The Manhattan High bowling team took strides to get even better a season ago, and as they enter this season, both teams have high hopes of making it to the state tournament.
The boys’ team has never qualified as a team, and have only sent individuals. MHS coach Chris George said making it this year is their top goal.
“We have a pretty good group of senior boys, we have three seniors that have been varsity members for quite awhile, so we have our goal set to make it to state this year,” he said. “We’ve never done that as a team boys-wise, and we have a tough league, but we would like to have a shot at that.”
The team will open play at the Bishop Carroll Baker Tournament on Saturday, a 26-team tournament bowled at West Acres in Wichita.
The boys’ team will open with seniors Austin Boerfer, Chris Boydston and Matt Troy joined by Shon Eakes, Tucker Reffit and Alex Huerta.
Also on the boys’ list is to be competitive near the top of their league, which George said has correlated with state success over recent years.
“We have a really tough league, and usually the team that wins our league does fairly well at state,” he said. “That’s one of the things we are trying to do, accomplish winning league.”
The girls’ team will look to build on its success last year, and will have some help with the move-back of Jordan Jackson. Jackson switched schools last year to Junction City after starting her career at MHS, and this year she will return with the team.
George said she will make an instant impact for the team.
“We had Jordan Jackson move back over here from Junction City, which really helps our team,” he said. “She has been bowling really well, and she will probably be our top girl bowler.”
The rest of the team will have some experience as well, with three returners and the younger sister of a familiar name from last season.
“The two Dooley girls, Megan and Miranda, are back, and Kayla Brock is back,” George said. “Josh Winiecke’s sister, Krystin, is a freshman and she is pretty good, as well as a senior Courtney Faucett is in her first year out, and then I talked Taylor Lund into going out from the golf team.”
The MHS bowling teams will debut at home on Jan. 23.