Striking out on States

Downriver League bowling champions miss out on qualifying for states

Laticia Martinez winds up the ball in hopes of striking out.

While bowling took the gold at the League meet, they struggled to qualify for states, which was a big goal for the team.
Wyandotte and Gibraltar ended in a draw (15-15) at Downriver Leagues, held at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. Both teams split the point and Wyandotte’s half-point advantage led them to take the League Champion title. According to the final league standings, Wyandotte boys won thirteen points and lost four, while the girls won fourteen points and lost three.
“Even though boys bowling has won leagues many times, this is the first time girls won leagues,” junior Angelita Rodriguez said.
This earned the boys the eighth league title in the thirteen-year history of DRL for Roosevelt.
“The team did well on communicating,” senior Jacob Vernier said. “The chemistry for the entire season was really astounding, this year we all came together as a team. We are looking to do tournaments over the summer together as well.”
The boys and girls practice three to four times a week at Woodhaven Lanes.
Winning Leagues was a great accomplishment for both teams. At Skore Lanes in Taylor, the Bears worked hard trying to make the top three as a team at Regionals but ended up settling at fourth place.
“I am actually quite shocked how well we did,” Vernier said. “We had some huge scores in our second game, 266 and 263 as individuals, which was really good for the team.”
The boys shot 1029 for the second game, which boosted the Bears up to second. They eventually fell off the last game.
“We got overconfident and shot 840,” Vernier said. “Two teams ended up passing us.”
For boys, Woodhaven, Warren Woods Tower, and St. Clair Shores Lakeview were the top three finishing teams, which confirmed them a spot at states. Lincoln Park, Cousino, and Monroe girls were also the first three teams to finish and will join them at states.
“I could have focused more,” senior Laticia Martinez said. “It is really hard to go from different lanes and change the oil, which means your ball is going to do different things depending on what lane you are on. I should have gotten into it better. When throwing my first ball, seeing where it went, I really should have paid attention to where it went and then know where to go from there.”
Martinez, girls team co-captain, placed 21st in the top-half overall in the final standings while being consistent having the same score for three out of six games.
“[Martinez] always has a positive attitude no matter how bad or how good we are doing,” Rodriguez said.
According to boys team captain, Vernier, he wished he took his time at regionals, going ball by ball while closing his frames. He expressed that rushing the game cost him states.
Vernier finished thirteenth out of 94. He has been bowling for five years and started off from a bet with his friends.
With nearly twenty different area schools, thirty local bowlers qualified for states – fourteen boys and sixteen girls. Five of those bowlers are from the downriver region – two boys and three girls. The top ten bowlers have the opportunity to qualify for states.
Girls team co-captain, Rodriguez was the only individual state qualifier from the Wyandotte team. She was runner-up behind Kayla Tafanelli of Warren Woods-Tower by only six points.
“I definitely could have done better,” Rodriguez said. “I could have had a more positive mindset.”
Rodriguez has been D1, Region Six champion at Regionals twice before this year advancing to States as well.
“To prepare for States, I am going to be more positive, focus at practice, and try to figure out what is best for me,” Rodriguez said.
The D1 singles state game was held Saturday, March 5 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Taylor. Rodriguez placed 20th in the final standings.
According to Rodriguez, she is not happy with her placing, but she is looking forward to a personal junior gold tournament later in March which gives her scholarship opportunities.

(All statistics obtained from