Cove bowlers

Robert Bigford practices Wednesday for the upcoming Texas State Bowling Championships.

Copperas Cove senior Robert Bigford finished the 2014 season in the Sweet 16 on Sunday at the Texas State Bowling Championships in San Antonio.

Bigford made the Sweet 16 by bowling a 703 series (269-222-212).

“In the last three years, I looked at making the state tournament as just an impossible dream,” Bigford said. “This year, having made it to state and then doing as well as I did was an amazing feeling.”

The top 64 bowlers in Texas squared off in the preliminary round Saturday. Bigford’s first-game score of 269 temporarily put him in second place.

“Bowling that well in the first game gave me some extra confidence that I’d make the Sweet 16,” he said.

Of his second-game score of 222, Bigford said, “I started losing my pocket shot, but I was able to adjust.”

Bigford’s 703 series made him the No. 7 seed in the Sweet 16.

“I was pretty proud of myself when they announced my name as the No. 7 seed,” he said. “Then, unfortunately, my nerves got the best of me.”

Bigford was eliminated in the first round of match play.

“But I wasn’t upset about that,” he said. “My goal was to make the cut into the final 16 and anything after that would have just been a bonus. I didn’t win state but I came close to that, so I have no regrets.”

Bigford impressed Cove head coach Jerry Stutz.

“Robert has really improved over the past two years,” Stutz said. “I actually expected him to make the Sweet 16 in San Antonio. I was proud of him for the way he bowled this season. He did a great job.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog at KDHPressbox.com

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