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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, March 12, 2009
BKW bowling rolls away with a Western Athletic Conference title
By Jordan J. Michael
BERNE After finishing seventh in the regular season standings of the Western Athletic Conference, the BKW boys’ bowling team took first place in the league tournament on Feb. 11 at Latham Bowl.
“I was a little surprised by how well we bowled in that tournament,” said Head Coach Matt Decker who took over this year for longtime coach and program founder Don Dennis. “We won by about 200 pins. Everyone was on and I wish we had bowled like that all year.”
The Bulldogs have both a boys’ and girls’ team. The two squads bowl at the same time, but have separate results. “The girls’ team is usually less experienced than the boys’ because it’s tougher to get girls into bowling,” said Decker.
The BKW boys were led by junior captain Tim McIntyre who was third in the WAC with a 203 average on the year. “He’s our number-one bowler and a really big factor in every match,” Decker said. “He’s super clutch; gets strikes all the time.”
Josh Denyse is the team’s second threat, but he was out for the middle of the season with mononucleosis. “He was out for six matches and things started to get difficult,” said Decker. “I thought he would have been out longer but he made a tremendous comeback.”
Geoff Bentley, Chet Ferriero, and Chris White completed the starting five. Ferriero was the only bowler who didn’t get sick or injured during the season.
“Some strange things were keeping some of my bowlers out of the line-up,” said Decker. “Of course, some matches were lost because of that, but I had a couple of reserves step up and bowl well.”
R.J. Kelly and Mike Field stepped up for the Bulldogs when needed. “Kelly came in for Denyse in the middle of the year and was a pleasant surprise,” Decker said. “Field ended up bowling 60 percent of the time. It was good practice for next year.”
The boys’ team placed 10th out of 25 teams in the Section II tournament at Boulevard Bowl on Feb. 5. Two additional teams joined the WAC this season, delaying the league championship until after sectionals.
“I know, it’s weird, usually the league tournament is before sectionals,” said Decker. “There are just so many teams in the league that everything ran over date. Now that Section II has decreased the amount of games for varsity sports, it will be on time next year.”
BKW had no seniors on the team and Decker expects everyone back bowling next year. “Things are looking real good for the future, especially after the way we finished,” he said. “Hopefully, these kids keep practicing and stay on board.”
The BKW girls’ team finished seventh in both the WAC and the league tournament. The team was led by the only returning bowler of the group, Katlynn Overbaugh, averaging 157 a game.
“I won’t lie, we had by far the least experience of any team in the league,” said Decker. “We could have easily placed last but the girls bowled as hard as they could all season. They learned a lot.”
Two girls on the team, Jody White and Erin McIntyre, were sisters of players on the boys’ team.
“I love bowling families,” Decker told The Enterprise. “White tried out at the last second and McIntyre was the most improved bowler with a 111 average.”
Amber Heuther and Danielle Hubbard weren’t serious about bowling when the season started, but they might be now. “Heuther came out for giggles and I stole Hubbard from cheerleading,” said Decker. “Hubbard ended up with a 120 average. I think her cheering days might be over.”
Coach Decker told The Enterprise that the boys’ team might have higher expectations, but the girls share a piece of the Bulldog bowling pie.
“The competitive level is higher for the boys because there are more teams in the league,” said Decker. “Girls’ bowling will one day rise again.”