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2011 All-Area Bowling: This group knocks them down with precision

| April 17, 2011 | Comments (3)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

The sport of high school bowling is less than a decade old in Michgian and the level of play has grown considerably since it’s since its debut in 2003-04.

GETTING INTO THE ZONE: Oxford's Heather Lafnear is a repeat member of the All-Area Bowling Team. donated Photo | Kirk Bearse, Wildcats Den Photography

The scores and averages have gradually improved and so has the depth of various leagues around the state, as more and more schools are jumping into the fray and interest peaks.

On this year’s www.northoaklandsports.com All-Area squad, you can see the talent suiting up at area alleys, including several individuals that advance to the state meet. It is one talented bunch.

Below are the profiles of all of boys and girls named to the first team, as selected by NOS staff in conjunction with area coaches.

GIRLS

CAITLIN STEBBINS, Clarkston: While Clarkston made the state meet as a team, Stebbins missed the individual finals by just one pin after coming in 11th at the Farmington regional. The senior three-year varsity veteran posted a 190 average, was 22nd (528) at the Oakland County meet and consistently was among the leaders at dual meets. Stebbins earned All-OAA First Team honors. She had a high game of 228 and her series best was 446.

“She’s very steady, pretty consistent and even under pressure bowled well,” said coach Elanor Hallman. “She was our anchor bowler.”

ERIKA NOWAK, Clarkston: This junior had a fine day at the regional, leading the Wolves to the team title and placed fifth (1,079) in the individual standings. The All-
OAA Second Team honoree was 16th at the county meet (545) and averaged 178 for the campaign.  She was 52nd at the Division 1 state meet (957). She had a high game of 255 and a high series of 426.

“She was often our No. 2 or No. 3 player this season and next year she’s going to be a one of the go-to players for us,” said Hallman. “She was another player this season that was very consistent and a reason why we did so well.”

STEPHANIE LAVELY, Clarkston: Lavely stepped up her game during several of the bigger meets, including placing second at the regional. She averaged 188 in the OAA to gain first-team all-league status, had a high game of 242 and a high series of 446.She also claimed 21st at the county (531) and was 37th (997) at the Division 1 state singles meet.

“She had several top-10s for us this season and some really good tournament scores,” said Hallman.

ALICE MEYER, Clarkston: After not playing as a junior, Meyer came back as a senior and had a solid campaign as an individual state qualifier. She was 33rd (1,008) at the Division 1 state finals and ninth (1,053) at the Farmington regional. She came on slow the first half of the season, which is why she averaged only 164 in the OAA and her league best game was only 199, but was at her best at the tournaments in the final month. She was also 38th (473) at the county out of 134 competitors.

“Having her back after not playing last season was a huge blessing,” said Hallman. “She gave us a fourth really strong bowler and helped us win the regional and make it to the state meet. She also qualified as an individual, which was a bonus for her.”

HEATHER LAFNEAR, Oxford: A junior in her third season of varsity play, Lafnear continued to excel even though her team dipped into a rebuilding campaign. She had the high series at the county meet (61)and the sixth-highest game at the county (225). She placed fifth at the regional (1,127) to advance to the state finals for the second straight season. She had a high game of 237 and a high series of 441 in the OAA, where she earned first-team all-league honors. She averaged 194 in the conference and 197 overall with a season-best high game of 267. She placed 36th at the D-1 state singles competition (1,001).

“\She was high girl qualifier in 3 separate tournaments this year, the Farmington Early bird, Oakland County and Davison Doubles,” said coach J.R. Lafnear. “She was bowling on a very bad knee. Her high game of the year was 267. She had a 441 two-game series and a 643 three-game series. She has a solid 3.17 GPA.”

KATE GLADSTONE, Lake Orion: Gladstone was a steady performer all year, but the junior rose the occasion at the Division 1 state singles tournament. She advanced all the way to the title match before falling to Portage Central’s Tori Ferris. She was fourth at the Farmington regional to advance to the state finals. Gladstone was also fourth in the singles at the county (1,109) and had the fourth highest series (494) and seventh highest game at the county. She was named to the All-OAA First Team and the Division 1 All-State Second Team after posting a 188 average. Her bests were 236 for a game and 416 for a series this season.

“Kate just worked hard and became much more consistent this season,” said coach Kevin Crowther. “At the end of the year, she really started to come into her won, making her way to the state title match. That’s the best anyone at Lake Orion has ever done and I don’t know how many girls in the OAA have ever reached the finals. We’re hoping she can come back next year work hard and have a great senior season.”

COLLEEN WALTERS, Oxford: With the Wildcats graduating four of their top six from last year’s team that finished in the top 10 in the state in Division 2, Walters was one of the two holdovers that helped Oxford transition over to the OAA and up to Division 1 for state competition. Named to the All-OAA Second Team, Walters averaged 183.4 in league duals, eighth best, and had a high game of 215 and a high series of 411. She was 11th overall at the county (559) and had the 10th-highest game at the county (215).

“She won 14 out of 20 matches she bowled in,” said coach Lafnear. “She had a 24-pin improvement over last year.”

MELISSA KING, Troy: This senior missed the cut for the state meet, but still had a respectable season. The All-OAA Second Team honoree averaged 189 in the league, seventh best, where she posted a high game of 269 and a high series of 472. At the county, she placed 23rd (5,129) and was top-25 at the Sterling Heights regional.

BOYS-FIRST TEAM

JOSH HULTEN, Troy: Hulten was the sole holdover from the Colts’ top-10 team in 2010 and still had some fine tournament finishes to keep his first-team all-area status.  He was fifth at the Oakland County singles competition (690) and also had the fifth-best individual game (268). He was 11th at the Division 1 Sterling Heights regional, just missing the state-meet cut. He only averaged 180 in OAA meets, far below his overall average that included tournaments.

KYLE MADAK, Troy Athens: Madak earned second-team status in the OAA with a 208.6 average in league competition, good for 10th overall. He was top-30 at the Sterling Heights regional and county meets as well.

NICK COOPER, Clarkston: The most dominant bowler in the area the past three years, Copper earned a repeat slot on the All-Area squad after a fine senior season and four-year career at Clarkston. He was named to the All-State Dream Team and to the Division 1 All-state First Team after qualifying for the state singles competition for the third straight year. He was advanced out of the qualifying block and reached the Round of 16 at the finals, after reaching the quarterfinals last season and finishing as the state champions as a sophomore. He was 11th at the county (662), placed fourth at the regional and averaged 226 in the OAA in league competition, best in the league.

“Nick had a fantastic career at Clarkston,” said coach Rodney Pierson.  “He was our Team MVP and I think the top player in our league. Nick was a great leader for us. I look back at what he accomplished in his career and few kids have his resume. Nick was (top-20) at a lot of tournaments in his career and (top-16) at the state meet the past three years.”

MIKE BRUMITT, Lake Orion: A junior in his second varsity season, Brumitt averaged 204 in the OAA to earn all-conference second-team honors. He had a high of 220 in the league and a 492 series in the OAA. At the county meet, he was 14th (653) with the 19th-best high game (214). He earned All-OAA Third-Team honors.

“He bowled more games in the league than anyone on our team and was really consistent,” said coach Kevin Crowther. “He might not have had the highest games or series, but we knew we could always count on Mike to be one of our top bowlers at every meet. You knew what you were going to get from him.”

KEVIN YANG, Lake Orion: Moving up from honorable mention all-area last year to first team, Yang posted a 196 average in the league to earn third team honors in the OAA. He held a tournament average of 208 this season and placed 20th at the county (635) and 22nd at the Division 1 Farmington regional.

“Kevin was really solid for us this season and I think he was even better and tournaments than in duals and his averages showed that,” said Crowther. “He stepped up for us this season.”

TRAE BONDS, Lake Orion: This senior had an off day at the regional, but had some exceptional games throughout the regular season. His 275-267—542 against Oxford was the best outing in the entire OAA this season. The All-OAA Second Team selection averaged 206 in the league and was top-25 at the county.

“Trae just had that one bad day at the regional. Other than that he was really solid this season and one of our best bowlers the past couple of years,” said Crowther.

BRIAN BILLUPS, Clarkston: Billups was not in the top-10 at any tournaments this season, but the first-year varsity performer came on strong in his junior campaign to help the Wolves place high at the league, county and regional meets. The All-OAA Third-Team honoree averaged 202 in league play and was top-25 at the regional and top-40 at the county meet in a field of over 100 bowlers.

“He was extremely confident for a first-year bowler,” said Pierson. “I was pleasantly surprised on how well he did and how he improved this season.”

COACH OF THE YEAR

ELANOR HALLMAN, Clarkston: Hallman’s second season with the Wolves was a bit unusual as the team had only five varsity bowlers and no depth. Yet Hallman inspired her team to shine the whole season to post the best campaign in the eight years of the program.

Clarkston finished a perfect 10-0 in the Oakland Activities Association and also won the league meet for the overall conference crown. The Wolves also won the regional (3,520) by 16 pins, finished second in the qualifying block at the Oakland County meet (3254) and reached the quarterfinals. At the Division 1 state finals, the Wolves were 16th (2,843).

Clarkston had a team high of 990 in league duals and averaged 886, both tops in the OAA Red Division.

“Last year we tied for second in the league, but we were not even close qualifying for states,” said Hallman. “This year we picked up one new girl who didn’t bowl last season and the five girls just handled the pressure of having to perform every meet and we had a great season.”

2011 ALL-AREA BOWLING TEAM

GIRLS-FIRST TEAM

Kate Gladstone                    Lake Orion

Melissa King                          Troy

Heather Lafnear                  Oxford

Stephanie Lavely                Clarkston

Alice Meyer                          Clarkston

Erika Novak                          Clarkston

Caitlin Stebbins                   Clarkston

Colleen Walters                   Oxford

BOYS-FIRST TEAM

Brian Billups                          Clarkston

Trae Bonds                             Lake Orion

Mike Brumitt                         Lake Orion

Nick Cooper                          Clarkston

Josh Hulten                           Troy

Kyle Madak                            Troy Athens

Kevin Yang                            Lake Orion

COACH OF THE YEAR

Elanor Hallman                    Clarkston

GIRLS HONORABLEMENTIONS

Auburn Hills Oakland Christian: Marissa Grudzinski, sr.; Clarkston: Danielle Hopkins, soph.; Lake Orion: Alicia Babicz, soph.; Becca Mix, soph.; Casey Baryla, jr.; Kendra Stankiewicz, soph.; Oxford: Alex Logan, soph.; Troy: Beth Dahlke, jr.; Troy Athens: Becca Boutelier, jr.

BOYS HONORABLE MENTIONS

Auburn Hills Oakland Christian: Joshua Prantera, sr.; Clarkston: Erik Wagner, fr.; Zach Farough, sr.; Lake Orion: Trevor Mielock, sr.; Oxford: Brandon Barber, soph.; Troy: Jeff Peltier, jr.; Troy Athens: Andrew Strzyzewski, sr.; Ben Nelson, sr.

To submit information to www.northoaklandsports.com, e-mail dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com.  To advertise, e-mail advertising@northoaklandsports.com

Category: All Area Teams, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, Clarkston, High School, High School (M-Z), Lake Orion, Oxford, Prep Wraps, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Rochester Hills Lutheran NW, Rochester Stoney Creek, Troy, Troy Athens

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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