Prep bowling: Striking out cancer

Feb. 5—OTTUMWA — Both the Pella and Davis County bowling teams will be setting their sights on battling for berths in the state tournament.

For one day, however, the two teams came together to help aid an even more important battle. The Little Dutch and Mustangs raised proceeds last Wednesday at Champion Bowl during their regular-season dual to help 'Strike Out Cancer' with admission and donations from the meet going to support those battling cancer, including Davis County instructor Laura Newton who was on hand and was honored by both programs by the end of the competition.

"I'm glad she got to come here. It wasn't necessarily for her, but it was for the awareness of breast cancer and cancer in general," Davis County head bowling coach Jason Rook said. "Both sides, (head coach) Bryan (Smith) and the Pella Little Dutch, I thank them dearly. They were on board. They were in favor of it. They may want to build off this meet. We may see this when we face Pella at their place next year."

Pella showed their solidarity to the cause by showing up dressed in the pink colors as Davis County making up their own team shirts matching the shirts made up by the Mustangs for the event. While Davis County came out on top in both duals, 2699-2543 for the boys and 2348-1920 for the girls, the Little Dutch were honored to be a part of the bigger cause.

"It was a such a great opportunity to be here. It thrilled me to be a part of this," Smith said. "When Jason called and asked if we'd be willing to be a part of it, I jumped at the chance. It's a great cause for someone who is clearly very important to the Davis County community and the school district. We were ecstatic to be here."

The day was a memorable on the lanes for Davis County senior Jordan Twedt, who regained a program record he had previously set two years earlier by posting a two-game series score of 472. After rolling a 219 in the opening game, Twedt rolled a 253 overtaking Max McCoy's record of 471 lifting the Davis County boys to a 113-pin lead heading into the baker rounds.

"It definitely made it easier for us going into bakers. There's less stress when you're not worried about shooting big numbers. You only shoot big numbers when you're not thinking about it," Twedt said. "I was happy to take that record back. I actually didn't know I had a 250 game going until it was over. It's better if I don't look at the score.

"It's a good accomplishment. It's something to be proud of."

Twedt was also proud to hand over the proceeds raised from the meet to Newton. Several current Davis County bowlers have gotten to know Newton, who is a middle school math teacher at the school.

"There are a lot of people that have had her as a teacher or know her outside of school as a supportive member of the community," Twedt said. "I'm happy we could help her out in any way possible. I'm sure it meant a lot to her."

For Rook, has built the Davis County bowling program into a state tournament contender as head coach, the cause was even more personal. Newton's husband, Adam, is head coach of the Mustang wrestling team where their son, Emmitt, is a two-time state medal winner seeking to make his third trip to state this season.

"I know how busy Adam is. They've been going through over the past few months," Rook said. "For him to do what he does for Davis County is good. As a coach, I know you have to deal with a lot. He's with his kids even more than I am. I'm glad that Laura could be here and I'm glad we could do something for her and the entire Newton family.

"There were a lot of us that actually switched over from wrestling to bowling, so Laura's kind of been like another mom to most of us," Twedt added.

Taylor Bridgeman paced the Davis County girls bowling team both on Wednesday against Pella and on Saturday at Centerville. The Mustang sophomore rolled a 191 average at Champion Bowl against the Little Dutch and a 158 average on Saturday at Mama Dawn's against the Redettes, leading the Davis County girls to a team score of 1,901, earning a third straight dual win beating Centerville by 279 pins.

The Davis County boys, meanwhile, posted a team score of 2,019 on the tougher lanes of Centerville's house beating the Big Reds by 249 pins. Talon Hull led the Mustang boys on Saturday, posting a 155 average.

State hopeful Carter Failor led the Pella boys on Wednesday, posting a 417 two-game series including a 226 opening game. Mckenna Salvador and Xavia Walker each posted 132 averages to lead the Pella girls against the Mustangs.

The Centerville boys were led on Saturday by a 243 series from Sylar Esaias. Ava Pfannebecker rolled a 115 average to lead the Centerville girls.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.