Copperas Cove sophomore Dakota Stutz walks back from the lane after throwing the bowling ball during the Central Texas District Bowling Tournament on Sunday.

The Copperas Cove girls bowling team finished third in the Central Texas District standings.

The members of that team weren’t particularly happy with that regular-season performance.

“We wanted to prove something,” said Cove sophomore Dakota Stutz. “Even though we finished in third place in districts, we wanted to prove we could win the regional tournament.”

Mission accomplished.

Led by Stutz and District Most Valuable Bowler Stephani Brown, the Lady Dawgs captured the regional crown on Sunday and advanced to the state tournament.

“The key to winning was our positive attitude,” Stutz said. “We bonded so well. We just told each other, ‘We’re winning this thing.’ And that’s what we did.”

Brown concurred.

“Our attitudes and energy were high,” she said. “We stayed positive. We didn’t even worry at all about what the other teams were doing. We just focused on ourselves and it worked out.”

Brown and Stutz also advanced to the state meet in San Antonio (March 29-20) as individuals.

Brown won the regional championship with a 207 average and Stutz finished fourth with a 183.

“I think I can do really well at state,” Brown said. “If I can keep my head in the game and stay focused, I’ll do fine.”

“Now,” said Stutz, “I’d like to try and win it all, win the state championship. I need to stay calm, listen to my coach and keep practicing.”

The Cove boys, led by James Norris, Robert Bigford and Jacob Reed, also advanced to San Antonio by winning the regional tourney.

“We were loud and had a great time,” Norris said. “If we can keep up with the hype, keep having fun, I think we’ll do very well at state.”

Norris and Bigford each advanced to state as individuals, too. Norris, with a 213 average, finished fourth in regionals and Bigford finished fifth (209).

“Making it to state as an individual is a big honor,” Bigford said. “As far as our team making it to state, from what we’ve done in the past, I feel we can do it—take state.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog at

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