by Ken Brown
RANDOLPH – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) bowling team didn’t get the result they wanted over the weekend against some of the top teams in the state at the Valley Bowl, but still have bowlers in good position for the Individual State Championship in Rutland at the end of the month.
Illness and weather left the Chargers shorthanded on Saturday as they finished in third place behind Brattleboro and host team Randolph at the Valley Bowl. Randolph swept CA in the opening round of the team competition 193-174 and 181-162, snapping their streak of three straight runner-up finishes. Matt Wilcox led the Chargers with a career-high game of 201 and Will Patnoe continued his strong play with a 212 after setting the school record a week ago. Joe Wilcox added a high game of 182 and Cyrus Reed added a 163, his career high. Brattleboro kept its stranglehold as the top team in the state by sweeping Randolph in the championship match. CA dropped to seventh in the overall state rankings, but is only three points behind sixth-place South Burlington with two weeks left in the regular season. Thirty-two bowlers qualify for the State Championship in Rutland on February 25 and CA currently has four bowlers inside those rankings, led by Patnoe, who is currently ranked fourth in the state.
“It’s frustrating for another non-first place finish, but there’s a lot of improvement that I’m seeing as a team,” said head coach Connor Bean. “We need to get over the hump and know that we can compete with these bigger teams. We were down a few kids for various reasons this week, but we had some kids step up, primarily Cyrus. He stepped up with a career-high game, marking three out of four frames in his varsity baker series debut. I’m not shocked that Will is near the top of the individual standings. He’s the heart and soul of this team and the train that keeps us moving forward. There’s still some time left to regain some ground in the team standings. We have some favorable matchups coming up and if we continue to persevere and work hard, we will inch closer towards our goals come State Championship time,” added Bean.
The Chargers will travel back to the Valley Bowl in Randolph one final time this season on Saturday to face the host team, Hartford, and White River Valley, with a chance to move up the standings.