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Spring preview: Bowlers back with big numbers

Alexandria's Trenton Tuey (left), Ty Burg (middle) and Daunte Houck look at their scores during a meet last season. Houck was lost to graduation from last year's team, but Tuey and Burg both return to help out the 2019 Alexandria bowlers. (File photo)

The Alexandria adapted bowling program boasts good numbers every season and nothing has changed for this spring.

The Cardinals return 13 letter winners after bringing a bunch of success back from the state tournament a year ago. Alexandria had a state champion ASD team of Ty Burg, Joe Mello, Brendan Fuoss and Marcus Decker and return three of those athletes after the graduation of Fuoss. The Cardinals also finished second in the team portion of the PI Division at state in 2018 with Lily Hjelle, Matt Senstad, Ross Minnerath and Alex Eggert. Senstad and Eggert are back from that group, with Hjelle and Minnerath both being lost as seniors a year ago.

The Cardinals lost a total of eight athletes from last year’s team, but have 23 total kids on their roster and field representatives in all three divisions -- CI, PI and ASD. That makes them one of the largest programs in the state, and the experience of having a lot of returning bowlers and a host of talented underclassmen are a couple of the primary strengths of this team that head coach Wade Traphange sees.

Traphagen said developing more consistent individual scores and getting some of their new bowlers more experience are the areas to improve on as the season goes on.

One of the things Traphagen was proudest of from his team last season was that every bowler qualified for the state tournament. That is what he wants for this year’s team, as well.

Traphagen said the hope is that the kids grow competitively and personally through the program, increase their averages by eight pins during the course of the season and for every one of them to reach the 400-series score mark.

2019 ALEXANDRIA ADAPTED BOWLING ROSTER - Daityn Thompson, Dalin Reiter, Elton Gruber, Ty Burg, Matt Senstad, Alex Eggert, Marcus Decker, Mercedes Nelson, Jenica Bostock, Evan Larson, Jett Thurston, Robert Goor, Sebastian Billings, Grace Johannes, Liam Olson, Trenton Tuey, Alexis Wharton, Joe Mello, Logan Usher, Carson Snitker, Jarin Staples, Zechariah Davidson, Lizzie Floden

COACHES - Head coach - Wade Traphagen, eighth season; Assistant coach - Sean Foster

ALEXANDRIA ADAPTED BOWLING

April 2 vs. Albany, 3 p.m.

April 4 vs. Cambridge Isanti-Anoka Hennepin, 3 p.m.

April 9 vs. Anoka-Minnetonka, 3 p.m.

April 11 vs. Austin, 3 p.m.

April 16 at Albany, 3 p.m.

April 23 vs. Fergus Falls, Simley, 3 p.m.

April 25 Alexandria Invite, 3 p.m.

April 30 vs. Lake City, 3 p.m.

May 2 vs. Mankato East, Mankato West, Simley, 3 p.m.

May 7 vs. JCC, North Branch, St. Peter, 3 p.m.

May 9 Region Tournament, 3 p.m.

May 17 State Tournament

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229