January 22, 2014 - Coach J.R. Lafnear is proud of both his boys and girls bowling teams who faired well at their Oakland County Championships.
The Royal Oak bowling team and Thunderbird Lanes hostedthe Oakland County Boys Championships
The Oxford Boys team came out firing with a new school record 1154 game. Drew Pappas's 265 and Sean McKinney's 254 lead the way. Both bowlers would receive medals for top 10 honors in the tournament. Jake Delong followed with 235 with Brady Wynkoop at 213 and Brandon Hurlburt 187. The boys would follow with games of 1024 and 977.
When the qualifying was over the Wildcats would be the number one seed going into head up matches.
The team would win round 1 against South Lyon East but lose to Clarkston in round 2. As did the match with Clarkston last week it went right down to the 10th frame of the final game. Oxford would finish in the top 8 out of 28 teams from Oakland County.
"These boys were great all day. I love this teams fight and heart," said Head Coach J.R. Lafnear. "They gave it there all today and the bowling gods just wouldn't give us a break. We couldn't have bowled any better than we did."
Holly Bowling and Cherry Hill North hosted the Girls Oakland County event.
"The girls did well in their event as well," noted Lafnear.
There were 27 teams for the ladies event and they qualified eighth. Leading the way for the girls were Megan Kessler with a 191 game and a 535 series and Alyssa Hurlburt with a 204 game and a 519 series. The girls lost in round 1 to Waterford Kettering but "gained valuable experience in the loss," according to Lafenear. This is the ninth year in a row the girls have advanced into the Championship round.
"This team is making nice strides this year," he added. "They had a couple real strong games in this tournament and with a little more depth we will start to make the next step. We only have one senior so this will help us going forward."
Earlier in the month both the boys and girls varsity along with JV competed in the L'anse Creuse North Baker Classic- Imperial Lanes on Jan. 11, which was the first match after Christmas break and a series of match cancellations due to ice and snow storms.
All four teams advance through the 13 game qualifying. The Varsity boys averaged nearly 215 to be seeded number 1.Both Girls teams lost in round 1 and the JV Boys team advanced to the final 8 before bowing out. The Varsity Boy's team advanced to the final 4 before losing and finishing fourth overall in the tournament.
The boys and girls varsity also faced the Troy Colts on Jan. 13
The Varsity girl's team won both Baker games and all 10 head up games for a 30 to 0 sweep of the young Colt team. Bowling well for the Wildcats was Alyssa Hurlburt with 178, Megan Kessler 180 and Hannah Farmer 201.
Lafnear said it was a sign of what the team is going to be.
"We're very excited about that," he said. "They are making nice progress."
The boy's match would be much tougher. After losing game 1 of baker 216 to 176 the Wildcats rallied late to win Baker game 2 with a score of 213 to 189. Oxford trailed 6 to 4 after baker. The Wildcats would then come on strong with Jake Delong 204, Brady Wynkoop 246, Kyle Woody 223, Sean McKinney 234 and Brandon Hurlburt 242 for a team total of 1149.
This was the second highest team game of the season and second highest game in school history. Oxford would win all 5 matches and take a 13 to 6 lead.
The Oxford team would close out the talented Colts with wins in game 2 by Kyle Woody and Brandon Hurlburt. Sean McKinney lost his second match to Lamont Walters 268 to 255. Final score Oxford 17 ½ to Troy 12 ½. Lafnear called it a "very big win."
"We knew that we would have to bowl well to beat Troy in their building and the boys stepped up," he said. " The Team showed nice focus and came through with big shots when they were needed."