Excelsior Springs Bowlers Finish Strong at State Tournament

Senior Joshua Oldham (right) celebrates with his team after one of his many strikes (photo Brody Hurla).

Article submitted by ESHS Junior, Brody Hurla.

The Excelsior Springs Tiger Bowling Team placed 8th out of 23 teams in the USBC High School Missouri State Competition, beating larger schools in the Kansas City, Missouri area such as Lee’s Summit, Ray-Pec, and Fort Osage. They also held their own against schools from St. Louis and Springfield. Next year, they aim to improve even more.

The bowling team has been practicing deliberately every Wednesday for the past 6 months since October to become one of the best teams in the KCMO area. This year, they broke a record by being the first school to have two teams from the same school place in the top 5. The Excelsior Springs Bowling Team took 2nd place in the zones competition, which allowed them a spot in the state tournament.

Huddle Up: the Tigers talk strategy after a tough matchup (photo Brody Hurla).

In high school bowling, a tournament is played in a baker style, where 5 different people bowl different frames (the first bowls 1-6, 2nd bowls 2-7, etc.). Eight people are allowed per team, and the Excelsior Team is made up of seven members: Colt Bowman, Brody Hurla, Oliva Smith, Quinlynn Davis, Josh Oldham, and David Falconer. The coaches are Jerry Ferrell Jr, Teressa Ferrel, and Sam Standon.

On May 6th, 2023, the Excelsior Springs Tigers made a long journey down to Oasis Lanes in Union, Missouri. They met at the lanes at 8 am, where they prepared themselves for the long day of 24 games. The day was a roller coaster of events. At first, the score was low, but as the day went on, the team got on a roll. “It’s strike time, baby,” one of the team’s signature chants, echoed through the lanes as Tigers battled throughout the afternoon.

ESHS Tiger State Bowling Team: From left to right Jerry Ferrell (coach), Brody Hurla, Quinlynn Davis, David Falconer, Joshua Oldham, Oliva Smith, Colt Bowman, Sam Stanton (coach). (photo Brody Hurla).

“Get it close, get it right,” Coach Jerry Ferrell said going into the second set of 12 games. The team did that, losing only 3 out of the next 12 games. They shot as high as 251, and their cheers and roars ran throughout the alley as they kept it close and kept it right. In the final round, they suffered a heartbreaking loss, which kept them in 8th place overall. Seniors Josh Oldham and David Falconer were excited to get one last chance to prove themselves in the bowling world before heading to college next year. “While the loss might be frustrating,” Josh says, “I’m excited to see what the team I started can do next year.”

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