Waukee boys bowling earns fourth state meet appearance
A season full of twists and turns has led to the fourth trip to the state bowling meet for the Waukee boys bowling team.
“It’s a great feeling,” said head coach Jonathan Kerr. “Going in I knew we had a strong group not just on the bowling side but on the life side. They approach things so well so even though this season had a lot of obstacles, it was almost advantageous for them because they roll with the punches so well. This was a difficult year both coaching and playing but everyone just focused on what they could control.”
The start of the season was delayed and featured multiple postponements and cancellations. Through it all, the Warriors ended up with a 14-9 record and a trip to the state tournament following districts on Thursday, Feb 18 in Sioux City.
Waukee’s state meet ticket was punched with a total team score of 3,016 which toppled the six team field.
The win started out with a strong first two games with a score of 2,040. Leading the way for the Warriors was Luke Adams who sported two games of 200 pins or more, including a 244 game two score, for a grand total of 444 pins. The team aspect really came through when ADM student and Waukee bowler Justin Neumann earned a 419 series score, which placed second across the district scene.
“Justin was one of those bowlers who just bowled out of his mind today,” Kerr said. “He hasn’t participated in many bakers series but this time he performed like he regularly took part in bakers games.”
The rest of the field for Waukee included senior star Cameron Borst. The senior marksman has boasted over six 400 pin series and that included the district meet with a 413. That comes after Borst broke Waukee’s best regular-season average at 218.19 pins.
“Cameron is such a student of the game that nothing surprises him when he gets a bowling ball in his hand,” Kerr said. “It’s nice as a coach to learn so much from him and it’s his knowledge in the sport that helps give him that edge over some other competitors.”
Seth Walter was next up for the Warriors with a 405 final score while Joseph Barnes III rounded out the Warrior lineup with a 359.
Kerr also talked about the 2020-21 edition of Waukee boys bowling as an all-around team and that showed not just through the first two games, but bakers as well.
“At the beginning of the season and a little bit down the stretch we struggled in bakers,” Kerr said. “Our first two games have always been strong but where we’ve faltered is letting teams back in during bakers. During districts, these guys really answered the call and that was perhaps one of the biggest reasons we took first today. We got ahead and didn’t let teams get close.”
Now, it’s off to the Iowa high school state meet for the Warriors where they will be competing for their first-ever state title on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Class 3A competition will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo.
“What these guys showed in districts was amazing,” Kerr said. “They can handle and overcome adversity mid-competition and they have such good team chemistry that made them such a great team.”