The next two weeks are booked solid for Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Dale Weaver.
That being said, Weaver’s schedule is pretty much always packed.
“I practice Monday and Wednesday with the team,” Weaver said. “We have high school tournaments Thursday and/or Friday. Saturday morning is league and Sunday I bowl in tournaments.”
If that wasn’t enough, sometimes he also practices on Tuesdays before work. That kind of dedication is why the Saint senior is preparing to defend his Class 2A state individual title.
State qualifying tournaments are Tuesday around the state. Xavier hosts Burlington, Cedar Rapids Washington (boys only), Mount Pleasant, Marion, North Scott and Pleasant Valley (girls only) inside May City Bowl, starting at 10:10 a.m.
Weaver had a solid 2019 season, but entered the state tournament somewhat quietly ranked No. 5 in Class 2A.
“I was flying pretty low (under the radar), so to make a name for myself was pretty cool,” Weaver said.
Weaver sat toward the middle of the pack after his first game of 216, but picked the perfect opportunity to make his move.
“I just tried to take it shot-by-shot and if I threw together a decent game, I knew I had a chance,” he said.
Weaver threw 11 strikes before ending with a 296 and the 2A boys’ crown.
“I don’t really look at my scores that often,” Weaver said. “I mostly try to help my teammates when I’m bowling and my first game isn’t usually the greatest. Then I focus and come back the second game.”
Weaver and his teammates will try to add a team title to the Saints’ trophy case, something Weaver has been focused on all season.
“I’m mostly out here just to have fun,” Weaver said. “I won one state title already, so the pressure is kind of off since that was my goal. Now I’m focused on trying to win a state team title.”
Along with trying to qualify for state at Cadillac Bowling Center in Waterloo next week, Weaver turns 18 at the end of the month.
One thing the Xavier senior doesn’t have to worry about is his college plans.
A solid high school career, an individual state title and 10 career 300s (six sanctioned and four unsanctioned) have earned Weaver a healthy scholarship offer to Iowa Central, where he will enroll in the fall to study engineering before bowling for the Tritons next season.
Until then, Weaver and his buddies will pass the time hunting, fishing and playing video games.
“Hunting and fishing requires a lot of patience,” Weaver said. “Sometimes you wait for days without seeing or catching anything. Bowling is a lot like that. People think PBA bowlers throw 300s all the time and it’s not like that. You have good days and bad days, that’s part of bowling.”
For Weaver, he’s just hoping his team can catch a couple good days over the next few weeks.
If not, they’ll be ready for turkey season come April.
Cedar Rapids Prairie will host Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Falls, Davenport North, Iowa City West and Iowa City High Tuesday at Lancer Lanes at 1:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids Kennedy will travel to Marshalltown for a 10 a.m. start and Linn-Mar will join the Washington girls’ team in Dubuque, also beginning at 10 a.m.
Class 1A features the West Delaware boys joining Washington (Iowa), Monticello, DeWitt Central, Vinton-Shellsburg and the Independence girls’ squad at Lancer Lanes with an early 8:30 a.m. start. Charles City will compete in a district in Waterloo, while Bellevue, Camanche, Maquoketa and Waukon are slotted in a district at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque.