 and 657, respectively, and junior Bryce Baumgardner was close behind with 651 as three Wildcats finished in the top 20.
It was a far cry from last season when Springfield didn’t even qualify to the district tournament.
“I told the boys we had to ‘put on a show’ — and we did,” Davis said.
And while the GWOC is a season-long battle, Davis is quick to share the credit for his team’s success with his fellow coaches.
“The other coaches in our division have been great, they’ve always had my back,” the eighth-year coach said. “They have given us a lot of support.”
The Springfield boys will have plenty of conference company at the state tournament as all five of the qualifying teams are from the GWOC.
There will also be one other Springfield bowler in the mix as senior Brianna Frantz made history Wednesday when she snagged the final individual D-I state qualifying spot. Frantz, who posted a 182-244-178–604, became the first Wildcat girl to qualify to the state tournament.
State tournament: Division I starts with the boys at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl on March 4. The D-I girls compete March 5.