Bowling: Lake Central boys bring home program’s first state title
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent February 16, 2013 9:34PM
Lake Central coaches Gregg Schmied and Rick Young hug (left) while the team celebrates winning the Indiana High School Bowling boys state title, defeating Franklin Central 422-420 at Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette. | Steve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune
Updated: March 18, 2013 7:15AM
LAFAYETTE — Put to rest all that talk about wildcards, close calls and near misses for the Lake Central boys bowling team.
On Saturday at Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl, the Indians did more than excel in their recently rediscovered “happy place” — they advanced all the way to the championship of the Indiana High School Bowing state finals and defeated, arguably, the best team in the state in Franklin Central, 422-420, for the first state title in boys program history.
The championship literally came down to one ball in the 10th frame when senior Nate Maciejewski left a 3-6 on his second shot, which forced him to pick up at least one pin to seal the title. He successfully converted the spare.
Lake Central held a 21-pin advantage after the first game before each team started the second game with six strikes. After Franklin Central struck on three of its final four shots, Maciejewski came through in the clutch.
“No pressure situation I’ve ever been in could compare to this,” an emotional Maciejewski said. “I knew I could do it, so it wasn’t a big deal. Yet, when I knew I needed one pin, it was a little hard to breathe. I was afraid I was going to chop it. I’m so happy the we can bring a state title back to the region.”
The Indians qualified third for the stepladder finals with 2,964, scoring a tournament best 1,055 in the Bakers, and defeated Muncie Central 427-313 in the semifinal match. Franklin Central won its conference, sectional, regional and semistate with a roster stacked with 200-plus average bowlers.
“We knew we had to keep up with them in that second game because they weren’t far behind us,” senior Colin Young said. “This is third year (at state) for us four seniors and we finally did it.”
LC finished second at state in 2011 and fourth last year. This season the team advanced out of sectional and regional via the wildcard before convincingly advancing to state in fourth place at semistate.
“What a wild finish,” LC coach Gregg Schmeid said. “I still can’t believe the turnaround that this team made in just the past few weeks. Instead of bowing nervous, they just let it go and had a smile on their face. They never got down; they just stayed fired up and happy. Our new slogan has been ‘bowl happy’ and that what the kids did. They stayed loose and had fun. We knew what we had with this group of kids.
“And the kids did it; what a ride.”