Alexandria CI adapted bowling team brings home fourth state championship, ASD rolls to second place
The Alexandria adapted bowling team brought home a CI team state championship and an ASD runner-up finish to cap off a spectacular 2021 season.
The adapted bowling state tournament looked a little different this year, but that didn't stop Alexandria from bringing home a championship.
In the CI division, the Cardinals finished with a team score of 1,674, which was 16 points better than second-place Mankato East. The four-person team of Zechariah Davidson (410), Shon Platt Jr. (429), Logan Usher (415) and Robert Goor (420) scored the team points for Alexandria's CI score.
Alexandria head coach Wade Traphagen knew his kids performed well but had no idea it would end up in a state championship.
"Those kids just crushed their averages that day," Traphagen said. "There was very good energy in the bowling alley. You could tell they had the look of determination. Being that it was a virtual event, it was kind of difficult. We saw how well they bowled, but we didn't know how our opponents bowled. It was kind of a waiting game. The (Minnesota State High School League) had to get all the scores from around the state. We were pleasantly surprised to get that first place trophy."
With the state tournament being a remote event for participating schools, some of the magic was missing. However, spectators at Garden Center Lanes did their best to fill the atmosphere with that big-game feel.
"We had a nice send-off here at the high school," Traphagen said. "That got them pretty jacked up. We had a police escort come bring them down to the bowling alley and off the bus. We had a good crowd there too. We had teachers, parents, friends, and family all show up for a memorable day."
Alexandria's ASD team had an impressive day to win second place. With a team score of 1,658, the Cardinals were runners-up to Tartan. The team of Jon Hanson (434), Alexander Billings (415), Joe Mello (413) and Montana Hinnenkamp (393) impressed the crowd.
"We knew that it was probably going to be enough to be in the top three," Traphagen said. "To win the entire thing in CI and get second in ASD is unbelievable."
Adapted bowling was no exception to the COVID-19 athletics precautions this spring. But after a year of missing bowling, the Cardinals made up for it with their best rolls when it mattered most.
"I think they were disappointed that we didn't get to go and actually face our opponents in person," Traphagen said. "They understood, and after going through what they did last year, they were just happy to be back in the bowling alley with their teammates. They did a great job with it and adjusting. They ended the season very well."
From day one until the final strike, Traphagen was blown away by how much his athletes improved.
"I think we saw the most improvement ever this year because there was a long period without bowling," he said. "They almost had a year without bowling when the bowling alley was closed. The first several weeks were spent knocking off the rust. Once they found their stride, it was unbelievable to see the amount of improvement. They just kept pushing themselves. Always going over their averages doing what they needed to do to get to that next level."
When the Cardinals found out they were getting the chance to compete for state titles, they remembered what it was like to perform on the big stage.
"They've been looking forward to this since they last competed at state a couple of years ago," Traphagen said. "These kids feed off of that energy and support. I think that helped them elevate their game to the next level."
ALEXANDRIA ADAPTED BOWLING RESULTS
ASD GIRLS- 7th- Montana Hinnenkamp 393, Morrigan Reinke 365; ASD BOYS- Sebastian Billings 395, Evan Larson 350, Joe Mello 347; ASD DOUBLES- Sebastian Billings, Alexander Billings 801; Morrigan Reinke, Jon Hanson 772; Lizzie Floden, Evan Larson 703; ASD TEAM- 2nd- Jon Hanson, Alexander Billings, Joe Mello, Montana Hinnenkamp 1,658; CI GIRLS- Hannah Johnson 394, Cheyenne Reinke 371, Kassidy Lea 371, Rebecca Breezee 355; CI BOYS- Eli Higgins 392, Trenton Tuey 388, Liam Olson 336; CI DOUBLES- Robert Goor, Rebecca Breezee 778; Kendra Funk, Logan Usher 772; Kassidy Lea, Shon Platt Jr. 763; Liam Olson, Zechariah Davidson 744; CI TEAM- 1st- Zechariah Davidson, Shon Platt Jr., Logan Usher, Robert Goor 1674; 2nd- Trenton Tuey, Hannah Johnson, Eli Higgins, Cheyenne Reinke 1599