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Grand Opening at Grand Facility
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By Carol McIntire
Conotton Valley bowling teams christened the new Rocket Center Lanes with victories over the Lake Blue Streaks on the first day of December.
Not only was the match the long-awaited official opening of the 10-lane bowling alley on the lower level of the Rocket Center, it held special meaning to the teams and coaches as well.
The match, which came a year after it was originally scheduled, pitted Robyn King, assistant Rocket coach, against Pat King, her father and head coach of the Lake Blue Streaks.
“Dad knew about the project to build the Rocket Center with a bowling alley inside from the beginning,” Robyn explained just prior to the beginning of the match. “We knew it would be special if we could match the two teams up in the opener so we planned it from the beginning.”
Pat is in his 13th season as head coach of the Blue Streaks. Robyn was a four-year bowler at the school prior to her graduation in 2014.
“I’ve been looking forward to this since the groundbreaking,” Pat King said. “Not only is Robyn my daughter, Conotton Valley has a great bowling program. They have good coaches who are in it for the right reasons.”
He rated the lanes as “top notch” saying the new facility will take the Rockets “to the next level.”
“To have their own facility and the chance to practice when they need to and want to; that is something most teams dream of,” the veteran coach said, adding his team practices on average twice a week at Parke Centre.
Both teams compete in the Stark County Bowling Conference, Lake in the Federal division and Conotton Valley in the Southeastern division. The Rockets joined the conference in the 2020-21 season. Lake is a long-time member.
“We wanted to improve the level of competition so we joined the conference and began playing teams that traditionally do well,” Robyn King said.
Rocket team members were excited and a bit nervous prior the match.
Robert Myer, a senior and four-year member of the team, said he was “excited” and described the facility as “really nice.” “It really helps to have our own home alley,” he said, adding he was a little nervous.
Senior Katie Schaar, a four-year member of the girls team, was also excited.
“It’s a really big change,” she said. “It is so nice to have our own alley where we can set up different spares and try different oil patterns. I think it’s going to help us a lot. We have a lot more time to practice.”
The elder King summed it up when asked for a predication on which team would be victorious. “We all win,” he boldly replied.
The Rockets put their skills on display when the 10-minute warm up period was over the action began.
The boys team found themselves trailing by eight pins, 1,865-1,857 after the single games competition. The team rallied to win the Baker Rotation 769-658 to earn a 2,626-2,523 victory.
Rockets Nolan Caldwell and Nate Downing both rolled 400 series in the single games. Downing rolled games of 198 and 226 for a match high 424 series while Caldwell threw games of 207 and 203 for a 410. Bobby Brennan added a 329 series (188, 141) while Spencer Bernhart contributed a 370 (185, 185). Jayden Rolli (167) and Myer (157) bowled single games.
Brady Tompot led the Blue Streaks with games of 200 and 214 for a 414 series.
The Lady Rockets led 1,913-1,498 after the single games competition and won the Baker Rotation 754-575 for a 2,667-2,073 victory.
Daphne Stuber paced the winners with a match high 425 series (169, 236) as Schaar rolled a 410 (220, 190). Mackenzie Willoughby added a 394 (187, 207) while Delilah Williams a 284 (208, 176). Chloe Blick (155) and Mylie Galigher (145) bowled single games.
Ashlee Cunningham paced Lake with a 376 series (163, 213).
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