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BOWLING: Memphis cherishes trophy

’Jackets take regional bowling title

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Memphis girls’ bowling Coach Kim Salinaz talked all week about “bringing home the trophy” as if it was a mantra.

The chanting was still going on last weekend, but was accompanied this time by hearty chuckles.

That’s because the Yellowjackets thrilled their coach by winning a Division 4 regional bowling championship. The team returned back to Memphis from Richfield Bowl in Flint with a nice piece of hardware.

“We brought home the trophy, so we’re real excited!” Salinaz said.

The Yellowjackets made a strong run at the regional title last season but came up a big short. Salinaz used that as motivation all season to get her bowlers to buckle down.

“All year long they worked hard at what they’re doing and to see ’em come through, it’s outstanding,” Salinaz said. “I told ’em ‘you better come home with that trophy this year’ and they did.”

Salinaz gave special mention to Melissa Coots.

“I was telling my senior, Melissa, that this is your senior year. Not only did you help this team bring home the trophy in our division, you are the only senior who is bringing home the trophy and going to state (finals) as a single.”

In addition to helping Memphis compete at the Division 4 team state finals, Coots is one of three Yellowjackets that qualified for the Division 4 individual finals at Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights Friday and Saturday.

Junior Rebecca Redovian finished second – a pin out of the top spot – at the regional. Freshman Kirsten Gombos was third and Coots was fourth. New Haven’s Courtney Theisen also advanced by placing ninth. The top 10 bowlers from each regional will compete at the finals.

Salinaz wasn’t surprised Gombos excelled in her first regional tournament. Gombos and Redovian came up huge in the final game with scores of 192 and 182, respectively.

“It’s Kirsten’s first year, but she’s been a bowler for many years,” Salinaz said. “Rebecca came through in the end also.”

So, is Salinaz backing off from her “trophy” motto? Hardly. She figures anything can happen if her bowlers get hot and a state title isn’t a pipe dream.

“I believe these girls are going to place and make it to the second round,” she said. “I believe they’re going to be bowling their best.

“I would love more than anything to bring that state trophy back to Memphis. We’re a small town and I’d love to drive into town one day and see those green signs, “State bowling champions.”

Last Updated: 2/25/2013 11:21:15 AM EST