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March 7, 2014

Youth bowlers are state runners-up

DUNCAN — Duncan’s high school bowlers took second at the state tournament.

The bowlers competed in a tournament Feb. 22 in Oklahoma City, sanctioned by the National High School Bowling Association. Duncan’s regional win sent the team to state, at which the bowlers competed against teams from Jenks, Yukon, Eisenhower and Norman North.

“It was really satisfying, knowing there were people underestimating us, saying we wouldn’t make it to state,” said bowler Jared Norton. “Then we showed up, made it to state and took second.”

Teammate Drey Triche admitted he was nervous and, although the odds weren’t in Duncan’s favor, he expects the team to do better next year. Seven of the eight bowlers are juniors and the other is a sophomore. The rest of the team members are Blake Lugo, Sheldon Yeargan, Clayton Moore, Bobbie Fowler and Ronnie Heare.

Coach Jean Brund said that many of the parents were so excited, “there was a lot of tears.” Drey’s father, Alex Castro, was among the happy parents.

“You see the confidence they get and how everybody supports each other,” Castro said. “Even though it’s a competitive game, there’s camraderie. They want to do well, but they want to see the other teams do well.”

Two teams from Marlow and one from Comanche also competed this season. Marlow had a boys team and a girls team, while Duncan and Comanche combined boys and girls because they did not have enough bowlers to form separate teams.

The Comanche bowlers — Phillip Pickett, Truman Meadows, Austin Caporale and Kristen Harris — enjoy competing but mostly want to have fun.

“It’s friendly competition,” Harris said. “You’re having fun and competing at the same time, but you don’t realize that (you’re competing).”

The Comanche seniors hope other students will get involved in the league next year. Harris said some students assume the sport is for older people, but if they give it a shot, they’ll find out how much fun it is.

“We’ve been talking to people, trying to get them to come,” Pickett added. “We  want them to come to practice, to see what it’s all about.”

Freedom Lanes, with assistance from other local businesses, sponsors the team. The support of the businesses means the league is free to youth bowlers.

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