Dramatic Roll Gives Yellowjackets State Title
Barre, Vt. — With the drama unfolding at Twin City Lanes in Saturday’s VPA bowling championship, it would be easy to forget this is just the second year of varsity competition for the sport.
Windsor sophomore Katey Comstock took the last turn in the best-of-seven final matchup with the state title on the line. Spaulding’s Kyle Fassett had just rolled three straight strikes in the tenth frame to put the top-seeded Crimson Tide in position for a potential title. Comstock would need a mark and plenty of carry for Windsor to win.
“She’s probably the most technical bowler I have,” Windsor coach Steve Bly said in a phone interview afterward. “She’s got a good attitude, the kids feed off her a bit.”
The sophomore stepped up with nine on the first ball before picking up the all-important spare to set the stage for one final roll — eight pins would tie Spaulding, nine or more would win. Comstock then drilled a strike to give Windsor a 173-171 victory in the deciding game and the first bowling state championship for the Yellowjackets.
“Everybody went crazy,” Bly said. “The whole team huddled together hugging and high-fiving. We were kind of in disbelief. This is one of those things you don’t expect to happen.”
Coach Bly credited the work done by his whole team to help win the title. Tristan McMullen, Ashlee Bly, Matt Thayer, Kelsey Hannah, Devon Campney, Sami Poland, Nick Osborne, Jeremy Brooks and Troy McCabe all took their turns over the season. Assistant coach Rusty Comstock, Katey’s father, also played a key role.
Eleven teams battled it out, seeded by their season records, with three play-in matches followed by a bracket for the top eight teams. Each match was a best of seven games with five bowlers on each team rotating turns.
Windsor beat South Royalton 4-1 in the first round and then edged Randolph 4-3 in the semifinals, rallying from a three games to two deficit against the Galloping Ghosts. SoRo had earned their way in by beating Brattleboro in a play-in match.
Defending state champion Hartford lost to Spaulding in the semifinals, but had a highlight in the second game of the match with a 225-149 victory over the Crimson Tide. Owen Connor, Hunter Brooks, Wyatt Connor, Nick Brooks, Ethan White and Troy Nadeau saw action for the Hurricanes.
“It’s just a great day. The kids were outstanding,” Hartford coach Mark Hamilton said. “You saw the talent really step up form last year. It’s a great day for Vermont bowling. Congrats to Windsor, they were outstanding.”
The top 32 bowlers will compete at the individual state championship on Saturday in Springfield, Vt. at noon.
Stevens at NHIAA Individuals
Manchester — The Cardinals competed at the NHIAA Individual Bowling Championships with Stevens’ Tyler Matteson reaching the round of eight before bowing out.
Matteson qualified with the third highest average, rolling strings of 185, 150 and 169. He then led all competitors in the round of 16 with a 217 but was edged with a 162 in the round of eight. Pinkerton’s Raina Stobbs won the final match over Souhegan’s David Wiezczerzak, 197-169.
Stevens also saw Jack Fitzpatrick and Tyler Woodman qualify for match play. Fitzpatrick averaged 161.5 in qualifying with a high game of 192 while Woodman averaged 159.5 with a high of 187.