Copperas Cove High School dominated the 2014 Region V Team Bowling Tournament, winning the boys and girls events Sunday at Hallmark Lanes.
“I guess I can’t complain about anything,” said Cove head coach Jerry Stutz with a chuckle. “This is definitely what you’d call a good day.”
The Bulldawgs won their title by 53 pins over second-place San Antonio Jay.
The Lady Dawgs won their championship in a nail-biter. Cove beat runner-up San Antonio Brandeis by two pins. Central Texas District champion Harker Heights finished third, just seven pins behind Cove.
“It was especially nice to see our girls come through with this title,” Stutz said. “We only finished third in our district. But if you asked me which title I’d rather have, district or regional, then I’d say ‘regional.’
“When three teams all finish at the top of the regional tournament within seven pins, that tells you that the winner made some clutch shots.”
Bowling for the Lady Bulldawgs in the regional championship were Jessica Reed, Addie Ganyard, Ashlee Huffman, Brytni Jones, Dakota Stutz and Central Texas District Most Valuable Bowler Stephani Brown.
“The reason we did so well in this regional meet was because we kept our energy level high,” Brown said. “Our attitudes were good the whole day.”
Leading the Cove boys team were James Norris, Robert Bigford and Jacob Reed. Also making strong contributions were Nate Cerniglia, Josh Huffman, Nate Butler, Curtis Bragg and Carlton Jones.
“Our boys team closed frames,” said Coach Stutz. “Our three guys with the highest averages — Norris, Bigford and Reed — each did their job. And the rest of our guys played their roles perfectly. If anyone ever missed a shot, nobody got down.”
Both Cove teams will compete in the state meet on March 29-30 in San Antonio.
“That will be a very stressful weekend for me,” Coach Stutz said. “But I’m very excited. If our girls continue to bowl united, like they did at regionals, I see a top-four finish — no problem.
“Our boys have a shot to win it all. If they bowl like they did at regionals, they can win the state championship.”
Norris and Bigford each qualified for the individual competition of the state meet. Norris finished fourth on Sunday with a 213 average and Bigford finished fifth (209).
“I was thrilled to make it to state,” said Norris, a junior.
“I had bowled well my first three games (231, 196, 255) and so I knew I’d qualify. So the excitement of it all didn’t actually hit me until an hour after the event was through.”
“Qualifying for the state meet as a senior is quite the honor,” Bigford said. “Last year, as a junior, I made it to regionals but had a bad third game and never quite recovered. So I’m especially happy to have made it this year.”