Senior Chaz Wilson represented the Groveport Madison High School boys bowling team in the Division I state tournament March 9 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Wilson rolled a 623 (181-200-242) to place 19th of 103 competitors.
"I had a real busy week and didn't get in as much practice as I wanted. Plus, I didn't do my homework and check out the shot," Wilson said. "Considering that, I think I'm OK with the 623. My first practice ball and my first ball in game 1 were totally different because the oil moved right from the get-go, so it took awhile for me to adjust in the first game."
"I knew Chaz would finish strong because he always does," coach Christi Middendorf said. "Bowling is in his family genes and he's been bowling a very long time."
Wilson advanced to state by placing second of 105 competitors in the district tournament March 3 at HP Lanes with a 653 (171-214-268).
The Cruisers finished 13th (3,229) of 16 teams, as Westerville Central (3,907), Marion Harding (3,645) and Whitehall (3,580) advanced to state.
Also competing at district were seniors Tyler Miracle (60th, 443), Corey Claprood (61st, 441), Lonnie Stuckey (67th, 413) and Stephen Snyder (71st, 387).
Groveport advanced to district by placing 16th (3,208) in the 38-team sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes to earn the final team berth.
The Cruisers finished 6-6 overall, 6-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division to tie Reynoldsburg for sixth behind champion Pickerington North (11-0) and 3-3 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Newark for fourth behind champion Delaware (5-1).
Also on the roster were sophomore William Lawson and freshmen Jeremiah DeLong and Jamell Mitchell.
The girls team's season ended at district, where junior Leah Deaner placed 18th of 102 competitors with a 488 (161-160-167). Delaware's Kelsey Rohrer (550) earned the third and final individual state-qualifying spot.
Deaner advanced to district by finishing eighth (539) of 208 competitors in the sectional Feb. 24 at HP Lanes. Also competing at sectional were seniors Shayana Carter (382), Abby Quinn (317) and Mackenzie Daniel (316) and freshman Makayla Harold (282).
Groveport placed 21st (2,651) of 37 teams, as the top 16 teams advanced to district.
The Cruisers finished 7-5 overall, 6-4 in the COHSBC-B to place sixth behind champion Hilliard Darby (11-0) and 3-3 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Hilliard Bradley for third behind champion Delaware (6-0).
Also on the roster were senior Katie Cordle, sophomore Miranda Wodzisz and freshman Leanne Dotson.
Wrestlers setting strong foundation
The wrestling team won a share of the OCC-Capital title for the second season in a row and has begun to set a foundation for continued success, according to coach Brian Brison.
"I think we have things going in the right direction and the kids are excited," Brison said. "We can see that we have the potential for long-term success because our numbers are growing in the junior high school.
"We were able to defend our league championship with a lot of first-year wrestlers who won a lot of big matches. We only had five returnees. I am excited to see what a year of experience will do for them next year. I am looking forward to helping them take that next step in their wrestling careers."
The season ended for Groveport in the Division I district tournament March 2 and 3 at Hilliard Darby, as none of its three qualifiers finished in the top four in their respective weight classes to advance to the state tournament held March 8-10 at Ohio State.
Freshman Jake Nelson went 3-3 and placed sixth at 170 pounds to finish the season 39-9. According to Brison, he suffered a concussion in the first period of his consolation semifinal. After losing the match by injury default, he had to forfeit his fifth-place match.
Also competing at district were senior Clayton Saunders (113) and sophomore A.J. Joyce (220).
Saunders went 1-2 to finish 28-12 and Joyce went 0-2 to finish 15-14, as Groveport scored 11 points to finish 32nd behind champion Lancaster (170) as 38 teams scored.
Saunders was one of four seniors on the roster. The others were Andrew Bachman (170, 15-6), Stefan Small (220) and Jovi Soumphonphakdy (138, 10-16). Bachman was injured in mid-January and did not return.
"Clayton will be a huge loss, not only from what he accomplished on the mat, but especially by his ability to lead off the mat," Brison said. "With such an inexperienced team, Clayton went above and beyond to help his teammates learn the sport. Having him around was basically like having an additional coach."
Nelson competed mostly at 160 during the regular season, but bumped up for the postseason and placed second in the sectional Feb. 24 at Marysville. Saunders and Joyce advanced to district by placing fourth at sectional, where the Cruisers finished sixth (74) of 10 teams behind champion Marysville (279).
Sophomore Skyler Mouser finished fifth at 195 to finish 13-15. Placing sixth were juniors Ethan Schleret (182, 12-18) and Ashton Reese (126, 7-21) and sophomore Muhamad Conteh (120, 22-17).
Also competing were juniors Jacob Cline (152, 17-18) and Marshaun Armstrong (145, 13-22), sophomore Isaac Samp-son (160, 3-6) and freshman Jason Pinkston (106, 11-19).
Sophomore Tykel Hancock-Anderson (heavyweight, 15-9) was unable to compete in the postseason. Also on the roster was sophomore Te'Rah Edwards (heavyweight, 5-7).
The Cruisers defeated Newark 42-27 in their OCC-Capital finale Feb. 15 to forge a first-place tie with the Wildcats. Both teams finished 4-1 in the league, ahead of New Albany (3-2), Big Walnut and Canal Winchester (both 2-3) and Franklin Heights (0-5).
Conteh and Pinkston both made first-team all-league. Mouser, Nelson, Reese and Saunders all were second-team all-league, while Armstrong and Joyce made the third team.