|Contributed Photo. The Highlands bowling teams gather after winning the 5th Region crowns two weeks ago. They play in the state tournament with the singles events taking place Thursday and the team event taking place Friday.|
The Highlands bowling teams hope to experience that at the state bowing tournament at Collins Eastland Lanes in Lexington. The singles event takes place Thursday starting at 10 a.m. and the team event takes place Friday starting at 7:40 a.m. On Friday, the boys teams bowl first with the girls teams starting around 1 p.m.
The Bluebirds and Ladybirds made school history both winning the 5th Region crown two weeks ago. They also qualified three for the singles event as senior Jake Farley defeated sophomore teammate Andy Campbell, 223-200 in the boys title game. Sophomore Katelyn Schneider qualified individually for state for the Ladybirds placing fourth in the region tournament.
That marked the first region team title for the Bluebirds and the second straight region crown for the Ladybirds. It also marked the first singles winner boys or girls individual champion in school history.
"I really feel that they have peeked at this point," said Glenn Schmidt, Highlands Head Coach. "We worked all year and we worked hard on making spares in practice. I've emphasized that and I've worked with them to make sure they're shooting spares correctly. I told them if we get to that point, I think we have a good shot when we get down to state. They've listened and worked well. They want to be there. Now we're going to give it the best shot we got."
Farley placed third in the state tournament two years ago helping the Bluebirds to a state runner-up finish to Scott County. Campbell finished second in the region last year and took fifth in the state.
Schmidt has looked at other region scores. He said he expects the toughest challenges to come from Louisville schools like Trinity and Male.
"It comes down to the condition of the lanes and how they adjust to them," Schmidt said. "We'll be working on that situation. There are synthetic lanes at Eastland Bowl like we have at La Ru. Synthetic Lanes are like Formica. You don't have to sand them (unlike wood lanes). You just have to keep them clean. It's a matter of making the shots and keeping focused."
The Bluebirds have 16 bowlers on the roster and the Ladybirds have 12. The other five seniors are James Killen, Trevor Mattingly and Andrew Alice. The Ladybirds are led by juniors Abbey Parrott, Kathryn Ball, Schneider and Maddy Shelton.
This will mark the second team appearance at state for the Bluebirds and the third for the Ladybirds. The Ladybirds lost to Taylor County in the first round of the state tournament in 2013 and 2015. Taylor County won the crown in 2013.