OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa bowling teams started their respective seasons on a positive note by winning their season-opening duals at home against Dowling at Champion Bowl.
The girls, who were spearheaded by Bailey Palmer, Sydney Swallow and Cybil Lennie, defeated the Maroons 2,815-2,055. Palmer was at the vanguard of the Bulldogs' success, rolling an average of 199, but Swallow and Lennie followed closely behind her with similar averages: Swallow bowled a 198 and Lennie a 197.
I've been practicing all year and it's a different atmosphere," Palmer said about the first meet. "The atmosphere was a lot different. More intense, I'd say."
Still, the Bulldogs talented sophomore prodigy was pleased with her team's debut.
"For the first meet, we did really good," Palmer said. "We need to improve though, we have a lot to improve on before state."
Meanwhile, Joey Lee served as the boys' bellwether leader, rolling a 230 average to help Ottumwa top Dowling 2,170-1,826.
"We had good scores individually," Ottumwa boys coach Brett Salter said, "our Baker round was not the best, but overall it was a pretty good start. "We're only in our third week of practice and it's tough and early to tell. But, you know, what encourages me is we had three guys on JV bowling really well, too. Our varsity squad isn't set by any means where it's at.
"It's going to be a year of progress, getting better all year for us."
"Everyone bowled really good, we had a couple low scores, but other than that everyone did really good," Joey Lee added.
Aside from Lee's auspicious start to the season, Braxton Coble bowled a 223 average and Austin Palmer and Kolten Fountain, in his varsity debut, each rolled a 220 average. In addition, Ryan Hagist bowled a 193 average and Jordan Mitchell rolled an average of 177.