Simply Speechless…For a GREAT reason.
Joe Laidler you were almost right. My words to start this bowling season were, “I don’t think we will be winning any tournaments this year, but I would like to place in some!”
Well, eat my words and I am happy to! The boys work hard and sometimes fall a little short. Take last Wednesday, for example. We got beat because we didn’t bowl very well to start the night. At the end of the match, after taking the final 11 straight points, I suggested they take it out on the next team they bowl. They did just that.
Pride doesn’t describe today’s experience. It was my first big win as a coach of 3 years and not only were my boys winning, but the girls were as well! This Wildcat was like a severe case of attention deficit disorder without meds. My legs wouldn’t stay still. I was pacing in place rocking back and forth like I had a little baby in my arms. I was so excited for those boys. Man, this was fun!
We finished our first match in 6th place and hung on until the end of the qualifying round.
Game 1: Alex Marble led us off and delivered a 182 game. I have to keep telling myself that this kid is just beginning as a sophomore this year and has so many more skills to develop and I think, WOW. Joe Laidler started the second game and went 9 frames and Christian Courser came after the 9th frame so I could see what he had before I put him in the second game. Well, Christian Courser came in and put 3 balls in the pocket – striking out for a 143 game. Bryan Franck was looking really good with his 196 (did you know this kid loves to bowl?). We welcomed our anchor, Dillon Smith, back from an illness all week with a 189. Team total was 889.
Game 2: We started out a little slower in this game and I was hoping they would finish strong. They nearly matched the previous total with a 874. This wasn’t strong enough to move up in the ranks, but enough to hold on to 6th place.
Now we had 6 Baker games to fill. We really wanted to move up in the ranks. This team works so well together (most of the time) as they were communicating their moves on the lanes as they impressed opposing team parents around me with their good sportsmanship. We had 6 Baker games which were 173, 212, 139 (ouch), 148, 149, and 212. We made only one little line up change in the middle of these matches and it was a good decision today. Bryan Frank did a tremendous job as anchor bowler to finish the day. We were still in 6th place. Oh my gosh – we made the cuts!!!
We were to face the 3rd place team in the first match of two Baker games with total pins to take the win. We were matched against Lowell, who hosted the tournament. I believe Lowell won the state tournament two years ago and this team always places bowlers in the top ten for the all tournament team. Oh boy, this would be a tough match! I am happy to say we won the first Baker game 209 – 182. Astoundingly, we were up by 27 pins! Oh don’t let up boys! Baker game 2 was by a better pin margin as we won 182-136. Unreal, now another Baker game. Who would we face?
We faced Fowler, a team I don’t know anything about. My dad, Frank Rybiski, hoped we would win as that would give him bragging rights next week Friday where he bowls in Lansing twice a month. Well, Frank, you can brag twice as the boys and girls were both facing Fowler and won! Baker game one of this round was Wayland 203 – Fowler 155. Oh thank you for not stressing me out as we were up 48 pins. That is a pretty good cushion for one game, but you never know….. Baker game two we actually lost 172-183. Thank goodness we had a big cushion of extra pins so we took the win easily.
Holy cow! We would be bowling for 1st place. Since I have coached, we have never been in this place! I don’t even think we finished above 4th since I have coached. You would have to go back to the era of Paul Goodwin, Brady Forcier, Rickey Marcus Jr., Steve Marcus, Dakota Wraight, and I didn’t coach then so I don’t know who I missed. I had most of these boys in class so we would talk bowling even back then!
Wellsprings Prep had just beaten a well-coached Class A Jenison team. Our girls were facing our neighbor Hopkins. What a fun finals match to come. heard some Wellsprings Prep fans in the background making worried comments about Wayland being a good team (yeah!) Thank goodness this happened fast as there wasn’t any time to get nervous. One way to prepare is just rely on the routines you have developed. Championship Baker Match Game 1 went to Wayland 164-111. Again we found ourselves in the lead after the first Baker game. This game we only found ourselves up by 23 pins. If we faltered that would be easy for a good team to overcome. That last match was an exciting one, but we came ahead 213-192.
This was an outstanding win for the Wayland boys TEAM. The reason I say TEAM is that not one of our bowlers placed in the top ten individually (although I don’t expect that to last long – we plan on breaking through that as well). This was just that – a TEAM win!
Teams that participated in this tournament: Jenison, Lowell, Wellsprings Prep, Kolloggsville, Hopkins, Fowler, Forest Hills Eastern, Pesamo-Westphalia, West Catholic, and WAYLAND!
|Wayland High School||1st||0|
Simply Speechless…For a GREAT reason.