Monday, March 5th, 2007
Cavs first, Redskins second at state bowling
By Gary R. Rasberry
Throughout the bowling season, Coldwater and St. Henry were always at the top in that order.
In the league, Coldwater was undefeated with St. Henry only losing to the Cavaliers. In the sectional and district tournaments, the Cavs and Redskins were 1-2 in the standings.
How appropriate was it that the first-ever OHSAA state bowling championship would come down to these two teams.
Coldwater made history in becoming the first state champs in beating St. Henry in the championship series three games to one at Tiki Lanes in Lancaster.
"Unbelievable," said a joyous Coldwater coach Rick Hartings. "Who would have thought it would have come down to us and St. Henry? Two teams from the same center (both teams call Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater home) and same conference (MAC as well as WOHSBC)."
In the prelims, where the top eight teams moved on, Coldwater and St. Henry were both locked into spots, but the Redskins were able to sneak in to place third in the prelims with a series of 2,964 with Coldwater fourth at 2,923.
Coldwater's Jared Moeder finished 11th in the prelims with a 639 series and St. Henry's Dan Rex was 15th with 631. LaSalle's Evan Kling led all bowlers with a 737 series.
"In the conference we were first with St. Henry second. At sectional and district we were 1-2 and now at state we're 1-2," said Hartings. "I don't think St. Henry likes us very well right now, but we're both coming back to celebrate together."
"We got off to a fast start, but that kind of cooled off. We were kind of concerned if we could make it to the final eight," said St. Henry coach Jim Stout. "As it turned out, we were third."
In the championship round bracket, Coldwater had to battle big school powers Youngstown Liberty and (Continnued from page 1B)
Austintown-Fitch in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Against Youngstown Liberty, Coldwater pitched a shutout in the best-of-five format, winning 3-0 with the third game being tight but still in favor of the Cavaliers, 193-190. Against Austintown-Fitch, it was 1-1 after two games before Coldwater dominated game three, 247-195. Coldwater earned the finals berth with a 167-155 contest.
St. Henry had a similar route. In the quarterfinals, St. Henry beat Hamilton 3-1 despite losing the opening game, 252-212. In the semifinals, it was Fairmont standing in the way of another rematch with Coldwater. The Redskins took the first two games and won 3-1.
"We lost our first baker game, but then we bowled really well," said Stout.
"It was great to see," continued Stout. "Basically, we won out against the other teams in our state, just our bowling center. Our kids bowl together all the time and practice with each other. I was also thinking, 'These guys (Coldwater) are pretty good.'. I knew it was going to be a tough match."
In the finals, Coldwater looked ready to sweep, posting wins of 201-151 and 231-225 in the first two games. In game three, the Cavaliers slipped, falling 200-170 to St. Henry. In game four, St. Henry had chances to win which would have tied the match, but solid shooting from Cavaliers' Jared Moeder, Tyler James and Justin Franzer closed out the match with a 222-202 contest bringing home the gold.
"We were up 2-0 (against St. Henry) and came apart in the third game," said Hartings. "We kept our composure because St. Henry had a chance to win it, but with Franzer, Moeder and James, we wrapped it up."
The awards ceremony brought out the emotions.
"When the assistant commissioner talked about this being the first state championship, I had goosebumps and teardrops in my eyes," said Hartings. "We're the first-ever state champ and St. Henry is the first runner-up. That goes down in history."
"You said it right there, we will always be the first-ever runner-up. That is something you can't take away from us," said Stout. "I know we didn't win, but to be second in that situation was as good as a win."