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East Webster savors bowling championship

March 2, 2012

Members of the East Webster bowling team sport the state championship banner. (Submitted photo)

One week later, Christian Jones is still waiting for the feeling to sink in.

The East Webster bowling team won the Class 1 State Championship by defeating Kossuth in the finals and Jones is still finding it a little difficult to put into words what it means.

For someone who won two state championships as a baseball player during his days with the Wolverines, Jones said it's different as a coach.

"It was remarkable," Jones said. "I was excited and proud. There were different feelings at the same time. You are proud of those guys for working so hard and being rewarded for their efforts and excited to know you won the state in your class."

East Webster just concluded its sixth season of bowling competition and it's the second championship for the Wolverines. They won in 2007 by beating Pisgah in the finals when the sport was still a part of the pilot program. Bowling became an MHSAA sanctioned event in 2008.

With the competition in Class 1, Jones knew it wouldn't be easy for East Webster to have success.

"There were a bunch of good teams in it this year and I knew it was going to be close, especially coming out of regionals and seeing the scores posted of all the teams that were going," Jones said. "Those guys stepped up to the challenge and proved what they had."

At the beginning of the year, Jones asked principal Bill Brand if he could lead the Wolverines' bowling program. The request was granted.

It didn't take long for Jones to realize that the team had potential.

"At the first practice, I could tell by the demeanor that all of them had, the guys and girls were going to the state championship," Jones said. "Throughout the year and seeing the progression those boys were making and even with the girls, I was thinking they've got a sure shot. Of course the girls fell a little short, but the guys weren't going to let anything get to them."

The members of the East Webster boys team are Austin Raybourne, Joel Naron, Brett Brock, Jacob Frost, Austin Cunningham, Scott Winfield, Dustin Emfinger, Drew Wofford and Cruz Winfield.

"Anytime you have a group that accomplishes a state championship, it's something to be proud of," Brand said. "We've been a couple of years without a state championship. It feels good to win it again. I actually got to go down to watch and the kids were really excited. I was excited for them and their parents also."

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