photo provided by Jen Wagner
What a weekend it was for the school’s bowlers as they captured three state championships.
The Falcons captured the boys’ team, boys’ individual and girls’ individual titles last week at the Pennsylvania State High School Bowling Championships at Dutch Lanes, Ephrata.
It is the first time in state history the same school had the boys’ and girls’ champion.
“I knew we definitely had the talent to do it, but for them to actually be successful on those days that they needed to was just a dream come true for them,” said bowling coach Jen Wagner. “For our school to be represented that way, it speaks volumes about the hard work that they put in during the season.”
Juniors Kolby Bennett and Paige Boyd won the individual boys’ and girls’ championships Friday. Senior Scott Garrett, juniors Bennett, Boyd and Rebecca Breidegan, sophomore Jadelyn Swisher and freshmen Darren Zombro and Connor Firestone won the team title Saturday.
“It was actually crazy,” said Bennett, who is the repeat state champion for boys. “To be able to go back to back proves that what I’ve been doing over the years is paying off.”
Bennett was not the top qualifier in the state finals, which gives bowlers byes into the championship match. He placed third.
Bennett first defeated Jake Feher of Pennsbury, 203-170. He then beat Cade Mutchler of Danville, 202-193 to reach the championship match.
“I think that [this victory] is just going to prove to me that I can win these big titles and I can take advantage and add more titles to my resume,” said Bennet.
In the championship match against Wilson’s Aidan Dsouza, Bennett rolled seven spares and three strikes in the 10 frames to win, 207-196.
On the girls’ side, Boyd qualified second behind Kiearra Saldi of Holy Cross. Boyd first defeated Governor Mifflins’s Alyssa Breidegam, 212-182, in the semifinal match.
In the final match against Saldi, Boyd rolled four strikes to start en route to a 245-169 victory.
“It made me feel pretty good inside to know that I’ve worked so hard the past 13 years to come to this point and to be able to get to the top,” said Boyd.
In the team championships, Cedar Crest qualified second, five pins behind rival Warwick.
In both the semifinal against Norwin and the title match against Warwick, the Falcons rallied from 27 pins down in the first game.
Against Norwin, the Falcons won, 187-166 in Game 1, and then won, 215-204, in the second with Bennett striking out in the 10th to seal the victory.
Against Warwick in the championship match, the Falcons won the first game 204-192. In the second game, The Falcons won 196-169 with Bennett registering two strikes in the 10th frame.
“It feels pretty good to be able to say that Cedar Crest took all the titles this year since it was the first time in school history we won states,” said Boyd. “It definitely feels amazing to be a part of the team, to know that we finally made school history.”
The team will be competing in the national championship June 22 to 24 in Indianapolis, Ind. While the team will occasionally practice together, individual members will largely practice through league and independent tournaments.
“As a team, we are definitely going to have to stick together and talk to each other, which we already do, but I think we need to still work together,” said Boyd. “We need to make sure that we are communicating with each other to make sure that we are ready to go to nationals and compete with each other, not just as singles, but also as a team.”