Oakland County bowling tournament nears

By: Jon Malavolti | C&G Newspapers | Published January 19, 2011

 Walled Lake Northern senior Mackenzie Rauch prepares to bowl during a recent practice. The Oakland County boys and girls bowling tournaments are Jan. 21 and 22.

Walled Lake Northern senior Mackenzie Rauch prepares to bowl during a recent practice. The Oakland County boys and girls bowling tournaments are Jan. 21 and 22.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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

The boys competition, scheduled for Jan. 22 at Wonderland Lanes in Commerce Township, and the girls tourney, Jan. 23 at Thunderbird Lanes in Troy, mark about the midway point of the season. Competition gets under way at 9:30 a.m. at both sites.

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 a large event, emerging stars tend to make their names with big performances. About 30 teams will be competing in each tournament.

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

“The competition gets tougher as you are adding many more teams,” Walled Lake Schools coach Ron Arnoldi said, noting the difference between the county tournament and other competitions.

“Oakland County will have about 30 teams. Most of these teams we don’t see throughout the season. It’s a good stepping point for us. It gives us an idea where our teams stand against other schools that we don’t usually see, up to thirty different schools.”

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

In last year’s girls team event, Holly High won the title, edging Waterford Kettering. The unified team from Farmington High and Farmington Hills Harrison took third, while Troy High took fourth. Farmington-Harrison senior Karla Ziemba took home the individual title.

On the boys side, Farmington-Harrison defeated South Lyon in the finals, while Clarkston topped Lakeland for third place. Farmington-Harrison’s Tyler Vance won the individual title.

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

“There are so many good teams in Oakland County that anybody that gets hot on one of these days has a great chance of winning,” Arnoldi said. “There is no favorite when we are dealing with the teams from Oakland County.”

The coach did venture a few possible favorites, sticking to traditionally strong programs.

“Clarkston and North Farmington are always strong on the boys side,” he said. “Walled Lake Central and Lakeland are strong on the girls side.”
 

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