Back-to-Back Regional titles for bowlers

In front, from the left Blake Daneen Luke Acton and Zach Barrows. In back are Coach Jr. Lafnear, Collin Massie, Justin Sisson, Tony Verbeke, Justin Powell and Coach Steve Burgess. Photo provided.

This past Friday and Saturday, 16 high school bowling programs bowled at Grand Blanc Lanes looking to earn a spot in the MHSAA State finals. Only the top 3 teams and top 10 individuals will advance to Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park next week.
The boys came out of the six baker games claiming the Number 1 seeded position and never looked back. They rolled games of 1050, 1158 and 875 to win back-to-back Regional titles. This marks the 6th time in the past 7 years the boys have advanced to the State finals. Collin Massie and Justin Sisson bowled well on Saturday to advance in individuals. All six Oxford bowlers finished in the top 30 out of the 86 individual bowlers.
“Winning back to back regionals is a special feat. This was thought to be one of the toughest regions in the state and we knew going into it we would have to be at our best. The 1158 score is the highest score Oxfords has ever shot at a regional. This team has their eyes on the prize and will give it their all next weekend,” Oxford head coach Claude ‘Jr.’ Lafnear said.
The girls got off to a great baker set and earned the number two seed coming out of the six baker games. Unfortunately, the Lady Wildcats never got it rolling in the team games. Game 1 was 772 and that left the girls in 4th place, 54 pins out. The girls bowled 2 more games of 770 and 800 which saw them finish in 7th place. It is the lowest finish in many years and ends a run of 4 straight years the girls have qualified for the state finals.
No Oxford girls made it in individuals on Saturday, either. Grace Meyer battled all day and finished 14th just 49 pins out of the cut of ten. It is the first time since 2014 that Oxford girls won’t be represented at the finals.
“We went into the year knowing we were in rebuild mode. We had a very solid record in match play, we were very competitive in all the tournaments and won the Oakland County Crown,” Lafnear said. “All in all a successful season. We have a very strong group coming back and I can see us being back to full strength next year. The girls shouldn’t hang their heads at all.”

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