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Sparkman High claimed both the boys and girls individual state championships at the AHSAA State Bowling Championships. Sophomore Cole Arsenault, left, took the boys honor while senior Nicole Gilbert won the girls title. Photo: Lisa Ivey, Sparkman High

Sparkman Wins Individual State Bowling Titles; Teams Finish Third

PELHAM- The Sparkman High bowling teams finished third in both boys and girls divisions while the Senators won both individual state titles at the fourth annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Bowling Championships at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham.

Sophomore Cole Arsenault turned in the top boys’ series with s 268, 184, 258- 710 total. Senior Lady Senator Nicole Gilbert posted a series of 178, 211, 200- 589 to finish as the girls’ division winner. Gilbert won the championship by 27 pins while Arsenault took his title by 38 pins.

“It feels good to win as I was on my mark during the action, but didn’t really think I’d win,” said Arsenault, who took up the sport just 18 months ago after watching a You Tube video on how to bowl. “When I’m ready to bowl I look at my mark, stand in the same place each time, reach out with my hands and hit it.”

“I knew going into my third game I needed to post a good score to keep pace with the others,” said Gilbert he opened up a lead in the third game with a 200, tops among the top five finishers. “Winning the state title feels great, especially since it was my 18th birthday. I usually speak with my dad prior to each event and he supports me by telling me to stay focused and keep my confidence throughout the match.”

Gilbert has signed a scholarship to bowl at the University of Pikeville in Kentucky.

“Cole bowled out of this world despite suffering from a severe headache as he was certainly on-point in his efforts,” said Lisa Ivey head coach of Sparkman. “Nicole was the leader of our squad this season and she beat out four bowlers from Southside High in the competition. I’m glad she’s going out on a high note.”

In team competition, the Sparkman squads each seeded third while the James Clemens boys were seeded No. 10 going into the single-elimination match play.

In round one, James Clemens was defeated by Hoover 1,420-1,379. The Sparkman boys made their way to the semi-finals by defeating Hilllcrest 1,419-1,250 and Auburn 1,533-1,422 before falling to No. 2 seed Vestavia Hills 1,361-1,298 to place third. The Lady Senators defeated Etowah 1,129-1,046 and Stanhope Elmore 1,308-1,305. In the semi-finals head-to-head with the Thompson Warriors, the Lady Senators fell 1,434-1,380.

“Our teams were up against some great competition as a girl from Thompson rolled a new state record 289 and a boy from Vestavia Hills rolled a 290,” added Ivey. “Our team performed very well and proud to have finished where we did.”

The final individual scores in boys were 1- Cole Arsenault, Sparkman, 710; 12- Daejon McCray, James Clemens, 585; 25- Alfonso Carrington III, Sparkman, 548; Jacob Tilly, Sparkman, 530; 40- Michael Kosinski, James Clemens, 510; 41- James Roberts, James Clemens, 508; Brylan Tate, James Clemens, 476; 61- Elijah Brill, Sparkman, 380; 68- Hardy Howell, Sparkman, 309; 74- Dalton Tolgo, Sparkman, 173; 75- Bradley Faddis, James Clemens, 168.

In girls, 1- Nicole Gilbert, Sparkman, 589; 10- Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman, 499; 20- Emily Lindsey, Sparkman, 451; 42- Angela Webber, Sparkman, 393; 77- Emily Swaim, Sparkman, 151.

Vestavia Hills won the boys championship with a victory over East Limestone in the finals while the girls state title went to Southside-Gadsden a victor over Thompson.

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