Near Perfect Sparkman Bowling Team Ready For Post-Season Action
HARVEST- The smooth operating Sparkman High bowling team is easily one sliding step away from returning to the AHSAA State Bowling Tournament heading into the upcoming North Regional. The top two teams in the regional event will qualify for the state gathering where the Senators’ boys lost in the state finals while the girls lost in the semi-finals of the State Tournament a year ago.
“Both squads are confident they have the talent to make a great showing through the regional and getting back into the State Tournament,” said Lisa Ivey head coach of Sparkman.
Ivey, in her third season as head coach, said this year’s girls’ squad is the best well-rounded team the school has had in her tenure. The 2016 team won the inaugural 2016 season state championship and this season’s squad is looking to revenge last year’s 1533-1295 lost to Southside Gadsden in last year’s semi-final state tournament match.
The Lady Senators went through the 2020-2021 season with a 17-0 record and were led in average scoring by junior Emily Lindsey (181.8). “Emily is a very strong bowler and considers this her job and really concentrates on her bowling,” added Ivey.
In scoring average, Lindsey is followed by Ashley Ketchner (168.2, Sr.), Angela Webber (166, So.), Daylin Tolgo (165.3, Sr.) and Jenna Webber (159.5, Fr.). “This is Ashley’s second year of bowling and she has done very well this season. She is best friends with Daylin and she has received awesome instructions from her.”
Throughout the season the Lady Senators have posted team scores that have been higher than most of the opposing boys’ posting final results showing just how high potent the squad really is. “This group is very quiet, but are very serious about the sport as they take it to heart,” added Ivey.
Sparkman senior Cole Arsenault is the two-time defending individual State Champion and is currently posting a 202 game average on the season heading into the post-season play to lead the boys squad. He posted a 710 series in 2019 and a 711 series in 2020 to earn the individual honor. He’s being pushed by sophomore Dalton Tolgo (206.9, So.) for the team’s top scorer and they are being assisted by Alfonso Carrington III (185, So.), Joseph Collier (180.8, 11), and C.J. Richardson (160.6, Sr.) in helping the Senators to a one-loss regular season. The Senators lost to Grissom by a mere 11 pins and look to forge ahead at Regional as the team is a very close knit. Throughout the current campaign when one member has fallen in their scores, another team member has a terrific game to pick up the slack.
“This is a great group of kids as they are very well-rounded,” said Ivey of her boys’ roster. “They are very energetic, but not overboard during matches. Opposing coaches have acknowledged the talent that’s on this team. Joey has really done well for us this season and C.J. has increased his average by at least 20 pins. This is a well-oiled machine.”
Cole looks to defend his titles and is also looking to attend college and bowl for the college of his choice. He’s currently undecided on choice of location to further his education while sticking to the lanes.
The top two teams in each of the two regional sites will advance to the State Tournament, which will be held Jan. 28-29 in Pelham.