Art Susi made sure the Briggs High School boys bowling team returned to the lanes this winter after not competing a year ago.
Junior James Pappas took advantage of the Bruins’ return by placing fourth of 100 bowlers in the Division I state tournament March 9 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl to earn first-team all-state honors.
Pappas rolled a 686 three-game series to finish behind Vandalia Butler’s Drew Sacks (752) and Beavercreek’s Michael Donahue (713) and tie Mentor’s Evan Lewis, who won the third-place tiebreaker with a high game of 247.
Pappas rolled a 217 in the first game, a 233 in the second and a 236 in the third.
“I’m very happy with the way I bowled today,” Pappas said. “I missed one makeable spare, but other than that, I did exactly what I wanted to do.”
According to Susi, who completed his first year as coach, the Bruins did not field a team last season because the program didn’t have a coach. Pappas bowled for Briggs as a freshman and qualified for district, where he tied for 41st with a 586.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” Susi said. “He’s a great bowler, he’s a great kid. Most importantly, he’s a great teammate. He shows great sportsmanship. He loves his team.”
According to Susi, Pappas finished the season with the highest two-game series (548), highest game (300) and highest average (230) among area bowlers.
Delaware’s Dillon Murfield and Whitehall’s Jason Kefauver also competed at state as individuals, with Murfield finishing 26th (598) and Kefauver 65th (532).
In the team competition, Westerville Central finished third (3,605) of 16 teams in the qualifying round to reach the championship round. There, the third-seeded Warhawks lost to sixth-seeded Ashland in a quarterfinal, falling 3-1 in the best-of-5 Baker games.
Butler won the team title, defeating Ashland in four games in the final. Central finished sixth.
“Anything can happen in championship play and it usually does,” said Central coach Julie Wells, whose team lost to Ashland 193-185, 195-204, 212-150, 203-156. “They bowled great all day. Breaks went to the other team in the first match. Unfortunately, 16 teams come in and only one gets to win. They’re still a great team.”
Wesley Minke led Central with a 652 to finish 10th and earn second-team all-state honors, and Devon Richardson finished 15th with a 636 and was honorable mention all-state.
Marion Harding and Westerville South also represented the Central District at state, with the Presidents finishing 13th (3,269) and the Wildcats 16th (2,957). The top eight teams reached the championship round.
Cameron Voigt placed 25th (601) to lead South and Colton Wagner finished 31st (594) to lead Harding.