King me: Kramer claims crown
Senior wins individual bowling title as Marshalltown places second
WATERLOO — First there were screams of unfiltered joy after a closing strike. Then, as the finality of Wednesday’s Class 3A State bowling tournament sunk in, Marshalltown senior Lucas Kramer was moved to tears. It was his last stand with the Bobcats — and in the midst of his emotions, Kramer knew it had been a success.
After all, he had first-place and second-place medals around his neck.
Kramer bowled a 3A state-meet record series of 267-265–532 to clinch the individual title Wednesday afternoon at Cadillac Lanes, and in the process helping Marshalltown to its third second-place finish at state in the last four years. The Bobcats finished with a 3,226 team score, just 39 pins behind Waterloo West’s final tally of 3,265. This was the sixth-consecutive season in which the Bobcats have made it to state — four of the six seasons have ended with a team trophy.
Kramer said the moment hit him hard once the bowling was complete for the day.
“I honestly kind of felt sick,” Kramer said. “I started hearing numbers, and it gets closer and closer and I’m like, ‘I finally did it.’ It’s my last chance, and I wanted to go out with a bang.”
Kramer was his usual energetic self all day long — calm, cool and collected under pressure, and emphatically celebrating with his teammates for every strike and spare. He was searching for any way to get to his best, coach DJ Wilder said, asking Wilder for advice more often than he ever did before.
“They stayed locked in,” Wilder said. “Lucas came to me and asked me some questions I’ve never heard him ask me before. We had a conversation and he made some changes based on my feedback, and I really appreciated that.”
Kramer wasn’t the only individual medalist for the Bobcats, as fellow senior Logan Proffitt finished in sixth place with a 267-197–464. Proffitt fed off the energy and strong play of Kramer, Wilder said, and a small adjustment he made was the catalyst for his strong first game.
Proffitt said he had a tough second game but kept fighting for his teammates.
“Personally it was so hard to take in,” Proffitt said. “It was such an overwhelming feeling of just knowing that you finally succeeded pretty much, so I’m basically just speechless about it.”
Sophomore Dylan Cooper finished in 13th with a 188-259–447, senior Hunter Dannen bowled 169-202–371 and Demitri Ferneau (154-200) and Xander Pickett (164-190) had 354s to round out the scoring.
After the individual rounds, the Bobcats held a slim, slim 20-pin lead over Waterloo West, 2,168-2,148. The Bobcats had a difficult first Baker game with a 182, but followed it up with a 230 and a 215. The chants of “Check Check — Instant Replay!” rang out from Marshalltown’s bowlers after every strike, along with Kramer and Proffitt’s enthusiastic reactions. The group was galvanized despite tough days for Pickett and Ferneau, who was the district champion for the Bobcats one week ago. The Bobcats closed the Baker games with a 187 and 235.
Thanks to relative consistency in the Bakers, the team held on to a medaling position as Waterloo West’s final two Baker game totals of 236 and 258 put the Wahawks over the top. Wilder said the team couldn’t have asked for much more from each other, and he added that the second-place finish isn’t a disappointment — it’s right where the program should be.
But what of the 2020-21 season? The Bobcats now graduate three bowlers from their varsity squad, including a team leader and state champ in Kramer.
Headed to Grand View University in Des Moines next year as a bowling recruit, Kramer said it was a wonderful way to close the curtain on his high school career.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Kramer said. “I’m glad I could spend my career as a Marshalltown Bobcat.”
Now, Wilder has a task on his hands. There are three returners on varsity in Ferneau, Pickett and Cooper — and three more will have to rise up from junior varsity. With big shoes to fill, the Bobcats will be reliant on the experience the current sophomores have gained in state and district action for the past two seasons.
Wilder remains confident in his group and said he feels good about where the program is headed.
“That’s probably the one thing we’re gonna miss is the senior leadership,” Wilder said. “We might be reliant on some this-year sophomores to be leaders next year. Demitri with the two years experience, he can have that leadership.”
Class 3A State Tournament
Team Standings — 1. Waterloo West 3,265, 2. Marshalltown 3,226, 3. Cedar Falls 3,197, 4. Cedar Rapids Prairie 3,090, 5. Ankeny 3,067, 6. Dubuque Hempstead 3,063, 7. Des Moines Lincoln 3,044, 8. Davenport Central 3,032.
Individual (top 10) — 1. Lucas Kramer, MHS, 532; 2. William Putney, DM Lincoln, 492; 3. Jacob Hunt, Davenport Central, 486; 4. Spencer Kirk, Cedar Rapids Prairie, 479; 5. Matthew Swanson, Cedar Falls, 474; 6. Logan Proffitt, MHS, 464; 7. Ryan Venem, Cedar Falls, 461; 8. Tristan Corcoran, Waterloo West, 459; 9. Christian Bies, Dubuque Hempstead, 454; 10. Cameron Borst, Waukee, 450.
WATERLOO WEST (3,265) — Corcoran 215-244–459, Ben Melcher 224-225–449, Austin Tieskotter 232-212–444, Andrew Turner 216-201–417, Brady Bengston 188-191–379, Kale Smith 184-181–365. Baker total: 1,117.
MARSHALLTOWN (3,226) — Kramer 267-265–532, Proffitt 267-197–464, Dylan Cooper 188-259–447, Hunter Dannen 169-202–371, Demitri Ferneau 154-200–354, Xander Pickett 164-190–354. Baker total: 1,058.
CEDAR FALLS (3,197) — Swanson 210-264–474, Venem 246-215–461, Matthew Elder 215-219–434, Nick Helmers 224-141–365, Will Nickey 183-175–358, 171-148–319. Baker total: 1,105.
CR PRAIRIE (3,090) — Kirk 179–300–479, Collin Van Weelden 231-197–428, Johnathon Keiper 209-195–404, Jace Merta 204-196–400, Joe Vavra 236-150–386, Teegan Merta 152-231–383. Baker total: 993.
ANKENY (3,067) — Gage Payton 180-258–438, Jeff Carothers 213-212–425, Chris Winters 191-222–413, Brandon Schumacher 203-193–396, Blake Schumacher 195-195–390, Aidan Doruska 163-170–333. Baker total: 1,005.
DUBUQUE HEMPSTEAD (3,063) — Bies 219-235–454, Devin Eudaley 222-227–449, Trevor Taylor 224-204–428, Ian Ninneman 225-195–420, Trent Kutsch 238-153–391, Colton Kinsella 177-181–358. Baker total: 921.
DM LINCOLN (3,044) — Putney 234-258–492, Ethan Ervin 213-203–416, Derrik Probasco 189-201–390, Kyle Ahn 178-169–347, Dominic Friend 191-156–347, Dylan Armel 144-200–344. Baker total: 1,052.
DAVENPORT CENTRAL (3,032) — Hunt 258-228–486, Kevin Wayt 216-213–429, Jayce Jewell 205-212–417, DarTarian Collins 177-212–389, Josh Allen 167-206–373, Grayson Reyhons 152-131–283. Baker totals: 938.