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BOWLING: Seven Downriver schools earn bowling league championships (PHOTOS)

Here are members of the Kennedy (left) and Woodhaven high school girls bowling teams, 2013-2014 co-champions of Downriver League bowling. Photos by Dave Gorgon

Here are members of the Trenton (left) and Wyandotte Roosevelt high school boys bowling teams, 2013-2014 co-champions of Downriver League bowling.

Seven Downriver high schools have earned varsity bowling league championships.

The undefeated 13-0 boys from Gabriel Richard and the undefeated 13-0 girls from Cabrini are champions of the Catholic League West Division.

The unbeaten 13-0 Huron Red boys team captured top honors in the Huron League, which concludes play on Wednesday.

And four teams shared the title in the Downriver League. Kennedy and Woodhaven tied for the girls championship. Trenton and Wyandotte Roosevelt are co-champs in the boys league.

Post-season play gets under way on Friday with regional team tournaments across the state. Schools are divided into four divisions based on student count. The top three teams at each regional site advance to the state finals on February 28.

Singles regional tournaments are scheduled for Saturday. The top 10 individual bowlers at each site advance to the state finals on March 1.

From this area, Division 1 teams from Woodhaven, Southgate Anderson, Wyandotte Roosevelt and Dearborn Heights Crestwood will bowl at Woodhaven Lanes.

Division 2 teams from Truman, Kennedy, Trenton, Huron, Riverview, Romulus and Dearborn Heights Annapolis will bowl at Skore Lanes in Taylor.

Division 3 teams are divided into two bowling centers. Flat Rock and Dearborn Heights Robichaud will bowl at Flat Rock Lanes. Cabrini will host and bowl at Cherry Hill Lanes in Dearborn Heights.

The only Downriver team in Division 4 is defending state champion Gabriel Richard, which bowls this weekend at Airport Lanes in East Jackson.

“We’re looking forward to the regionals and the finals,” Coach Bob Stempien said. “We hope to bowl well.”

The GR boys have 30 wins in a row in the Catholic League West Division, including 13-0 this year en route to their second straight division title.

Last Saturday, they competed in the Catholic League Tournament at Oak Lanes in Westland, earned the top seed and defeated Cabrini in the quarterfinals before falling in the last frame of the semifinals to University of Detroit-Jesuit. Novi Catholic Central went on to defeat U of D for the league championship.

Three Pioneers – seniors Zack Stempien and Zach Barr and sophomore Austin Stempien – earned All-Catholic honors based on their performance in the preliminary round. Zack Stempien placed fourth among all boys with a three-game 649 series. Barr was seventh with 642 and Austin Barr was eighth with a 642 series.

Sophomore Austin Kraemer, who led the West Division with a 202 average and bowled two recent 300 games, was named All-League and junior Christian O’Callaghan earned an All-Academic Leadership award. Gabriel Richard also earned the Tier 2 trophy as the highest-seeded smaller Catholic League school.

Despite being the defending state champions, the Pioneers are ranked 10th in the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association poll.

The Cabrini boys were seeded eighth in the Catholic League tournament. The Monarchs, who were second at 10-3 in the West Division, saw junior Jacob Pilkington selected to the All-League team and brother Nick Pilkington was named All-Academic.

The Cabrini girls defeated Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard last week to remain undefeated and their third straight Catholic League West Division title. In Saturday’s Catholic League Tournament, the Monarchs earned the Tier 2 league trophy and a sixth seed after the morning bowl before being knocked out by third seed Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. Farmington Hills Mercy defeated Macomb Regina for the girls title.

Junior Alex Dickinson, who led the West girls with a 161 average, bowled a 223 and a 518 series in the Catholic League Tournament and was named to the All-Catholic team. Junior Mary Goodrich was named All-League. And senior Melanie Ryles was named All-Academic.

The Cabrini girls, now ranked third in the state bowling coaches’ poll, play this weekend in the Division 3 regional tournament at Cherry Hill Lanes in Dearborn Heights.

“I told our kids they have to come out of the gate fast,” said Coach Paul Ferraiuolo. “If they bowl to their potential, this could be a very special weekend.”

A third undefeated Downriver team is the Huron Red boys squad, one of two varsity teams from Huron High School. The Chiefs (13-0) conclude Huron League play on Wednesday against the second-place Huron White (9-4) team at Flat Rock Lanes.

Carleton Airport has a half game lead over Flat Rock in the Huron League varsity girls division. Airport (11-2) plays Milan Red (7-5-1) on Wednesday. Flat Rock (10-2-1) plays Dundee (4-9). Flat Rock is the defending league champion and won the state championship two years ago.

The championships in the Downriver League were decided on the position day of bowling on Thursday at Skore Lanes.

Woodhaven girls ended Kennedy’s unbeaten season – and two-year winning streak – with a thrilling, come-from-behind 16-14 victory. The result avenged an earlier defeat to the Eagles. Both teams finished 5-1 in the Downriver League (10-1 overall) and as co-champions.

Woodhaven anchor Serena Belenger continued her strong senior season, while teammate Hannah Hatala bowled five straight strikes to lead the win.

Woodhaven Coach Justin Krolak said he was pleased that a Division 1 (Woodhaven) and 2 (Kennedy) school shared the league championship and that they would not have to face each other in the regional tournament.

The league championship was the fourth straight for the Kennedy girls. Woodhaven’s previous league title came in 2009-2010.

Wyandotte Roosevelt and Trenton are co-champions of the Downriver League boys division.

Coming into position day, three boys teams – defending champion Roosevelt, Kennedy and Trenton – were 4-1 and all three had a shot at the Downriver League title.

Trenton rolled over Truman to earn at least a share of the championship. And Roosevelt stunned Kennedy to earn its second straight league crown.

Roosevelt and Kennedy wound up 5-1. The Bears were 10-1 overall, including non-league matches with Western Wayne Athletic Conference rivals, while Trenton was 9½-1½ overall. Kennedy finished at 4-2 in the league, 8-2 overall.



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Last Updated: 2/23/2014 1:05:40 AM EST

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