Girls bowling: State champs hoping to repeat

From left: Savanah Barnes, Claire Sandstrom, Megan Armbruster, Grace Meyer and Lily Boothe. Photo by Shelby Tankersley.
From left: Savanah Barnes, Claire Sandstrom, Megan Armbruster, Grace Meyer and Lily Boothe. Photo by Shelby Tankersley.

He’s got a younger team this year, but Oxford High Bowling Head Coach JR Lafnear is hopeful this year’s varsity girl bowlers can go as far as the program has in the past.

Last year, Oxford ladies’ bowling took the state title. Since then, the OAA red team graduated three seniors and lost some key talent. But Lafnear said this season’s bunch is full of potential.

“This team has all of the opportunity and all of the talent to do those things we did last year,” he said.

The younger team, with just two seniors and one junior, is gearing up to take on the OAA red and beat the reigning champs in Lake Orion. After that, Lafnear and the ladies have districts, regionals and states in their sights.

He said two of their top athletes this season are senior captain Claire Sandstrom, who has already signed a letter of intent to bowl next year at Columbia College, as well as senior captain Megan Armbruster.

“I’m not worried about our experience level,” Lafnear said. “A lot of the girls have been involved since middle school, so they have been bowling a significant amount of time.”

To accomplish this, the ladies are spending these beginning weeks working on consistency and a team mindset in practice. When their first game rolls around on Dec. 1, Lafnear said they’ll be more than ready.

“We’ll be pretty young, but we’ll be challenging,” he said.

Lafnear noted the strength of the program for both boys and girls comes from many of the athletes beginning at the middle school and in the early years of high school. He said any high school ladies who want to pick up the sport are welcome to the junior varsity team, which will continue to seek players in the coming weeks.

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