The Cen-Tex All-District Bowling Team took first place in state on Saturday in College Station.

“The key to our winning this state title was that we picked up our spares and stayed together as a team,” said Cen-Tex head coach Tom Christie.

On this virtual area all-star team were Copperas Cove’s Stephani Brown and Dakota Stutz, Harker Heights’ Sierra Ciesiolka and Maya Dixon-Dates, Ellison’s Samantha Kriner and Killeen’s Amanda Morgan.

“Since we weren’t on the same team all season, it was really important that we come together in this tournament,” said Ciesiolka. “We needed to encourage each other. As it turned out, we ended up being one bowling family.”

There were 16 district teams total competing. Cen-Tex easily made it into the round of eight. From there, Cen-Tex won two matches, advancing to the finals. Waiting for Cen-Tex was Dallas North A.

In 2013, Dallas North A won this event after defeating Cen-Tex in the finals. Kriner was part of that 2013 Cen-Tex squad which finished second.

“Samantha gave us a big pep talk before we started the finals,” Ciesiolka said. “Since Dallas beat us last year, Samantha said we should show them how much Cen-Tex has improved in one year.”

“It was important that we stayed motivated,” Kriner said. “We wanted to show everyone that we were better this year—and we were.”

In the best-of-three match, Cen-Tex won the first contest, Dallas the second. Cent-Tex won the decisive game by a comfortable margin of 50 pins.

“We trusted our coach, Mr. Christie, to put us in the right spots,” Kriner said. “We listened to him completely.”

“I told the girls that I believed in them,” Christie said. “I told them that if they followed my instructions, nobody would beat them. They were very motivated and worked together as one championship team.”

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

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