OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa bowling teams perfect records remained untarnished Thursday as the Bulldogs combined to pick up a pair of victories over Des Moines Hoover at Champion Bowl on a day that celebrated the seniors who decorate the roster of both teams.
The girls team knocked off the Huskies 2,962-1,863 and the boys trounced Hoover 3,520-2,654.
"We just have a lot of teamwork, " Ashley Schooley said. "We just root for each other and give each other high fives."
Kourtney Longaker attributed her team's success in the dual — and in the season overall — to "keeping our spirits up and not getting down."
Longaker spearheaded the Bulldogs squad with a team-best two-round average of 236 and Bailey Palmer rolled a two-round average of 219.
"Bailey was on, Courtney Longaker had a good day, Cybil [Lennie] bowled better than her score indicated," Ottumwa girls coach Doug Techel said.
"We want to peak at the right time. I don't think we've reached our full potential, yet. Everything will come down to two days: substate and state."
Braxton Coble was at the forefront of the boys' success, rolling a team-best average of 255. Coble was closely followed by Austin Palmer, who rolled a 252 average, and Joey Lee, who bowled a 246. Ryan Hagist finished right behind Lee with a 245 average.
"Everyone bowled as a team today," Ottumwa bowling coach Brett Salter said.
"We were hitting today," Lee added.
Scattered applause, ubiquitous high fives and occasional bursts of collective applause after an especially good shot joined blended together to provide Champion Bowl with its own distinctive music and rhythm. The magical sound a bowling ball makes when it crashes into the pins for a strike consistently gave voice to the success Ottumwa enjoyed throughout the afternoon.
Although both Ottumwa teams will play host to the CIML Metro tournament next Thursday, the win did act as a memorable sendoff for the seniors on both teams; especially those seniors who compete at the junior varsity level and will not compete in the tourney next week.