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By JOEL COLEMAN
As a senior offensive lineman for East Webster last fall, Hunter Cunningham bowled over his fair share of defenders trying to disrupt the Wolverines' run-heavy attack.
Thursday, Cunningham's success at a different kind of bowling won him funds for his forthcoming days in college.
In the annual scholarship tournament at Bulldog Lanes featuring bowlers from both the Starkville High School and East Webster High School bowling squads, Cunningham took home the grand prize as the top-finishing senior.
With all students paired alongside bowlers from the Tuesday Night Men's League, Cunningham and partner Taggert White finished with a three-game total score of 1,023 to capture the scholarship.
The total amount that Cunningham will be able to put towards his college tuition won't be finalized until sometime this week, but regardless, Cunningham is excited he was able to come out on top.
"I really enjoyed it," said Cunningham. "We started out strong, but our second game kind of crippled us a little because we couldn't get our motion back after having to wait after the first game. The last game, we came back strong. Overall, I loved it."
Starkville High senior Adam Hays took home second place behind Cunningham.
Hays and partner Chris Koehn tallied a three-game total score of 1,012.
Patrick Muirhead teamed up with East Webster senior Robert McBride, helping McBride to a third-place finish with a score of 961.
Starkville's Chris Crosby was the only other senior in the field, scoring a 932 alongside partner Chris Tagart.
The funds for all of the awarded scholarships came from individual donors as well as sponsors Bulldog Lanes, the Tuesday Night's Men League, Shep's Cleaners and the Starkville Kiwanis Club.
As a sponsor, Kiwanis Club secretary Tom Smith says it is a pleasure to give and support area youth.
"The focus of Kiwanis is serving children of the world, all the way up until they are young adults," said Smith. "This is a new project that we have that was just initiated this year and we hope that we can carry on for many years to come."
Though they weren't able to compete for scholarship money, underclassmen from East Webster and Starkville also competed in Thursday's events.
One of those individuals, Starkville High junior Dalvin Tate, actually posted the event's highest total score with the help of partner Barry Brown.
The duo of Tate and Brown posted a total score of 1,214 to earn the night's bragging rights.
"It feels good to come out here and win," said Tate. "Hopefully next year, I can do this again and win a scholarship."