Local Talent Shine At State Bowling Tournament- Sparkman Girls Finish Second
MOBILE- Both the Sparkman girls and boys teams finished among the top four at the AHSAA Class 6A/7A Bowling State Tournament with the Lady Senators finishing runner-up and the boys taking third.
Sparkman head coach Lisa Ivey, who prior to the tournament announced her retirement from the program after taking over the reins of the bowling team in 2016, saw several of her individual bowlers post excellent State Tournament performances led by state runner-up Zacary Swaim.
In boys team competition, eventual state champion Spain Park (20-2) pulled out a 4-3 win over the defending state champion Senators winning the final and deciding game 225-192 in the semi-final match. Sparkman shocked the Jags in game six winning 257-182 to force game seven in the best-of-seven series. Both teams combined to knock down 2,627 pins. Spain Park took that momentum into the finals where it defeated Thompson (16-5) 4-2 to earn the AHSAA Alabama blue map trophy as state champion.
Sparkman (21-4) made its way to the semi-final battle by defeating Gadsden City (11-4) 4-0 with a 765-692 score.
The Lady Senators knocked off defending state champion American Christian (13-2) 4-3 in the first round of the state tournament. They sealed the win with a 177-158 victory in game seven and finished with a 1,192-1,099 pin lead. Sparkman reached the finals with a 4-0 victory over Hewitt-Trussville (16-7) 685-563.
In the 6A/7A finals, undefeated Stanhope Elmore (12-0) of Millbrook took a quick 2-0 lead and held a 53-pin margin over Sparkman in the finals on the way to handing the Senators (22-2) just their second loss of the season. The Mustangs had a final 751-622 pin margin and finished off their first ever state championship with a 206-143 advantage in game four.
The James Clemens girls also made their way to the state tournament after finishing third in the North Regional. Eventual state winner Stanhope Elmore disposed of the Lady Jets in the opening round 4-0 with a pin score of 614-512. James Clemens completed its marvelous 2024 season under head coach Kristin Hartland 16-4.
In the individual competition, the Lady Jets led the way from the local teams as Rebekah Wagner finished fourth in the state action with a 574 series. She rolled games of 160-213-201. Sparkman’s Taylor Enfinger was sixth with a 538 series (190-163-185) and her teammate Jenna Webber took eighth at 529 (177-169-183).
In boys, Sparkman placed two bowlers in the top 10 led by Swaim who finished second with a 600 series including a 244 game in round three. He rolled game scores of 210-146-244. Rory Donnelly completed his play with a No. 10 placement with a 569 series (220-189-160) including being tied for the lead after game one where he rolled a 220.
The ninth annual State Tournament was held at Mobile’s Bowlero Bowling Center.