Central Kitsap bowls 'em over, again

Central Kitsap once again lived up to its billing as the dominant high school bowling team in the state.

Two years, two championships. It doesn’t get much better than this.

“It’s just cool to be able to say we did it,” said Stephanie Sharkey, the Cougars’ best bowler and a first-team all-state selection. “ The whole thing ... it’s nothing I’ll ever forget. Being with my friends, we all can say we did it together. To do it our senior year, that’s just a plus.”

The Cougars totaled 7,913 pins in the two-day Washington Interscholastic Activities Association event, which wound up Saturday, Feb. 9 at Leilani Lanes in Seattle. This is only the second year the WIAA has sanctioned the sport. Eight of the 32 schools in the state that offer bowling advanced to state.

Second-place Omak, which trailed by just 64 pins after the first day, got within 22 pins of the Cougars after the first of 12 Baker-format games on Saturday, but Central kept the pressure on and won by 116 pins.

“We saved our worst game (155) for last, but by then it was already out of reach,” Central coach Wes Fitz said. “If the other team (Omak) would have bowled a perfect game, we would have still only needed a 170 or so to win. We were that far ahead.”

The teams bowled six straight games on Day 1. CK’s goal for its five bowlers was to combine for at least a 900 (180 average).

“That was our season goal, to hit 900, but we didn’t do it too much,” Sharkey said. “I think we did that every game but one at state.”

Central bowled a tournament-high 1,058 (211.6 average) on the second game of the tournament. Four of its five bowlers rolled games of 204 or higher, led by Grace Bohlke’s 237, which turned out to be the high game of the tournament.

Bohlke, Mario Roque and Stephanie Tangonen — all seniors — were all second-team all-state selections, which were based on their pin totals for the six games rolled on Friday. Sharkey’s 210 average led the Cougars.

“Grace bowled better than she’s bowled in the three years I’ve coached her,” said Fitz, who teaches at CK Junior High. “She absolutely bowled out of her tree.”

Junior Jamie Perez was the fifth member of the squad, with Lydia Tetrault and Stacy Woolford rounding out the championship team.

Sharkey knew the Cougars were leading the pack on Day 2, but she said the Cougars didn’t take anything for granted.

“It can always change,” said the left-hander, who remembers rolling the ball down her parents’ hallway into pillows when she was learning to bowl. “You just keep trying to bowl good and not let it get to us. We knew things could change for the worse.”

But it didn’t.

So the perpetual team trophy is back in the Cougars’ case for at least another year.

“Everyone around school thinks it’s pretty cool we won two years in a row,” said Sharkey. “Bowling’s not a big sport, but it’s like any other sport and people are happy for us.”

Sharkey has applied for entrance to the University of Washington, where she hopes to compete on the school’s first women’s bowling team next year.

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