High school bowling kicks off in New Hampshire

Last spring, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) decided to add bowling as a coed varsity winter sport starting with the 2009-10 season. On Dec. 5 the Kickoff Classic at Strikers East in Raymond, N.H., became the first sanctioned high school bowling competition in New Hampshire.

Nine varsity and seven junior varsity teams took part in the event which featured a total of 86 student-athletes.

Each team had five members bowl two traditional games to determine seeding for Baker play. In the Baker format, each member of the team bowls two frames. Raymond High School took the top seed in the varsity division with a team total of 1,699, followed by Stevens High School (1,527) and Keene High School (1,362).

Kim McCall of Stevens High School took top individual honors with a two-game total of 370, while Nick Kennett of Stevens rolled the high individual game (210) and finished second with 369. Rounding out the top five was Josh Auclair of Raymond (364), Nick Stilian of Pinkerton Academy (361) and Mike Cosalvo of Raymond (356).

For the Baker portion of the event, teams were placed into a best-of-three, double-elimination bracket. No. 3 qualifier Keene stepped up in Baker play, breezing through the winner's bracket. Top qualifier Raymond, which posted the high Baker game for the tournament with a 215, faced No. 2 qualifier Stevens in the loser's bracket final for the right to face Keene in the tournament final.

Stevens took Game 1, 138-137, but the Rams bounced back to take Game 2, 181-147. Both teams started out slowly in the decisive game, but Stevens was able to pick up the pace late for a 189-143 victory.

In the final, Stevens was unable to avenge its earlier loss to Keene and fell by scores of 159-133 and 155-142. Keene had a Baker average of 155 and did not drop a single game in claiming the tournament title.

Iowa boys begin varsity play
New Hampshire isn't the only state where new varsity bowlers are taking to the lanes.

Iowa boys started varsity play in late November. Bowling had been a sanctioned sport under the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union for three seasons, but this is the first season that boys' bowling has been sanctioned as a varsity sport.

More than 80 schools are expected to compete in the inaugural season of boys' bowling.

Texarkana high school adds bowling
The Texarkana, Ark., school board has approved adding bowling as a varsity sport at Arkansas High. The new program will participate in the 7A-6A division of the Arkansas Activities Association bowling conferences, and Mark Anderson will serve as head coach for the Razorback bowling teams.