Pin it to win it

Bobcat bowling team piles up season-high score to strike down Fort Dodge

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Marshalltown bowler Carson Potter looks back toward his teammates and celebrates after rolling a strike during a baker round Thursday at the Totem Bowl. The Bobcats bowled a season-high 3,447 pins to defeat visiting CIML Iowa Conference foe Fort Dodge.

The term is gelling.

That’s what the Marshalltwon boys’ and girls’ bowling teams are using to describe their year, as the final stretch of regular season matches roll across on the calendar. On Thursday, the boys recorded their highest baker score of the year with 1,211 pins and defeated visiting Fort Dodge 3,447-2,746 at Totem Bowl.

Ray Wiegand led the Bobcats again, this time scoring a 505 individual series for the Bobcats (10-0). Carson Potter’s 269 in the first individual round propelled him to a 475 series and Richie Thomas took a perfect game into the seventh frame of his second round to post a 452 series.

But what’s happening off the lanes has head coach Roger Taylor Sr. excited, even more so than a perfect record through the new year.

“We’re gelling at the right time,” Taylor Sr. said. “Everything seems to be heading in the right direction. A lot of them work hard on their own; they go to other centers and practice. There’s just a lot dedication going on right now.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Marshalltown’s Kamarin Chizek follows through on a shot during an individual round Thursday at the Totem Bowl. Chizek bowled a 413 individual series to help the Bobcats to a 3,447-2,796 win against CIML Iowa Conference foe Fort Dodge.

“Some of them are really the student of the game right now. I can’t take any credit when there’s that much dedication going on right now.”

The Bobcats shattered their bakers’ average of 194.2 pins per game with a 242.2 average on Thursday. On top of some exceptionally high individual scores, everything was coming up roses for the Bobcats against the Dodgers.

Taylor Sr. even joked that it was the first time all year a Bobcat hadn’t bowled a 300 game. Wiegand had back-to-back meets where he found 10 perfect frames, and took a perfect game into the sixth and seventh frames of his two individual rounds Thursday night. In fact, the only blemishes on his second round were a 9-spare in the seventh and finishing strike-strike-nine in the 10th frame.

Thomas found one of his hottest evenings of the year, going frame for frame with Wiegand in both rounds. Thomas posted both a season-high (235) and series-high (452) Thursday night.

“Everybody has had such a good time with each other,” Taylor Sr. said. “We’ve been fortunate enough with the JV guys, where we’ve had three or four guys come back and forth [to varsity]. So there’s not just six guys, but there are seven, eight, nine of them who are just gelling together. They sit together, they cheer together, they’re silly together and they have fun together. That makes strikes and the pressure situation easier to swallow.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

Coming into Thursday night’s match, the bakers matches were the weak point in a stout lineup for the Bobcats. Finding the right balance between fun and focus was the fine line Taylor Sr. had to flirt with to provide a cohesive team atmosphere.

“I know some pro bowlers, and they’re the greatest bowlers on the planet,” Taylor Sr. said. “And even they don’t strike every single shot. So for a high school athlete to think they’re going to strike every single shot, they’ve got to be able to understand, you threw a good, quality shot, now you’ve got to pick up the spare.”

The Bobcats’ recorded a new season-high in pin count with their 3,447 pins knocked down. Their previous best was 3,208. Both the individual total (2,236) and baker total (1,211) were season-bests for the Bobcats.

But for now, Taylor Sr. will be seeking to continue education of the game while fostering the budding relationships of his athletes.

“I get the front row seat,” Taylor Sr. said. “I get to share what I know, then they put something together. Some of these guys have the raw talent. I’m just the captain of the ship, and make sure I point it in the right direction, and then they flourish from there.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

Next up for Marshalltown bowling is senior night against Ankney, at the Totem Bowl next Thursday, starting at 3:45 p.m.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD