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Eagles capture first-ever Section Three bowling title
The Cocalico High School bowling team came into the season with a goal to finish with single-digit losses.
The Eagles had never done that before, and certainly had never won a section title in the history of the program.
But Monday afternoon at Dutch Lanes in the Section Three finale vs. Lampeter-Strasburg, the Eagles checked both off their bucket list following a 7-0 victory over the Pioneers.
With the shutout win, the Eagles closed out the season with a record of 82-9. More importantly, they clinched their first-ever Section Three title with the win.
“It was fantastic to see,” Cocalico Coach Bryan Miller said Tuesday. “These kids set a goal for themselves the whole year not to go below double-digit losses. That was their goal, and they did it. It’s amazing what kids will do when they are challenged to get themselves better. For my kids to do what they did, we as coaches are ecstatic.”
Miller said he felt his team was quite capable of having a good season, but the end results exceeded even his expectations.
“I thought we could have a good year, but I didn’t anticipate we would only lose nine points,” he said. “I felt we had good kids and they’ve really been working hard this whole year so their hard work definitely paid off.
“I really think the kids all gelled together. We had good chemistry the whole year and they just never gave up. They kept fighting and really had a good time with each other while they were doing it.”
Individually, senior co-captains Drew Myers (204 average) and Eric Buckwalter (191) set the tone.
“Those two just never let the kids give up and it was actually their goal of not losing double digits,” Miller said.
Junior Chris Muraco, who had the highest average on the season at 212, and sophomore KC Miller (179) joined Myers and Buckwalter as a solid core of four.
“Chris has been bowling fantastic for us this whole year, and KC also has been bowling fantastic this whole year,” Miller said.
What turned this team into a championship squad, according to Miller, was its depth. A total of 10 different bowlers contributed in section matches throughout the season.
“It’s just been a lot of individuals…we’ve been able to bring in different key kids and get them a lot of games,” Miller said. And I think that’s what makes it great.
“It wasn’t just five or six kids that really did well…We had 10 of them that we could just put them in anytime and you knew that they were going to be able to get themselves lined up and strike.”
In winning the Section Three title, Cocalico also qualified for the upcoming L-L League Championships, which will be held Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Cain’s Lanes in Manheim.
The Eagles will meet the yet-to-be-determined second-place finisher from Section Two in the quarterfinals, which begin at 9 a.m.
“It’s going to get tougher,” Miller said of the competition at leagues. “Section One and Section Two really have some good teams…everyone’s averages are all right up there so it’s just a matter of seeing who can get hot at the right time. But I think we can compete with all of the teams.”