Macomb County bowling tournament nears

By: Jon Malavolti | C&G Newspapers | Published January 18, 2011

 East Detroit’s girls bowling team huddles up before a recent competition. The Macomb County boys and girls varsity bowling tournament is Jan. 22 at Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights.

East Detroit’s girls bowling team huddles up before a recent competition. The Macomb County boys and girls varsity bowling tournament is Jan. 22 at Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights.

Photo by David Schreiber

The upcoming Macomb County boys and girls varsity bowling tournaments represent several key things to the season.

The varsity competitions, beginning around 9 a.m. Jan. 22 at Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights, mark about the midway point of the season. The JV county tournaments follow the next day at Sunnybrook.

And while most teams will have already taken part in several league matches and other tournaments by this point, few competitions offer what the county tournament does.

It provides squads a measuring stick to gauge themselves against some of the other top teams in the county — some of which won’t see each other again until the postseason regional tournament.

While the pressure is on at such large events, with about 25 teams competing in each tournament, emerging stars tend to make their names with big performances.

And with trophies and bragging rights on the line, the competition is focused and fierce.

“Some of the best teams in the state come out of Macomb County. We have probably had more state team champions then anywhere in the state of Michigan,” Utica Stevenson coach Tom Stockton said. “If you can win this tournament, you should be one of the front-runners in the MHSAA state finals in March.”

Boys and girls teams from Macomb County have accounted for 16 state-finalists appearances, including six state titles, since 2004.

The team and individual county tournaments will whittle down the participants throughout the day until a new champion can be crowned.

Last year, in the girls team event, Fair Haven Anchor Bay won the title, edging Utica Eisenhower in the final. Chippewa Valley took third, while Warren Regina took fourth. Regina junior Courtney Shadik won the individual crown.

On the boys side, Eisenhower defeated Armada High in the final, while Macomb L’Anse Creuse North topped Warren De La Salle for third place. Utica senior Brent Pawlicki won the boys individual.

As for predicting this year’s champions, anybody’s guess could strike true.

Stockton did venture a few possible favorites, sticking to some recently strong programs. On the boys side, he noted Dakota, Utica High and Warren Mott. From there, he mentioned Utica Ford II, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Stevenson as dark horse candidates.

In the girls competition, he believed Anchor Bay, L’Anse Creuse North and Chippewa Valley would be the teams to beat, while Stevenson and Warren Cousino could also make a run for the crown.