December 05, 2012 - It might not be one of the more visible sports but the Oxford boys and girls bowling teams are poised for some great things this season.
Boys bowling team – Back row, from left: Paul Tomaka, Drew Pappas, Brandon Hurlburt and Sean Mckinney. Front row, from left: Kyle Woody, Shawn Donaldson and Jacob Delong. (click for larger version)
On Monday, the bowling Wildcats participated in the Second Annual OAA singles bowling tournament at Collier Lanes and showed why they may be one of the best teams in the state.
There were 59 boys and 50 girls who competed in the 2nd annual OAA singles championships. The bowlers were from all 11 OAA schools with bowling teams.
The format was 3 games of qualifying and then the top 8 move on to head-to-head finals
Girls bowling team – Back row, from left: Alyssa Hurlburt, Caityln Wroblewski and Hannah Farmer. Front row, from left: Stefanie-Anne Chizmadia, Brooke Harris and Ashley Miller. (click for larger version)
On the girls' side, Alyssa Hurlburt rolled the best three game series of the tournament with a 626. Her best game was a 250. In head-to-head competition, Hurlburt finished second.
Hurlburt's brother, Brandon, rolled the top series for the boys with a 758 and threw the top game in the tournament with a 277.
But it was Brandon Hurlburt's teammate, Drew Pappas , who won the tournament in head-to-head competition. Pappas' best game was a 269. Four of the Oxford boys bowlers finished in the top eight in the tournament.
"It was a great showing and we hope it shows the kind of season we can have," said Coach J.R Lafnear.
The coach is expecting some great things from both boys and girls.
"This is one of the deepest teams we've ever had on the boy's side. These guys are experienced and they are good bowlers," Lafnear said. "They have experience and skill. This is the year for them to go. There can be no excuses this year. They have the experience, knowledge and skill. They just need a few breaks and to get it done on the lanes.
The team is led by three juniors.
"Brandon Hurlburt had a sensational season for a sophomore last year and we expect for it to continue this season. Sean McKinney is a great talent. He is a junior but has been on the varsity for two years. Kyle Woody is another junior who has been on the varsity since he was a freshman. They each had a good off season of workouts and come into the season looking very good. We look for them to lead the charge."
Adding to that core, is Pappas who was last year's state junior varsity champion in singles. He won the title as a freshman last season.
Finishing third in the same tournament was Jacob Delong, who also is a sophomore. Brady Wynkoop is another sophomore who Lafnear expects to provide additional solid support.
Shawn Donaldson, is a senior who was elected captain.
"He is an excellent leader," Lafnear said.
"Kevon Dixon and Paul Tomaka, both seniors, add great depth to the team and have been in the program four years.
"We have experience, great talent and if they bowl to what they are capable of doing it will be a very special year for us.''
Lafnear said the bowlers will have plenty of opportunities to shine.
"There will be 15 matches, the most the school has had. Everyone will be a part of our success."
The Wildcat girls team features two leaders in seniors Caityln Wroblewski and Brooke Harris who return from last year's regional championship team. They are captains.
"Alyssa Hurlburt played a significant role last season and will be counted on more now as a sophomore and we expect good things from her.
"Hannah Farmer is a freshman who is experienced and will play a significant role. Ashley Miller is an eleventh grader and Stefanie-Anne Chizmadia is a sophomore. Those girls will play a lot and we will go as far as those girls can take us," Lafnear said.
"Last year the girls had an exceptional year. We lost some good seniors but this year's team comes back with the ability to do it again."
On the boy's side, they have experience and skill. This is the year for them to go. There can be no excuses this year.
They have the experience, knowledge and skill. They just need a few breaks and to get it done on the lanes.
Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.