In Central York's first year as PIAA squad, Panthers capture state bowling championship

BARRY SPARKS
717-505-5403/@ydsports
The members of the Central York state championship bowling team are: front row, left to right, Kamryn Brenneman, Bryce Kline and Madison Brenneman; and back row, from left, coach Julie Carson, Max Minnich, Daegan Gotwalt, Brady Know, Tyler Smith and coach Charlie Earnst.

In the past three months, the Central York High School bowling team transformed from a first-year, PIAA squad into a state championship force.

The Panthers capped off that amazing journey with a 237-167 victory over another York County program, Spring Grove, to clinch the best-of-three match Saturday at the Pennsylvania High School State Championships at Dutch 222 Lanes in Ephrata. 

"Winning the state title in our first year of PIAA competition is unbelievable," coach Julie Carson said. "We competed on a demanding pattern and the scores were low, but our kids never quit. It's a great day for Central and the York-Adams League."

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The team of Madison Brenneman, Bryce Kline, Daegan Gotwalt, Kamryn Brenneman, Max Minnich, Tyler Smith (alternate) and Brady Knox (alternate) earned the No. 1 seed after three regular games and six Baker format games. Using the Baker format, bowler No. 1 rolls frames No. 1 and No. 6, bowler No. 2 rolls frames No. 2 and No. 7 and so forth. The Panthers received a bye in the step-ladder competition. 

In the championship match, Central and Spring Grove, seeded No. 4, split the first two games. Central won the opener 203-138 and Spring Grove rebounded with a 180-178 victory.

"After the second game, we decided we didn't want the final game to come down to the last bowler in the 10th frame," Carson sad. "We didn't want to put that much pressure on our anchor, Max Minnich."

The Panthers eliminated the pressure in the final game. After Madison Brenneman opened with a spare, the team reeled off seven consecutive strikes, opening a comfortable lead over the Rockets.

"This season we grew from a group of individual bowlers to a cohesive team," Carson said. "And, that was one of our strengths."

Spring Grove coach Jason Baker was proud of his team, which advanced to the championship match by defeating Hempfield, two games to one, and Greensburg-Salem, two games to one. 

"It was an amazing season for us," he said. "At the beginning of the year, I never thought something like this was possible. Our team battled all day."

Singles action: In the Pennsylvania State High School Singles Competition on Friday, Madison Brenneman placed fifth in the girls' division, while Bryce Kline took fifth in the boys' division.

Kline and Spring Grove's Blayze Denny were named to the Boys' All-State Team on the strength of their 685 and 598 series, respectively. Kline turned in the boys' high game of 264.

Only co-ed team: Central had the only co-ed team in the state tournament. 

The top six teams from the Eastern Regionals and the top six teams from the Western Regionals competed. Neshaminy won the girls' team title.

For complete results, go to www.berksbowling.com.

Reach Barry Sparks at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.