by Ken Brown
RANDOLPH – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) bowling team was back to live action last week after the holiday break, taking on some of the best teams in the state (Randolph, Burlington, and Fair Haven) at the Valley Bowl in Randolph.
The Chargers finished a respectable third out of four teams and ended the afternoon on a high note, coming back to beat Fair Haven (118-157, 160-157, 151-141) last Saturday in their second ever varsity competition. CA fell to top seeded Randolph in the opening round (145-192, 171-195).
Senior Joe Wilcox bowled the high game of the day for the Chargers with a 169. Jacob Marquis was also solid with a 156 in his second game of the afternoon. Senior Verna Stoddard reached a career milestone with an impressive 141. Matt Wilcox and Jason Allen were also strong for the Chargers with high scores of 147 and 142.
CA athletic director Connor Bean is the head coach, assisted by Ashley Gravel, who also coaches the varsity softball team in the spring. Bean has helped champion the rise of bowling to the varsity level all over the state, with CA joining 11 other teams this winter with full schedules. Bean bowled at a high level at Oxbow Union High School and went on to do the same at Union College in Kentucky, graduating with a degree in Sports and Recreation Management in 2020. He also currently serves as the co-director of high school bowling for the Vermont Principals’ Association, stewarding the exhibition sport towards varsity status this winter.
“We hoped to get 8 to 10 kids when we started, but the interest here at CA has been amazing. Unfortunately we didn’t have the numbers for girls’ basketball this winter, so we wanted to offer our student athletes another opportunity to compete. It’s been very exciting to bring bowling to the varsity level around the state and at Craftsbury Academy,” said Bean.
The Chargers will be back in action on Saturday as they travel to White River Valley.