116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The Linn-Mar boys' bowling team wasn't sure what to expect heading into its 2014-15 season.
With only one returning starter, the majority of the Lions' contingent were stepping up to the lanes at the varsity level for the first time. And after losing six bowlers from last season's state qualifying team, the Lions needed a little leadership to make this season just as successful.
With a 4-0 record in dual competition and a victory at the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invitational baker tournament, Linn-Mar head coach Andy Diercks has seen his seniors rise to the occasion.
'The seniors have been phenomenal leaders,” Diercks said. 'They have really embraced that responsibility and maintained their poise at the lanes.”
Sam Crawford paced the Lions in the first half of the season. The senior put up a 226.3 game average (12th highest statewide) with a high game of 279 in the first two months of the season.
'Sam has had a phenomenal year so far,” Diercks said. 'His confidence is higher and he believes he is capable. He is making better shots and everything is coming together.”
Linn-Mar faces a daunting duals schedule in the second half, squaring off against undefeated Cedar Falls (4-0) on Monday and Cedar Rapids Jefferson (4-0) Feb. 13.
'We're not going to mess with success,” Diercks said. 'We'll take the lineup we had from the baker tournament and apply that in duals competition.”
DUO CONTINUES TO POWER JEFFERSON
Hunter Sturtz and Victor Baccam continue to fuel Cedar Rapids Jefferson's undefeated season. Sturtz is second in the state with a 241.1 average, which is 2.5 pins shy of the Mississippi Valley Conference record average of 243.6.
Baccam is third in the state with a 236.8 average. Both bowlers have high games of 279.
Jefferson has the highest game average in the state (3273.0), the highest baker game average (213.9) and the second-highest individual average at 220.4.
'They get along and work well as a team,” said Jefferson head coach Virg Cervney. 'They have trust in each other, listen to coaching and yet know that there is still much work to do before the regionals.”
MVC GIRLS RACE POWER PACKED
Cedar Rapids Prairie is one of four undefeated teams atop the MVC Mississippi Division. Waterloo East, Dubuque Hempstead, Prairie and defending state champions Waterloo West all sit at 4-0. All four teams are in the top-10 in match aLinnverage statewide.
Rylee Blood continues to lead Prairie with a 204.3 average. The team baker average of 180.5 is fourth best in the state. Waterloo West is tops in the baker category at 190.3 and Waterloo East is second at 186.2.
Prairie will face all three undefeated teams in the second half of the season, including a match-up with Waterloo West on Feb. 13, four days before regional play begins.