This will be a busy weekend for Ellison High School bowling head coach Karin Ciesiolka.
“I’m excited yet nervous,” she said. “Most of all, I am really eager to see some great bowling.”
Both the Lady Eagles and Eagles will compete in San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday for the state bowling championship.
In addition, Ciesiolka’s star bowler, senior Jordan Garza, is one of 64 boys who will clash for the singles title.
“I think Jordan has a wonderful chance to win it all,” Ciesiolka said. “As long as he stays relaxed and remains very confident in himself, he can be the state champ.”
Garza finished second in the Region V Championship on March 2 with a 221 average.
“Mentally, I’m prepared for San Antonio,” Garza said. “Practices have been really good. Basically, I think the key for me is to not over-think anything. You don’t have to be perfect. Not every shot you throw will be a strike. But I’ll be giving it my best shot to win it.
“I am grateful that my coach has a lot of confidence in me. That means a lot to me.”
Ciesiolka also expressed her confidence in the entire Ellison boys team. Besides Garza, she’s banking on Christian Trinidad, Justin Pusateri, Jeffrey Stamp, Hunter Vann, Cameron Thomas and Derrick King.
The Eagles rallied from sixth place to take third in regionals.
“Our boys needed to make a great comeback and they did,” Ciesiolka said. “They knew they needed to make the top four to qualify for San Antonio and they rallied to make it happen. Now, as long as they stay together as a team, I fully expect them to finish as one of the top eight teams in the state. They have the ability to do it.”
The Lady Eagles are led by sophomore Samantha Kriner who missed qualifying for state as an individual by just 20 total pins. The Lady Eagles finished fourth in regionals.
“We struggled a little bit in the beginning of regionals,” Kriner said.
“Then Coach Karin got us going with the right coaching. She encouraged us and we finished strong.”
“I was ecstatic with our fourth-place finish,” Ciesiolka said.
“I thought this would be a tough year for our girls but instead they pulled through beautifully.”
Besides Kriner, the members of the Lady Eagles are Hayley Brooks, Donna Skinner, Ceasia Saxon, Marjerie Castro, Brianna Walker and Brigette Ayers.
“Once we get to state, the key for us will be to remember what got us there,” Kriner said.
“We made it by working together, communicating well, watching each other’s ball and, most importantly, by being enthusiastic.”