State Tournament, Here They Come


Brodie Curtsinger

Senior Adam Young and coach Lenny Raley talking to each other, at the Mar. 5 Manual game. Mar. 5 would be the last normal game that this team would play together, before the regionals tournaments, and the state tournament. “Some things that have stuck out to me are who has come, and gone, and how we have improved and gained more people on the team, and the past two years being on the top of the region, and winning our regionals last year, and being runner up this year. Oh, and I can’t forget about the 300 bakers game we had last season. That was probably the one I look back at, the most,” Young said.

Brodie Curtsinger, Sports Editor

Region three runner-ups.

The first ever time the bowling team went to state was last year, and they’re continuing that trend through this year as well.

Bullitt East had their singles regionals tournament, Mar. 8. Bullitt East had their unified regionals tournament, Mar. 11. They had their boys teams regionals tournament Mar. 13. Bullitt East had their girls singles regionals tournament Mar. 14.

The people that bowled, for Bullitt East, in the boys singles regionals tournament were: senior Adam Young (he placed eighth), junior Austin Hale, sophomore David Scholtz (he placed fifth) and freshman Jake Shofner.

“Adam’s scores were 235, 234, 174, 194, 152. He was in eighth place, after the first three games. David’s scores were 192, 247, 222, 194, 182. He was fourth after the first three games. Austin Hale’s scores were 182, 174, 166. Jake’s scores were 138, 205, 141,” Coach Lenny Raley said. 

Raley believes that this boys singles regionals tournament went pretty good for some, and not so good for others. “I was very pleased with Adam and David, who bowled very well in their first three games, to qualify to move on to the top eight. Their next game was solid, and they still had a chance to qualify for state, which would be the top four, but things went South, and they did not bowl as well their fifth game, and were eliminated. I was very proud of them. Austin Hale and Jake had a tough day, overall,” Raley said, “This was individual competition and not a team competition. So again it was mixed. Two good performances, and two that were not as good as expected.”

Scholtz believed that this tournament went well. “I thought it went pretty good, besides when I went to the semi finals round; I got frustrated, because all of my shots were awesome, but I kept on leaving a ‘ringing’ seven pin, every single time,” Scholtz said, “I believe I did pretty good, because I went up every game, and Jake did good the first game, in a half, but went down hill afterwards. Me and Adam did pretty good. We both had pretty good games, towards the semi-finals. Then, Austin had a rough time, during the whole thing, because he was throwing his bowling balls from all the way on the left side, and they were still hooking like crazy.”

Scholtz did notice some highlights from the boys singles regionals tournament. “We got one more thing, as a team, which is regionals and if we keep it up, and use the thing coach made up, (something called: ‘SOS’ (which means ‘Strike or Spare’)), we can get pretty close to state, I believe,” Scholtz said.

Between the boys singles regionals tournament, and the upcoming boys teams regionals tournament, Scholtz planned to improve by, “focusing more, and taking my time.” 

To lead up to these regional tournaments, Scholtz believes that the season has gone well. “I think it went well, besides I believe I could have done better, but like I said, it was good,” Scholtz said.

This year has been unlike any other year for the team, because of COVID-19, and it’s affected Scholtz. “Since everyone started to not come outside, I started to go to the bowling alley more, and practiced a lot,” Scholtz said, “Yes. I believe I didn’t believe in myself, when I first started, and I was always in a hurry, and didn’t take my time, and ended up not doing super good. So, I believe, now, I’m at where I want to be, and I’m proud of it.” This was one of the last few times he would be bowling with this exact team, there are a few things that have stuck out to him.

One of the pairs, for Bullitt East, was Hale, partnered up with senior Zachary Compton. The other pair, was Young, partnered up with senior David Boyer. Boyer and Young actually received medals, at this unified regionals tournament, for getting to the top four. 

There were a total of six teams/pairs, and three schools, that played in this unified regionals tournament, and those were: Bullitt East (they had two pairs), Fern Creek (they had two pairs), Doss (they had one pair), and North Bullitt (they had one pair). “There were just six pairs. We had two pairs, Fern Creek had two pairs. Doss, and North Bullitt, had a pair each,” Raley said, “The top two pairs qualified for state, which I believe were both Fern Creek pairs.” Fern Creek is the school that had their pairs go to the unified state tournament, and considering they had two pairs/teams, and only two pairs/teams from the unified regionals tournament, would be going to the unified state tournament, so Fern Creek was the only school that would be going to the Unified state tournament.

Raley believes that this unified regionals tournament went well. “It went pretty well. David Boyer and Adam Young qualified for the top four, and were barely beat out, by seven pins to qualify for the finals, and a state tournament qualification,” Raley said, “I was hoping both teams would get to the final four, but just Adam, and David, did.”

Raley noticed a few highlights from this tournament. “We bowled our first game, and was in third, and fourth, place. Second game, Adam and David won, and Austin and Zach lost. Third game, Adam and David lost by just seven pins. So, they had a good tournament,” Raley said.

Hale believed that this tournament went not as good as it could have. “I believe it could have gone better. I had a strong start, but the transition game, which is normally the second game, caught me off guard,” Hale said, ”Adam and David Boyer did pretty solid. I, myself, though, definitely could have done much, much better, and be prepared for change sooner.”

Hale did notice some highlights from the unified regionals tournament. “Zach and I bowled a pretty ‘killer’ first game. He was doing his part, and I was doing mine. He was making his spares, and I was getting all the pins I could have. Adam and David started off a little weak, but slowly improved over time, with their second game being similar to ours, strikes and spares,” Hale said. 

To lead up to these regionals tournaments, Hale believed that the season had gone alright, especially after losing two really good seniors. “The season was a bit of a bumpy road, after losing Dylan and Logan, who were two really good bowlers. It’s put a lot of pressure on us, as a team, because we expect great things from ourselves. We don’t have those people to rely on, to help us bounce back from a mistake,” Hale said, “I’m not sure there’s much I can do, in between now, and the next tournament, as it is only a few days away. However, in between seasons, is where I’m going to try and go back to my usual rotations, and really improve on mistakes I’ve made this year.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic had affected Hale, with it affecting how much he practiced. “I’ve seen how COVID impacted my usual bowling routine. Normally, I’d go out with friends, and bowl at a new place once, or twice, every week, but now that this is a thing, I couldn’t really do that. So, I’ve lost my variety that I normally have,” Hale said, “Some things that have stuck out to me, is that the people around me are getting much, much better, and improving in every game and/or match. People are becoming more in love with this sport, and wanting to get better.” This was one of the last few times that Hale would be bowling with this exact team, and a few memories that have stuck out to him, is how much his teammates have improved.

Bullitt East placed second in their boys teams regionals tournament, out of nine teams, after losing against North Bullitt, meaning they would be going to the state tournament, again, this year. They also faced Jeffersontown (they won), Fairdale (they won), and Fern Creek (they won). The teams that they did not face, but were still in this boys teams regionals tournament were: DeSales, Moore, PRP (Pleasure Ridge Park), and Doss. 

The bowlers that would be in this boys teams regionals tournament consisted of senior Adam Young, junior Austin Hale, sophomore David Scholtz, freshman Jake Shofner, sophomore Austin Graham, seventh-headed Marian Shofner, junior Logan Riley, and freshman Jayden Nayback.

“Two teams of four bowled a full game, and the low score was dropped from each team. We scored 447, and 542, for a total of 989. That placed us in the seventh spot. In bakers games, the winner was the first team to win three games. We beat Jeffersontown 133-118, 139-123, and 171-135. The next round was against Fairdale. We won 147-138, 185-112, lost 159-115, and won the fourth game 205-103, to advance to the third round. Fern Creek was the next opponent. We swept them with scores of 202-147, 190-181, and 166-138. This win put us in the finals, and an automatic way to the state tournament. The finals were against North Bullitt. They won by margins of 192-154, 186-134, and 183-178. It was a great joy to see us get back to the region finals, and qualify for state,” Raley said. 

They beat Fern Creek, 3-0, at this regionals tournament, in the top four, meaning that they would be proceeding to the state tournament, no matter what, once they had gotten to the final two. They then went on to be defeated by North Bullitt, in the championship, meaning they were the runner ups, for region three, but they would still be going to state.

Also, at today’s boys teams regionals tournament, junior Austin Hale got an award, for being named, “1st Team All Region.” 

Raley believed that the boys teams regionals tournament went pretty well. “Obviously, it went well. The season did not play out as I had hoped for. However, when they needed to most, the team got the job done. The whole season points to the region matches, and they performed very well, on Saturday. I am proud of them, for that,” Raley said, “It was great to see us stay alive throughout the tournament. PRP, and DeSales, were upset by other teams, and that opened the door for us. When we bowled against Fern Creek, we got ahead early to put pressure on them, and they could not catch up. In the finals, North Bullitt bowled extremely well, and we just were not good enough to beat them in that match, but we knew we were going to state, and there was great satisfaction in that.”

To lead up to these regionals tournaments, Raley believed that this season had gone not the best, with him having high expectations. “I had big expectations going into the season. COVID delayed the start, and we struggled out of the gate, in the beginning of the season. We bowled well at the City Tournament, to win our pool, and get headed in the right direction. The team stepped up to the challenge, to return to state, and they accomplished that,” Raley said.

Young believes that this boys teams regionals tournament went absolutely amazing. “I think it went amazing. Today was the best day we’ve had, all season. in my opinion. Everyone was supportive, and we were all a team, helping each other out, when we needed it the most, today,” Young said, “We were all on our A game, today, and we were there, and connecting our shots when we needed them the most. That’s basically it, on that.”

Young did notice a few highlights from this boys teams regionals tournament. “The main highlight would be us going to state two years in a row, and being the runner up of the tournament,” Young said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic did, in fact, affect Young, with it affecting where the team bowled, and, of course, the masks. “Well because of it (COVID-19), we all can’t bowl on the same pair of lanes, the teams have to be separated, and that’s basically the only change that has an impact, other than the masks,” Young said, “Our season, to be honest, wasn’t the best, when we had the games, but today is what really mattered, and what we needed to be our best in.” To lead up to the final regionals tournaments of the season, and for his high school bowling career, except for state, that is, Young believed that this season had gone not the best, for the games.

This would be one of the last times, except for the state tournament, that Young would be bowling for Bullitt East, and a few memories that have stuck out to him, are memories like the 300 game, of last year, that he was a part of. “Some things that have stuck out to me are who has come, and gone, and how we have improved and gained more people on the team, and the past two years being on the top of the region, and winning our regionals last year, and being runner up this year. Oh, and I can’t forget about the 300 bakers game we had last season. That was probably the one I look back at, the most,” Young said.

The people that bowled, for Bullitt East, in the girls singles regionals tournament were: seventh-grader Marian Shofner, and seventh-grader Alexis Yowell. Neither of them were able to qualify for the girls singles state tournament.

Last season, with there only being one female on the bowling team, there was not able to be a girls singles regionals tournament, but considering there were two this year, Bullitt East was able to participate in it. 

Marian Shofner believed that this girls singles tournament was a little tough. “The tournament was a little bit hard, because I wasn’t as enthusiastic today, then I was yesterday, because yesterday, I was with the entire team, but today, it was just Alexis and I. I think it went okay, overall,” Marian Shofner said, “I think we played okay, but it wasn’t the best, and we could have done better. I believe we were a little nervous, because the girls bowling from other teams were so much bigger, and have been bowling longer. We could practice a little more than we did, but all in all, I think we both did well.”

She noticed a highlight, or two, from this regional tournament. “One highlight was that when I got finished, I got to watch the other girls, and I learned some things about how to bowl. I also got to be there with Alexis, when she bowled her new high game. I like to try and take something away each time I bowl. I guess, this time, I’m taking away a little more experience, for the next time I get that far,” Marian Shofner said, “When we were in small matches, we lost a lot, but during the regionals, we dominated. We came together as a team, and only lost in the final match. As runner-ups, we still made it to the state tournament, in a little over a week, away.” To lead up to this girls singles regionals tournament, Marian Shofner believed that the season had gone not the best, but in the regionals, which was when it really mattered, they dominated.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t affect Marian Shofner, very much. “I think it got better; the mask was just a little problem, but it didn’t bother any of our bowling skills,” Marian Shofner said, “One thing that stuck out this season was how the other people on the team communicated more, during the bowling regionals, than they did during our matches.” This would be one of the last times, except for the state tournament, that Marian Shofner would be bowling with this exact team, and a few memories that have stuck out to her, was the communication, throughout the team.

Marian Shofner hopes to see more female bowlers, or just bowlers, on the bowling team, next year. “I’m really looking forward to next year. I hope we can have more people come out for bowling, especially girls, so we can have a girls team. Representing the high school as a team member, and as girls singles, was important to me. More new bowlers for the years to come would be great. If there is anyway to have more bowlers on the team, I think that would be great,” Marian Shofner said.

Yowell believed that this girls singles tournament went pretty good. “It went really well, because I was paying attention to what I was doing,” Yowell said, “I think we did great. We both kept our heads up. I felt great.”

COVID-19 has affected Yowell, with it preventing the team, in some ways, from getting to know each other, better. “We have not been able to give our team high fives (due to COVID-19). It has not let us really get to know each other, as well,” Yowell said, “I got to bowl with people from my grade, and up to senior. I also get to be on a bowling team, with some amazing bowlers.” This was the last time that Yowell would be bowling with this exact team, and a few memories that have stuck out to her, are getting to bowl with some awesome bowlers.

She noticed a couple of highlights from this girls singles regionals tournament. “I was able to compete in the regions, the very first season I bowled. During the season, I made new friends, and got to learn from different people there. I learned where to stand, and see how different people bowled,” Yowell said, “It went great. I learned a lot from this season.” To lead up to this tournament, Yowell believed that the season had gone great.

Their final event, for this season, will be the state tournament, March 22, at 8:15 a.m., at Executive Strike & Spare.