116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - For Rylee Blood, bowling is more than Friday night with friends.
It's hours of practice and league play. It's constant attention to detail to find the proper release point. It's hitting the right mark on the lane every time.
And for the junior from Cedar Rapids Prairie, it's a passion.
'I've been getting in as many reps as I can to improve my game to help my team,” Blood said. 'Just a little change to one thing that you have been doing a really long time can mess up your game.”
Blood said she has had some problems with her release this season. It's dropped her average from last season's 212.2 to 199.5 this season. Her average still is ninth best in the state.
'Rylee is very determined,” said Prairie head coach Don Willfong. 'She has goals that are achievable, and she will exceed those goals and reset them for next year.”
Blood has played an integral part in Prairie's success this season. The junior has helped push the Prairie Hawks to a 10-0 record, which is tied with Waterloo West for the top spot in the MVC.
'The key to our success as a team has been spares and staying excited,” Blood said. 'We would all love to have strikes, but the way to win games and meets is to get our spares.”
Internal competition has also fueled Prairie.
'The girls aren't making it easy on me this year,” Willfong said. 'There are 11 girls that are working hard for the postseason team. They're working hard in practice to help develop their game.”
Blood said the competition helps field a competitive team that can compete with defending state champion Waterloo West. Prairie travels to Waterloo for a showdown with the Wahawks on Friday.
'We will just continue to keep pushing each other in practice to be the best we can be,” Blood said.
Linn-Mar (9-0) and Cedar Rapids Jefferson (8-1) will clash Friday to determine the MVC Valley Division champion.
Both teams sport excellent Baker games, with Jefferson holding a slight edge in the season average, 207 to 204.2. The J-Hawks match average of 3,164.3 is fourth best in the state, but Linn-Mar is fifth at 3,107.8.
The J-Hawks Victor Baccam is second in the state with a 229.4 average. Teammate Hunter Sturtz is fourth with an average of 228.0.
Kaleb Foye leads Linn-Mar with an average of 220.0.
Cedar Rapids Prairie will play host to the Class 3A District 3 qualifying tournaments Feb, 17 at Lancer Lanes. Jefferson, Kennedy, and Washington will join the Prairie Hawks.
The Linn-Mar boys and girls will travel to Totem Bowl in Marshalltown. Iowa City West and City High will compete in Davenport at Miller Bowl.
Boys and girls will compete at the same sites listed above.