Muskegon, Michigan — The Highland Cougars had one mission when they stepped on the lanes early Friday morning at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Michigan. Prove that this team of freshman and sophomores had what it takes to win against the 4-year Universities and Colleges in the field.
They did just that – and in impressive fashion.
The Cougars took a commanding lead game 1 thanks to freshman, Evan Jaros’s, perfect 300 game. This was the first individual 300 game in the history of the Highland Bowling program.
“I was so nervous, do you see how much I am shaking still,” said Jaros after his game. Jaros came to Highland from Yorkville, IL.
During the four game qualifying block, the Cougars never looked back. Six of the eight Cougar bowlers averaged more than 200 and they placed 5 bowlers on the All-Tournament team (3 of them in the top 5).
“I knew we had a shot at it right off the bat as we had a good look on the lanes, but you never know once you advance to baker games,” said first year head coach, Kris Beach.
The Cougar team went into the 16-game Baker games with a 200+ pin lead and looked to add to that as the competition continued.
The Cougars led by nearly 400 Pins when coach Beach “emptied the bench” for the final two games to gain experience for the rest of the team.
The Highland team won by 344 Pins over Aquinas University from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ball State and Rochester University finished 3rd and 4th.
“This is the push we needed as we head into the toughest, and most important, portion of our schedule before we head to post-season play,” continued Beach. “It’s good to win, we will enjoy this and then start to work on next weeks event.”
The Highland Cougars bowl NJCAA Nationals in Buffalo, NY March 2 & 3 and hope to make sectionals in mid-March where the Top 80 colleges and universities in the nation advance to sectional play. They enteredtoday’s tournament ranked 44th… and 2nd in NJCAA.
The Cougars Men’s Team competes next week in Addison, IL in the ISBPA/Kegel Collegiate Tier 1 event which features all the top teams in the country. 155 teams are expected to compete at the 84-lane Stardust Bowl in Addison.
That tournament is followed by conference tournaments in Weston, WI and HCC’s first home conference meet at The 4 Seasons in Freeport (February 10-11). The regular season ends in mid-February at The Hoosier in Indianapolis… the largest collegiate tournament in the nation.
The Highland team this weekend consisted of Evan Jaros, Bryce Lawson (Dakota), Jared Johnson (Freeport), Larry Tripamer III (Belvidere), Kyle Krumme (Yorkville), Trace Ermey (Monroe, WI), Gary Ramey (Springfield) and Bailey Luy (Freeport).