High hopes for Panther bowlers at state

Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 11:02 a.m. CDT

Head coach Ron Pendegraft has high hopes for the Creston/Orient-Macksburg bowling teams heading into Monday’s rescheduled Class 1A State Coed Bowling Tournament at Plaza Lanes in Des Moines.

Action starts at 11 a.m. Monday with the parade of athletes, with bowling set to begin around 11:20 a.m. Doors open to fans at 10 a.m.

Bowling for the Panther girls will be Anna Wilson, Emily Lange, Emily Davidson, Madison Hance, Devon Eddy and Shaylen Kipp.

It’s a group that Pendegraft thinks could make a splash on Monday.

“I really think if those kids have a fairly clean day and minimize mistakes, I think they have a realistic shot at finishing pretty high,” he said. “I have a feeling they’re going to do well. We always seem to. All the teams we’ve taken up there, we’ve performed well.”

Dubuque Wahlert looks to be the team to beat on Monday, with most of the other teams entering the tournament with team score averages falling within about 150 pins of each other.

“They’ve (Wahlert) got about a 300-pin average advantage on us,” Pendegraft said. “That works out to about 20 pins per game, per person, but things happen. There’s nobody that is out of the picture this year. I wouldn’t want to make any predictions.”

Likewise, the boys competition could be wide open. It will be a tough road for the Panthers, but Pendegraft said he thinks the boys will perform well.

Bowling for the Panther boys will be Darin Hatfield, Blake Eddy, Jacob Wolfe, Kenny Wynn, Chantz Davidson and Josh Sawtelle.

“Western Dubuque Epworth, they’re the top average team in the state,” Pendegraft said. “West Delaware Manchester, Dubuque Wahlert boys, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Red Oak — they’re tough. It’s going to be a tough road for the boys, but they’re capable of bowling a big score. I have all the faith in the world for them.”

Pendegraft said the postponement of the state tournament because of weather hasn’t seemed to affect his team at all, noting his bowlers are still excited and confident.

“We’ve got seven seniors this year, and when this year’s over, it’s going to be tough to lose them,” Pendegraft said. “That’s why I really hope good things happen for them up there this year. We didn’t get to go last year, and it was very disappointing, so I think we’re going to make the best of it this year.”

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