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Lots of regional bowling hardware and medals to go around, and Ravenna leads the way

Bulldogs girls capture team regional title, while ‘Dogs also claim individual regional crowns as well.

The West Michigan Conference represented very well in regional bowling competition Thursday and Friday at Northway Lanes and Sherman Bowling Center.

Lots of hardware and medals to go around, and Ravenna led the way with the most accolades.

In each regional, the top two teams on the first day and top seven individuals on the second day advance to state finals competition.

Here is a roundup of the action:


Oakridge girls and boys bowlers are pictured in a group photo at a Division 3 team regional Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at Sherman Bowling Center in Muskegon, Mich. (Courtesy of Oakridge bowling)

Oakridge girls bowling team captured a Division 3 regional title Thursday at Sherman Bowling Center. The Eagles finished with 2675 pins. Orchard View finished runner-up in the regional with 2576 pins. Both teams advance to the Division 3 state finals next Friday (March 1) at Jax 60 in Jackson. Fremont just missed the cut with a third-place finish (2408).

“It’s amazing,” Oakridge coach Brent Davis said. “These kids have put in the work all season to get here. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

In Division 3 boys bowling competition at Sherman, Oakridge finished runner-up (3045) behind champion Central Montcalm (3069). Both teams advance to state finals competition Friday (March 1) at Jax 60 in Jackson. Orchard View was ever, so close to qualifying, missing out by one pin at 3044.

“Back when I ran in high school, it was always about preparing yourself to peak at the big meets. These kids are peeking at the right time,” Davis said.


Photos courtesy of Ravenna bowling

Ravenna’s girls team and Holton’s boys squad captured Division 4 regional trophies in action Thursday at Northway Lanes. Good news is, both teams get to compete at Northway again next weekend for the team state finals on Friday (March 1).

In girls competition, Ravenna took the team title with a scored of 2691. Holton was runner-up at 2601.

“We didn’t have our best day, but our goal for the year was to win the regional and that is exactly what we did,” Ravenna coach Jeff Nutt said. “I know at times I might get frustrated with how we were bowling, but Jason (Nutt) and I pulled the stats from last year and we finished 172 pins higher than last year.

“That just shows the improvement we have made. The girls might tell you that I’m hard to please, but I know what our potential is if we put it all together.”

Photos courtesy of Jessica Wagenmaker

On the boys side, Holton rose to the occasion with a team score of 3072. Ravenna was in second place with 2984.

“It was a great team effort. The boys had a goal, remained focused, and accomplished the task,” Holton coach Jessica Wagenmaker said. “This is the first bowling regional win for Holton. Both boys and girls teams are heading to the state finals. Girls bowled well and finished second to the talented Ravenna team.”


In the Division 3 individual regional Friday at Sherman Bowling Center, four boys bowlers from the West Michigan Conference finished in the top seven and earned the right to compete in the state finals next Saturday (March 2) at Jax 60 in Jackson.

Orchard View’s Ashton Tjapkes was runner-up (1217), Oakridge’s Michael Hruskach was fourth (1188), Oakridge’s Travis Lewis took sixth (1136), and Fremont’s Kaden Johnson was seventh (1134). Central Montcalm’s Paytin Pearson won the regional (1265).

On the girls side, two girls bowlers from the WMC punched their tickets to the individual state finals. Fremont’s Sophia Romine was third (968) and Oakridge’s Breanna Twining was fifth (958). Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Ashley VanLinden was regional champion (1128).


Photos courtesy of Ravenna bowling

Ravenna senior Matt Anton captured a Division 4 individual regional title Friday at Northway Lanes with a score of 1158. He shot games of 181-206-220-160-179-212.

Holton’s Aiden Moore was runner-up (1097), while Holton’s Tuff Scott was third (1053), Ravenna’s Caleb Jonas fourth (1049), Ravenna’s Josiah Kantola fifth (1035), and Holton’s Bo Larabee sixth (1018).

They will not have to go very far for the state finals. They’ll compete next Saturday (March 2) at Northway Lanes, the home house for all of them.

“After my second game, I was in first place and Jason (Nutt) said if I keep bowling like this, I have a shot at winning. That is when I thought that I might get it,” said Anton, who averaged 162 during the regular season. “After all the practice and games, it means a lot to have it all pay off at an important time like this.

“I am feeling confident that I will do well (in the state finals) as long as I stay calm and relaxed. I can’t allow the pressure to get to my head. I think that having it at Northway is a great advantage because we are familiar with the lanes and we will be able to get a good night’s rest in our own beds the night before.”

Photos courtesy of Ravenna bowling

On the girls side, Ravenna junior Emma Herremans is a two-time, first-team all-state softball player, but she’s proving to be a very good bowler as well. She seized the individual regional title Friday at Northway Lanes with a total score of 1013. Herremans shot games of 193-151-138-169-177-185.

Holton’s EmmaLee Fox broke a school record with a 236 game and finished with a series of 1011 for runner-up. Ravenna’s Taylor Nutt was third (991), Holton’s Karley Plekes fourth (973), Ravenna’s Kendra Denhof fifth (947), and Ravenna’s Zoe Marsman seventh (901).

“To be honest, I was not expecting to take first,” said Herremans, who averaged 148 in the regular season. “I did bowl above average today. But, in all reality, I was hoping to make the top seven.

“The season has been fantastic. It couldn’t have played out any better. We’ve got great senior leadership, hardworking underclassmen, and the best two coaches in West Michigan. It has created a special team,” Herremans continued. “I believe that the sky is the limit for this team. We have a variety of girls that can bowl a 200 at any given moment. It all just depends on who shows up when. As individuals, we are constantly competing with each other to be better for ourselves and the team. I’m beyond proud that there wsa a strong Ravenna presence in the top seven and hope we each have an opportunity to make a run at states.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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