by Ken Brown
RUTLAND – Lake Region’s Matt Wilcox claimed state runner-up honors for the Craftsbury Academy (CA) bowling team over the weekend in their inaugural season as a varsity program.
Fair Haven’s Josh Kennedy bowled a 207 in the individual finals to defeat Wilcox to claim the Vermont High School Bowling State Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Rutland Bowlerama. Craftsbury Academy head coach Connor Bean had all five of his starting team members make the field of 32 to compete for the title. Wilcox, Joe Patnoe, and Jacob Marquis all made the Sweet 16 round for the Chargers. Patnoe, who set the single-game record for CA earlier this season, was ranked sixth in the state going in, but was defeated by a red-hot Wilcox (ranked 11th) in the round of 16. Wilcox defeated third-seeded Tucker Sargent in the quarterfinals and fired a 223 to roll past Emma Eckler in the semifinals, the fourth ranked bowler in the state. Kennedy would end Wilcox’s run in the final match (207, 179) to claim the title.
It has already been a massively successful maiden season for Bean and his Charger team, claiming four runner-up titles this season, capped off by a first-place finish last week at Twin City Lanes. The win moved the Chargers up to a sixth place ranking out of 12 teams for this weekend’s upcoming Team State Championship. Bean is also the athletic director at CA, as well as the co-director of Vermont High School Bowling. His goal is to continue to grow the interest for the sport at CA and eventually expand it as a varsity sport beyond the current 12 high school teams across the state.
Brattleboro will go into this weekend as the top seed this Saturday at Twin City Lanes in Barre. Bean likes the position and momentum his team has and believes any of the top seven teams have a great chance of coming away with the state championship.