High School Bowling: Some surprise finishes at sectional tournament

Dayton Christian freshman Aiden Wiggins qualified to the boys Division II District Bowling Tournament in only his first year bowling. CONTRIBUTED

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Dayton Christian freshman Aiden Wiggins qualified to the boys Division II District Bowling Tournament in only his first year bowling. CONTRIBUTED

The timing could not have been better for first-year bowler Aiden Wiggins.

The Dayton Christian freshman rolled a personal best 247-257-186 – 690 – posting both his high game and high series – finishing the boys Division II sectional bowling tournament as the high individual district qualifier at Marian Lanes on Tuesday. Only the Mechanicsburg duo of Elijah Mayberry and Peyton Leeson topped him, with 754 and 748 respectively.

“Honestly, it was extremely surprising,” Wiggins said. “Before this season, I bowled every once in a while, with family or friends but this is my first experience on a team.”

The Warriors are relatively new to the high school bowling ranks in only their second season fielding a team in the Metro Buckeye Conference. After finishing near the bottom of the sectional standings last season, the Warriors were 16th this year with the top 12 advancing to the district tournament.

“We wanted to set a realistic goal for this season and finish between 14th and 16th,” Dayton Christian coach Ray Cox said.

Wiggins advancing to the district as an individual was not on the radar, but Cox wasn’t as surprised as his rookie bowler with the outcome.

“The biggest thing with Aiden is that no matter what we suggest, he is willing to try,” Cox said. “He’s like a sponge, he doesn’t forget stuff. Once he figures things out, he is able to draw on that experience.”

Wiggins, who previously played football and basketball, was planning to take a break from athletics until he saw that his school had a bowling team.

“I wanted to try something different,” he said.

At the urging of his grandmother, Wiggins decided to give bowling a try.

The early part of the season was rough with the 14-year-old starting with a traditional delivery before switching to a two-hander. His average hovered in the 130 or 140 range as he resigned himself to bowl on the junior varsity squad.

“I was extremely inconsistent,” he said.

But he continued to put in the work, improving his average by at least 30 pins.

“It’s been fun watching him,” Cox said.

But no one was having more fun watching at the sectional tournament than Wiggins’ grandmother.

“She was very happy for me,” he said. “Her support has meant the world to me.”

Wiggins will compete Wednesday at the D-II Southwest District Bowling Tournament at Beaver-Vu Bowl.

* Team triumph: Wiggins won’t be the only district newcomer as the underdog Bulldogs from Yellow Springs are making their first appearance as a team.

After struggling to field a full team the past few seasons, Yellow Springs placed 11th at the boys DII sectional tournament, extending their post-season run.

“They just gelled as a group,” Yellow Springs coach Matt Gerberick said. “They have fun and are always supportive of each other.”

Fun has translated into success as senior Max Sturgeon finished seventh individually with 649 and teammate Krishan Miller was 22nd with 596. And with only Sturgeon graduating, the future looks bright for a Bulldogs boys’ program that had more than 20 bowlers come out for the team.

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