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Flint Kearsley boys and girls repeat as Division 2 state champs WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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WATERFORD – Sometimes there are athletic achievements that rightfully leave people speechless, and that was certainly the case for anybody in or around the Flint Kearsley bowling program on Friday.

Given how fickle the sport of bowling is and how different teams seem to win the most important tournaments, what Kearsley has done the last two years is beyond comprehension.

A year after both the boys and girls teams won state titles at the same time, the Kearsley boys and girls did it again at Century Bowl on Friday, as each team repeated as Division 2 state champions.

Both also beat the same opponent in their respective championship matches, that being Bay City Western.

The boys team eked out a seven-pin victory in its championship match, rallying from 13 pins down after two Baker games and outlasting Western by 20 pins in the regular game to win by a total of 1,351-1,344.

The girls team also trailed going after two Baker games by 69 pins, but stormed back in the regular game to ultimately beat Western by a score of 1,242-1,212.

“It’s unexplainable,” Kearsley boys coach Bart Rutledge said. “I can’t even come close to explaining how it feels. Last year we were the first teams to win conference, regionals and states’, and we just did it again. We’ve got a good feeder system through the middle schools, great kids and great parents.”

In addition to Kearsley and Western, one other school had both their boys and girls programs reach the semifinals, and that was Taylor Kennedy.

The Taylor Kennedy boys team made it to the semifinals for a second straight year, but lost a close match to Kearsley in the semifinals by a score of 1,372-1,351.

“They fought to the end,” Kennedy boys coach Annette DeLong said. “None of them gave up even when it was looking gloomy.”

The girls team for Taylor Kennedy advanced to the semifinals after not qualifying last year, but fell in the semifinals to Bay City Western 1,217-1,132.

Still, it was a joy for both DeLong and Kennedy girls coach Dan Dutcher to see both teams advance to the semifinals at the same time.

“It was one of the most super-duper special years for both of them,” Dutcher said. “It’s the fifth year of us going together to states’. You die to get one there, let alone have two and get to the semis. Between the two squads, we have 11 seniors, so we are losing 11 tremendous kids.”

The other schools in the semifinals were the New Boston Huron boys team and the Charlotte girls team.

New Boston Huron had a 56 pin lead halfway through the regular game of the match following two Baker games, but couldn’t quite finish in falling to Bay City Western by a score of 1,446-1,377.

“I leaned over to a spectator and I said if we double up here and strike three out of four times, we will be allright,” New Boston Huron coach Larry Collins said. “We threw the ball great and got tapped four out of five times, but that is bowling.”

The only Oakland County schools competing were the South Lyon boys and girls teams and the Ortonville Brandon boys team.

The South Lyon girls (17th) and the Brandon boys (10th) didn’t advance out of the qualifying block, while the South Lyon boys fell in the quarterfinals to Taylor Kennedy (1,358-1,150) after finishing fourth out of the qualifying block.

Last Updated: 3/6/2015 9:25:46 PM EST


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