Eagles repeat as bowling champs

By on February 7, 2018
The Cocalico High School bowling team, pictured after Monday’s win, captured it’s second-straight Section Three championship.

The Cocalico High School bowling team, pictured after Monday’s win, captured it’s second-straight Section Three championship.

Last year, the Cocalico bowling team was an impressive 82-9 to capture Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon league regular season.

They lost six seniors, three of which were primary starters.

So the goal, of course, was to do better this year. And with 7-0 victories Monday against second place Manheim Central and Tuesday versus Lebanon Catholic, the Eagles did just that, finishing the 2017-18 campaign at 89-2 and securing another section crown.

“It means a lot,” explained senior tri-captain Chris Muraco, while sitting behind lane three in their home house at Dutch Lanes in Akron. “Last year we won, and we weren’t expecting to win it all. We were just bowling. Trying to do our best. And then we won. We were just trying to do better and win the section again.”

Muraco led a balanced attack Tuesday against an undermanned Beaver team by rolling a three-game series of 614 with a 216 single score. Sophomore Hunter Keller had the high single on the day with a 241 in game three to boost his triple to 572.

Junior tri-captain KC Miller, who came into the meet with a section best girls’ average of 187, season section best single of 266 and season section best series of 704, rolled a 203 (531). Sophomore Ty Current also rolled all three games at 180 (512).

Senior tri-captain Hayley Keller (165), senior Sarah Funk (152) and senior Ben Weaver (105) all bowled single games to complete the Cocalico scoring at 2,651 pins in nearly doubling the Lebanon Catholic total of 1,362. The Beavers were forced to compete with only four bowlers.

Hunter Keller led the Eagles’ Monday win over the Barons with a 230 single and 616 series.

Ten seniors were honored before Tuesday’s match, their final dual meet of the regular season. One of them, Hayley Keller, said she was really proud of the team.

“Four years ago, we didn’t win as much,” she said. “But we still had fun. I think it’s more gratifying to win. I’m proud of everyone who put in the hard work to get here.”

KC Miller also attributed the closeness felt by the roster of 25 to the team’s success.

“We bonded as a team,” she said. “We all worked really well together, and we knew just what to say to bring someone up.”

KC’s father Bryan is the head coach of this band of nearly undefeated Section Three bowlers.

“We were very deep last year,” he said. “And we got deeper this year as far as the caliber of the players that we have. Everybody worked very hard. They achieved the goal that they wanted. They wanted to beat last year’s record.”

And the Eagles aren’t finished. Next Wednesday (Feb 14) is the L-L League team tournament at Rocky Springs, with the top two teams from each of four sections. The next day (Feb 15) is the girls’ singles tourney at Clearview and February 16 is the conclusion of the L-L events with the boys at “The Dutch.”

Coach Miller says there is still work to do.

“We can definitely do better on spare shooting,” he said. “We’re going to be bowling teams with higher averages than us. We’re going to have to make up pins where we can.”

“Last year, we were eliminated in the first round,” explained Muraco, when asked about the team competition. “Hopefully, we can go farther than that.”

“I want to win one singles tournament,” added KC Miller. “I’ve bowled for 13 years and I don’t have a title. I’m peaking at the right time. I feel like it’s about time I take one.”

As good as this year’s team is, the cupboard is still stocked for next year and beyond.

“Yep (a lot of talent coming back),” agreed coach Miller, on completing his sixth year at the helm. “I have younger kids that are coming up that I see on Saturday mornings (at Dutch Lanes and Berks Lanes). We’re excited. We’re ecstatic.”

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