Monday, March 4, 2013

Versailles' Michael Davidson Wins State Bowling Title

Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl was the venue for the 2013 Boys State Bowling Championships. There were (16) 5 Person Teams and 16 Individuals that were competing for the Individual State Title. All bowlers would bowl 3 Games. The high 3 game series would determine the winner. The team competition would then continue with 3 Baker Games to determine the top 8 teams for match play finals.

“With the championship being determined by only 3 Games, it is critical to get lined up quick during the short 15 minute warm-up session. Michael rolled 3 different balls and a few different lines and we decided on starting with the Storm Sync playing the 14 board and getting out to about the 9-10 board at the breakpoint.” As the 1st game progressed, this looked like the correct decision. Michael started out with the 1st 7 Strikes on this very challenging lane condition. It was the Kegel Challenge Series pattern called Abbey Road. This allowed bowlers to play multiple angles and just about any part of the lane, however, there was very little room to miss and consistent ball speed was a must. The 8th frame he left the 6-10 spare and he then proceeded to miss it. He shook it off and finished the 9th and 10th strong for a very nice 252.

The 2nd game all of the bowlers switched lanes and went right into competition without any additional practice balls. “I was able to look at where the bowlers were playing and it looked as if the better line was further outside. So, he made a 4 board adjustment to the right and 3 to the right with his target. This was a great move as he started with 2 strikes.” As the game progressed, a couple bad shots were made and a couple of bad breaks. He left an 8-10 split in the 7th and a pocket 4-9 split in the 10th for a 180 game. One of the kids on his pair caught fire and rolled an incredible 288 game to go around Michael by about 40 pins after 2. “The goal here was to beat all 16 Individual Bowlers to give yourself a chance at the title. However, there were still 80 other boys competing during the team qualifying.”

The 3rd game the boys switched back to their original starting pair, so this should be advantage to Davidson as the bowler from Elgin only rolled 176 on this pair the 1st game. There was also one other bowler that was about 10 pins behind Michael after 2. After rolling 180 and not having that great of a line to the pocket, perhaps it was time to switch bowling balls. “I really felt he needed to stay with the Storm Sync, but move back to his original line, with a slight adjustment inside as the lanes had started to dry out a little. This is part of the game that is an educated guess. You have to believe in this move and just make good shots.” This seemed to be the right move and Michael started out with a couple strikes and a few spares. The other two kids were struggling a bit and it was time to make a move on them. Michael strung 3 strikes in a row in the middle of the game and left a tough 3-6-9-10 spare in the 8th which he converted. He struck in the 9th frame and now it was crunch time. “We decided a move had to be made on the left lane, so he made a 2-1 adjustment with his feet and destroyed the pins for a strike in the tenth frame. He left a 2 pin spare and converted for a nice 232 game and 664 Series.” The Elgin bowler that was 40 pins up threw a split in the 10th and finished 21 pins behind Michael. At this time, Michael was now in the lead, however, 80 more bowlers had about 8 frames to go.

“The past 6 years, it has taken anywhere from 690 to 720 to win the State Singles Title. With the tougher lane pattern, it looked as if it was going to be lower than that.” It was a grueling 2 ½ hour wait as nothing was tallied and announced until all the Team Qualifying Competition was completed. The OHSAA announced the Honorable Mention and 2nd Team All Ohio. They then started to announce the 1st team All Ohio. There was a 3 way tie at 643 for the 5th, 4th and 3rd spots. When they announced that 645 was the Runner Up score for State, the Tiger Fans went wild chanting Michael, Michael, Michael!!!

“The 2013 Boys Individual State Champion rolling a 664 Series goes to Michael Davidson from Versailles High School, stated Greg Coulles- Tournament Director. “It was my goal to qualify for State as a team and win it as a team. We just missed and I am proud to be able to win this State Title for the Versailles Tigers Bowling Program,” stated Michael.

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