We've moved! To view our most current content, click here.
All Bowling Stories


BOWLING: For first time, Kennedy bowlers sweep Wayne County Tournament (PHOTOS)

Game Info

Related Articles

>> View more news

For the first time, Kennedy High School varsity bowlers swept the boys and girls championships of the Wayne County Bowling Tournament.

The Kennedy varsity boys went from barely qualifying for the quarterfinals of the highly competitive tournament to defeating Plymouth Salem for in the finals by 77 pins, 213-201, 225-165—438-366.

Meanwhile, the girls were more than 200 pins behind top-seeded Westland John Glenn during qualifying play – the same John Glenn team that knocked them out of last year’s tournament. But when the two teams met in the bracket title game, the Eagles sent the Rockets flying by 120 pins, 196-121, 298-153—394-274.

It all made for an emotional day for the Kennedy contingent, which has a history of performing well in the county tournament at Cherry Hill Lanes in Dearborn Heights, but had never won both titles in the same season.

“It is very emotional,” said boys Coach Annette DeLong. “It doesn’t matter what the score is, it doesn’t matter how many strikes you have in a row, it doesn’t matter how many pins you’re ahead by. It only takes one frame and you home that one frame doesn’t come. Today, it never came.”

Twenty-one teams competed in the varsity boys tournament, along with 18 schools on the girls’ side. In the morning round, five bowlers on each team rolled three regular games and two Baker games with the top eight teams qualifying for the tiered roll-offs in the afternoon.

Plymouth Canton placed first in the qualifying round of the boys tournament with 4024 total pins. Among Downriver schools, Gabriel Richard placed third (3871), Wyandotte Roosevelt’s A team was fifth (3801) and Kennedy was sixth (3745). Huron Red and White, Flat Rock, Wyandotte B, Romulus, Woodhaven and Cabrini did not finish among the top eight.

Gabriel Richard sophomore Austin Kraemer led all bowlers in the morning round with an 819 series, including a perfect 300 game sandwiched between a 274 and a 245. (See related story.) Roosevelt sophomore Cory Coffey was second with 248-212-289—749. And Kennedy senior Chris DeLong was third with 254-234-243—731.

Chase Von Drak of Romulus placed sixth (220-220-257—697). Zack Stempien of Gabriel Richard was 11th (202-246-215—663). Aaron Wojtylko of Flat Rock was 14th (224-225-205—654). Tyler Jackson of Flat Rock was 19th (178-235-216—629).

Kennedy knocked out Gabriel Richard in the quarterfinal Baker games, 211-232—443 to 190-167—357, while Roosevelt was eliminated by Salem, 214-192—406 to 170-140—310.

In the semifinals, the Eagles ousted University of Detroit-Jesuit 220-225—445 to 186-190—376, while Canton fell to Salem, 237-246—483 to 203-214—417.

In the championship match, Kennedy opened with four strikes and closed with three strikes by DeLong in the 10th frame for a 213-201 win. The second game was a 226-165 route.

Bowling for Kennedy in the finals were Klayton Williams, Coleman Kirk, Michael Jones, Tyler Heaberlin and DeLong. Also bowling throughout the day were Tyler Maffesoli, Lucas Crider, Jacob Brophy, Jeremy Bedo and Cody West.

The county tournament title was the second in three years for the Kennedy boys. It was their second tourney win of the season after taking the inaugural Huron Holiday Classic title in December.

“It feels great,” Chris DeLong said. “In my four years, we’ve won this twice. It’s the biggest tournament we play in with the most teams. There is more competition and so many of our rivals are here.”

DeLong said the Eagles had to overcome a shaky start just to qualify for the bracket round.

“Once we get to head to head, we just come through,” he said. “I think we’re a solid team. We’ve got a lot of depth. I definitely try to do my best all the time, especially in big tournaments like this. Today was my day. I had a lot of carries.”

In the girls tournament, Westland Glenn took the top seed with 3610 pins in the qualifying round. Kennedy was second (3386), Woodhaven fifth (3068), Flat Rock sixth (3050) and Huron seventh (3032). Cabrini, Romulus and Gabriel Richard fell short of qualifying for the bracket round.

Among individual bowlers, Woodhaven’s Serena Belanger was second only to Julia Hureon of John Glenn. She rolled games of 246, 201 and 178 for a 625 series. Kennedy’s Morgan Alexis (225-147-200—572) and Becca West (183-173-213—569) placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Madison Simmers of Huron was ninth (189-194-172—555).

Hanna Hatala of Woodhaven was 13th (187-170-178—535). Holly McQuithey of Flat Rock was 15th (194-161-177—532). Brandie Wallace of Huron was 16th (164-190-174—528). And Jordan Bonner of Flat Rock was 20th (189-188-144—521).

In the quarterfinals, Kennedy edged Huron, 180-147—327 to 146-156—302. Woodhaven defeated Wayne Memorial, 180-231—411 to 166-160—326. Flat Rock fell short to Belleville, 170-204—374 to 192-144—336.

In a semifinal matchup, Kennedy came from behind to oust Belleville, 188-224—412 to 213-169—382. Westland Glenn, which coasted past Canton in the quarterfinals, defeated Woodhaven, 216-213—429 to 181-171—352, to advance to the finals.

The championship game was no contest. Kennedy had a 40-pin lead after seven frames of the first game and won by 75, 196-121. The second game was nearly as lopsided with the Eagles winning by 55, 198-153.

Bowling in the finals for Kennedy were Alyssa Segura, Melissa Woloszyk, Andrea Claypool, West and Alexis. Also contributing throughout the day were Anna Hudak, June Bedo and twin sisters Kylie and Kayla Reno.

“Today was just our day,” Alexis said. “Everything was going our way. We were all there. We were all supporting each other and we just had luck on our side.”

Kennedy girls Coach Dan Dutcher admitted he was “emotionally drained. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Kennedy was just the second school to sweep the boys and girls championships at the county tournament. Flat Rock won both titles in 2011.

In the nine-year history of the county tournament, Kennedy’s girls team has won three times (2008, 2010 and 2014) and finished runner-up three times (2007, 2009 and 2012).

Dutcher credited “preparation” and the bowlers’ desire to carry on the “heritage and tradition” of Kennedy bowling.

“They’ve been so hungry,” he said. “For both teams to finally take home the championship together after being so close many times before is very special.”

Last Updated: 1/21/2014 3:04:33 PM EST