Sports

Trojans hoping to keep rolling

Olympic senior Jessica Sutton rolls one of her final balls in helping the Trojans to a fifth-place finish at the state girls bowling championships at Narrows Lanes in Tacoma on Saturday.  - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Olympic senior Jessica Sutton rolls one of her final balls in helping the Trojans to a fifth-place finish at the state girls bowling championships at Narrows Lanes in Tacoma on Saturday.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

By AARON MANAGHAN

Sports editor

TACOMA — While things could have gone better for the Olympic Trojans girls bowling team, they also could have gone much, much worse.

The Trojans finished in fifth place at the 3A/2A WIAA State Girls Bowling Championships last Friday and Saturday at Narrows Lanes in Tacoma. After day one, the Trojans were in fourth and within striking distance of third. But while Oly was disappointed to finish out of the trophy hunt, coach Dave Colby said the team still performed well.

“Overall, we did good,” Colby said. “We’ve been struggling a little all year long and it showed today why we struggle. It’s a lack of picking up marks.”

The Bremerton Knights won the state title at the class, posting 7,601 total pins to beat Shelton’s 7,400. Oly finished with 7,125, just 43 behind fourth-place R.A. Long (Longview).

With Bremerton being a close rival of Oly’s throughout the year, Colby said he was glad to see them finish at the top if it couldn’t be his own Trojans.

“Bremerton, they’ve been the best all year,” Colby said. “They deserve everything they’re gonna get.”

With just two seniors graduating, including anchor Jessica Sutton, one of the team’s top bowlers this season, Colby is confident his returning core can grow from the experience.

“We only have two seniors leaving us,” he said. “I’m just hoping our kids come around next year and be a little more mature. They knew what we were fighting against. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

With the loss of Sutton, not only will the Trojans graduate one of the team’s top bowlers, but also its primary source of leadership.

“Jessica has always been a leader,” Colby said of Sutton, his granddaughter. “That’s really hard to replace. I don’t know exactly who to count on for leadership, but we will find somebody.”

With Sutton wrapping up her high school bowling career, she said she was proud of the team’s accomplishments while sad it would be her last time on the lanes as a Trojan.

“Being in fifth was pretty good,” Sutton said. “But it’s very sad because I don’t get to come back next year. This is a great team. I’ll miss them so much.”

But Sutton has confidence in the abilities of her teammates as well.

“I have faith in my juniors,” she said. “They’re gonna lead them well next year. I hope they go farther.”

In Friday’s team scoring, which consisted of six full games, Alma Levario stepped up big time, rolling games of 234 and 200 en route to a 1,090 series. Liza Ambrose was right there as well, peaking with a 201 while totaling 1,033. Sutton was at 1,031 with a 200 game as well. Levario’s score was sixth overall individually while Ambrose and Sutton were 15th and 16th respectively.

Alaina Howell finished with 862 total pins and Lacee Ness added 940 as Oly finished day one with 4,956 total pins. Alternates Karrie Zolman and JB Braunger also traveled to Tacoma with the team.

The second day consisted of 14 Baker games, with a Trojan high of 219. Inconsistencies allowed R.A. Long to more than make up the three-pin day-one deficit, as Oly also had low games of 126.

But Sutton said that still doesn’t downplay the team’s accomplishments.

“It feels good that we were fifth at least,” she said. “We all wanted a trophy, but fifth is still great.”

For Colby, in his first year at the helm, he said he’ll remember this team by their resolve at districts, battling back from a 97-pin defeict to qualify for state.

“The highlight was our outstanding districts. We were down 97 pins and we came back,” he said. “Now that shows character. That’s what wins games; character. That’s how you have fun. And they had fun. They knew they could do it. Today just wasn’t their day.”

Sutton’s memories are more general, as she said that character is what she’ll take away with her over any specific moment.

“Well, one thing I’ll look back on is how driven they were,” Sutton said of her Trojan teammates. “They always wanted to be on top. It was just an amazing team this year.”

With the season officially coming to an end, Colby said if his returning bowlers work hard, the sky could be the limit.

“We’re gonna keep drilling and drilling,” he said. “If everything goes our way next year, you never know.”

Klahowya

While the Eagles did not advance as a team, both lone senior Chelsea Schmittler and Klahowya freshman Carys Bailey competed as individuals Friday.

Bailey finished 29th overall with a series of 970, the same scores Schmittler recorded to tie with her teammate. Bailey rolled a high game of 193 while Schmittler topped at 178.

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