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The Sparkman boys bowling team advanced to the AHSAA State Tournament to defend its 2023 title by finishing runner-up in the North Regional Championships. Photo Contributed

Local Teams Qualify For The AHSAA Bowling State Tournament

TRUSSVILLE- The 9th annual AHSAA State Bowling Championships are just around the corner and defending Class 7A boys state champion Sparkman Senators return to the big event along with their counterparts on the Sparkman girls team after places among the top four teams in the North Regional Bowling Championships held in Trussville located just outside Birmingham.

Also making the trip to the State Tournaments are the Lady Jets from James Clemens who fought their way to the Regional semi-finals finishing fourth.

The No. 2 seed Senators had 1,081 pins in a 4-1 win over Tuscaloosa County in the regional first round, followed by a 3-1 victory over Hartselle winning the battle 720-547 before advancing to the finals against Hewitt-Trussville. Against the Huskies, the No. 1 seed, Sparkman lost 3-2 in a close match with marvelous play from both teams. Opening with a one-pin 154-153 victory in game one, Sparkman but fell to the Huskies in game two 188-184. Sparkman won 190-179 in game three but lost 191-150 and 189-169 in the final two games.

The No. 1 seed Lady Senators advanced to the semi-finals by defeating Gadsden City 4-1 (732-422), and once in the final four, faced the James Clemens Lady Jets where they scored a 3-1 victory (667-488) making their way to the finals against third-seed Hewitt-Trussville. Facing the Huskies face-to-face was a tight match before Sparkman gave way to the Lady Huskies 3-1 (661-594).

Meanwhile, James Clemens had a tough trek to the semis with a 4-3 win over Homewood (815-795) and quickly had to tangle with their nemesis Sparkman to open the final-four matchup. In the long awaited matchup, Sparkman posted a 3-1 impressive win over James Clemens (667-488) with both teams now gearing up for the state action to be held at the Bolero Bowling Center in Mobile Feb. 1-2.

“This is the first time that all the girls on the team have advanced to the regional level and this amazing group came together as one and earned second place,” said Kristin Hartland, head coach of James Clemens. “Each bowler is unique in their bowling styles and this team is one of the most entertaining teams I have ever had the privilege to coach. Our team captain, Adelyn Speas, helped encourage the squad where there was a rollercoaster of emotions breaking each team huddle with a chant of ‘Skinny Jeans’ leading the squad throughout the action.”

For Sparkman, head coach Lisa Ivey, who has announced this is her final season of coaching since taking over the position in 2018, her teams finished first in the area and runner-up in the Regional Tournament. She said, “Both teams have dealt with a lot of adversity this year and have done a wonderful job overcoming those adversities. We are super excited to be going to the State Tournament. That in itself is a huge win for us.”

The Lady Senators had five bowlers finish among the top 10 in the individual competition led by Kirsten Stokesberry, Jr., who finished second with a 524 three-game series missing the top spot by a mere 10 pins. Jenna Webber was third with a 510 series. The talented senior is the Area 7 winner for the AHSAA Bryant-Jordan Award and is in the running for regional honors. She heads into the State Tournament with a 176 average and plans on studying biology in college at UAB where she will take a marvelous 4.5 grade point average once graduating in May. Kaytlyn Butcher was fifth (490) and Taylor Enfinger was eighth (475).

In boys action, three Sparkman bowlers posted scores among the top 10 in the North Regional. Rory Donnelly was eighth (564), Dalton Robinson, ninth (556) and Fletcher Cryer, tenth (546).

The remaining members of the Senators’ squads including their season average are: Girls- Kirsten Stokesberry, Jr. (178), Jenna Webber, Sr. (176), Natalie Alsup, Sr. (170), Taylor Enfinger, Sr. (170), Kaytlyn Butcher, Sr. (157) and Skylar Stokesberry, 8; Boys- Zacary Swaim, Sr. (206), Dalton Robinson, Jr. (192), Tyrease Bone, Sr. (163), Rory Donnelly, So. (170), Fletcher Cryer, 8 (193), Marcelle Trammell, 8.

For James Clemens, Hartland saw her Lady Jets finish fourth in the Regional led by Rebekah Wagner who was fourth individually with a 499 series. The remainder of the squad include Adelyn Speas (Captain), Ana Quick, Ana Sullivan, Emili Caldwell, Julia Sloan, Kaylee Culberson and Rebekah Langford.

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – Feb. 28, 2024

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