Sparkman Sweeps State Titles At State Bowling Championships
PELHAM- The Sparkman Senators swept the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 7A State Bowling Championships winning both boys and girls divisions at the season-ending event at the Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham. The title was a first for the boys while holding the state blue trophy was the second for the girls as the Lady Senators won the sports’ inaugural State Championship in 2016.
“Both squads started slow, but finished strong with great teamwork,” said Lisa Ivey, head coach of the Sparkman bowling team.
The girls began the sweep for Sparkman defeating their three opponents by an average of 156 pins. In the quarterfinals Sparkman defeated Baker 1,257-1,129. In the semi-finals, Sparkman posted a 203-pin victory over Spain Park 1,307-1,104 before knocking off the Warriors of Thompson 1,429-1,292 in the finals.
The Lady Senators finished the 2020-2021 campaign with a clean slate going undefeated (17-0) during the regular season and then an easy title in the North Regional before capturing the State Championship in overwhelming style.
“This team jelled all season long, but started off slow in the opening round and I told them just to end strong,” said Ivey. “They came together just as they have all season.”
Emily Lindsey, junior member of the squad and who carried a 187 average through the season, said hoisting the state blue trophy was great from the standpoint of seeing their hard work pay off. She added, “I’ve been working on this for five years and this is certainly one of the best teams we’ve had at Sparkman in years. We worked together in practice and we helped one another with our bowling techniques to make us all better for matches.”
The Sparkman boys joined the elite group of teams in the winner’s circle by defeating Hoover in the finals 1,607-1,578. The 29-pin victory was preceded by wins over Auburn, 1,550-1,314, and Hewitt-Trussville, 1,526-1,411.
“I knew going into the State Tournament they could do it especially when some good teams were put out in the early round,” added Ivey. “Hewitt-Trussville upset Thompson in the quarterfinals and then I knew we had a great chance to win it all.”
C.J. Richardson in just his second year of bowling said winning was a great feeling as the squad went through a transformation during the regular season. He added, “After suffering our only loss during the season to Grissom, that opened our eyes and we chose to lock in and focus on not letting that happen again.”
In the boys semi-finals, the Senators saw the pins were being set off-center causing for gaps in the pins. The squad voiced a complaint after two frames and action was stopped for several minutes until it was determined the competition would be moved to a different set of lanes for the remainder of the match.
This year’s individual competition was changed from previous years as the opening round would determine individual medals winners and state champions. Sparkman’s Dalton Tolgo was fifth in the final standings after he rolled a 242. In the girls, Angela Webber was the only member of the Lady Senators to place within the top eight with a game of 180 placing her eighth in the state.
In the series rankings, Joseph Collier was third (629), Cole Arsenault fourth (627) and fellow Senator Dalton Tolgo (sophomore) was fifth (616) among the boys. In girls, Daylin Tolgo was fifth (596), Webber third (545) and Emily Lindsey fourth (514).
“At the beginning of the season I told our athletes we were in it to win it,” added Ivey, who completed her third season as head coach.