Four high school bowlers make cut for state tournament
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
In their first year of high school bowling competition, Chase County’s team is sending four youths to the state tournament Saturday in Lincoln.
Kerry Swanson and Chevy Smith qualified from the boys’ team, while Kacia Smith and Taylor Wilson made the cut from the girls’ squad.
All four youths qualified as individuals by placing in the top 10 at districts held Jan. 31 in St. Paul.
Chase County is competing for the first year in the Nebraska High School Bowling Federation. It operates outside of the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA), so is not school sponsored.
Chase County competes in Class C.
Similar to other high school sports, the top district team earned an automatic state qualification, in addition to four wild card teams. In Chase County’s district, winning teams were St. Paul on the girls’ side and McCool Junction for the boys.
Any additional bowlers who were in the top 10 based on their scores from three games bowled at districts also qualified.
Individually, Chevy Smith had the third highest score at districts, while Swanson’s score ranked fifth in the boys’ division.
On the girls’ side, Wilson ranked eighth and Kacia Smith, ninth.
Rebecca Martin, also bowling on Chase County’s girls’ team, just missed qualifying for state. She was out of 10th place by just one pin, said Coach Denise Smith.
Chase County had full teams in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions at the district meet. They both finished third overall, but hadn’t compiled enough points to qualify as wild card teams.
Wild card qualification uses a point system similar to other high school sports, Smith said.
Chase County qualifiers will be among the 50 boys and 44 girls who qualified individually in Class C. The state qualifying teams compete separately for team awards, but those bowlers’ scores will be matched against the individual qualifiers to determine state individual medalists.
State bowling for Class C will be at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln Saturday. Scores will be determined from three games. Coaches Smith and Kelen Fortkamp will accompany the local bowlers.
Others who competed at districts Jan. 31 for Chase County included Nick Mullanix, Eric Lakey, Sean Mandeville and Cassie Carman.
Smith said they plan an awards night for the teams Feb. 18 at Imperial Lanes.