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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Highlands Senior Bowls to Individual State Title

Campbell Dominates Competition in Louisville

KHSAA photo. Highlands senior Andy Campbell captured the first-ever school and Northern Kentucky Boys' Singles Championship on Thursday at Executive Strike and Spare in Louisville.
Highlands senior bowler Andy Campbell made school and Northern Kentucky history in his last appearance Thursday.

Campbell blazed past the rest of the field on his way to the Boys' Singles Championship at Executive Strike and Spare. Campbell bowled 1,107 total in five qualifying games pulling away from second-seed Jacob Rowan of Louisville DuPont Manual by 84 pins earning a bye into the championship match.

"The amount of mental preparedness it took to prepare for state was probably a week long before the competition," Campbell said. "I tried to put myself through every scenario imaginable to make sure nothing caught me off guard. (The) conditions were tough, but I had prepared enough (that) I knew what needed to be done."

He had to wait for three matches in the four-person stepladder finals. Campbell then defeated Rowan, 229-119. He averaged 223 in six games in the tournament. Campbell scored 222 or more in five of those six matches.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. Located in Fort Thomas Plaza. 
Campbell finished fifth in the individual state tournament as a freshman in 2015 just missing out on the stepladder finals. Jake Farley finished third in the qualifying rounds in 2016 and 2014 for the Bluebirds, but lost in the first round of the stepladder finals.

"Andy's a very calm, cool and collect individual," said Glenn Schmidt, Highlands Head Coach. "He's very mature and he doesn't get overly excited. He knows he's got the capability to do what he needs to do to win. That's exactly what he did. He was like money in the bank all day. He threw the same shot. He hit his spot every time and he threw a lot of strikes. Technically, he won it without any competition."

Highlands saw freshman Abby Bach compete in the Girls' Singles Championship. She did not make it to the semifinals bowling a 368 in three games.

The Highlands girls could not make it past the first round of the tournament in their fourth straight appearance. The Bluebirds bowled an 815 in the qualifying round earning the ninth seed before losing 3-1 (177-105, 157-146, 146-155, 176-113) to Lexington Bryan Station. Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park wound up winning the state championship.

Schmidt noted the overall scores were down compared to last year when Highlands bowled an 1,102 to earn the fourth seed in the state tournament before losing to Louisville Mercy at Collins Eastland in Lexington. Last year's top seed and eventual state champion Central Hardin bowled a 1,205 in the qualifying round and this year's top seed in Campbell County bowled 930. Schmidt said the Kentucky High School Athletic Association set up a Taj Mahal challenge condition on the lanes.

"I'm not sure exactly what it is," Schmidt said. "It has to sink in. It hasn't really sunk in to me what happened to these girls. They could not make spares, which I told them that they had to do all season long. They were doing that during the season. We practiced spares hard before we went down there. They couldn't get their ball to the head pin. I'd move them left and every time I moved them left, they'd swing the ball out and still wouldn't get to the head pin. It was a rough day."

The Highlands boys finished state runner-up in 2014. The Highlands girls play in the team state championship Friday at 8:20 a.m.

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