After being on the road the last couple of weeks, Starkville High’s bowling Yellowjackets returned home to Bulldog Lanes to face the Olive Branch Conquistadors.
Competing on Thursday afternoon were the varsity and junior varsity boys teams. While the varsity team fell 2-1 at the hands of the Conquistadors, the junior varsity boys split their sets with each team winning three of the six frames.
“We have been away from here for the last few weeks,” SHS bowling coach Jim Philamlee said. “Lane conditions differ in different places, so it took us a little while to adjust. We will be home for the next three weeks so that should help us improve.”
The varsity Jacket charge was led by Tyler Dawkins who had scores of 149, 168 and 153 to bowl 470 for the day. Joining Dawkins in leading Starkville was Alex Newman who bowled a high score of 175 in between games that saw him bowl 152 and 131 to finish at 458.
Starkville’s junior varsity split their frames with Olive Branch with Nathan Smith and Ryan Picard leading the way.
Smith bowled the highest scores for the team and ended competition with frames of 139, 138 and 183 for a score of 460. Picard followed Smith by closing his day at 332 with individual frames of 108, 139 and 85.
“Our junior varsity is showing up better,” Philamlee said. “We have a lot of kids on that team and they are all showing improvements.”
While individual scores give Philamlee some indication of where his bowlers stand, the real picture he says comes from looking at each individual’s season average.
Thus far this season the top five Yellowjacket averages belong to Hugh Stone who leads the team with 162, followed by Newman, Cody Prewitt, Dawkins and Ethan Tucker with 161, 161, 153 and 150, respectively.
Smith not only led the junior varsity bowlers, but also leads the team this season with an average of 118. Rounding out the Starkville junior varsity season top five averages are Picard with 108, Waverly Yeatman with 105, James May with 99 and Gus Willis with 90.
The Lady Yellowjackets had the day off on Thursday, but this season, they are led by Skyler Runnels with an average of 149, followed by Akala Greenwood with 108, Amber Miller at 103, Vanessa Collins with 98 and rounding out the top five is Autumn Love with a 93 average this season.
“That is a really good picture,” Philamlee said. “This is what we go by to see how we are improving year to year and right now these impress me.”
Looking at the season thus far and looking ahead to the future, Philamlee says he is impressed with where the Yellowjackets are, but nothing really counts until the team enters regionals.
“Right now our wins and losses count zero,” Philamlee said. “When we go to regionals, that is when things start counting. The top six go to state along with two additional wild cards. Right now, we are getting competition practice and I see improvements. This competition practice really helps us get ready for the competition we will see at regionals."
Starkville will next match up against Neshoba Central who the team split competition with to open the 2012-2013 season.