Centerville Elks win national bowling title

Centerville Elks win national bowling title

Coach Andy Parker knew his Elks would be tested and the Centerville boys aced the test.

From a competitive field of 34 boys teams from 18 states, Centerville won the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship last Saturday at Poelking Lanes South.

“It’s a brutal tournament, the format is very intense,” Parker said. “These are some of the best teams from across the country, it was fascinating to watch.”

The Elks were in fourth place after the first round, easily making the cut to the top 16. Centerville was one of six Ohio teams that advanced, but the only Dayton area squad. The Elks improved to third after the next three Baker games, advancing to the final eight.

Propelled by a 675 series – the highest set in the block posted by any team – the Elks climbed into second place for the final four. The top-seeded Viking Lanes Indians had a bye while Centerville, the War Eagles and the Forest Hill Huskies competed for a spot in the championship match. The Elks outpaced the competition by close to 80 pins, 584 to 507, to advance.

The Elks maintained the momentum, topping the Indians, from Illinois, 658-613. It was a welcome win for a Centerville team making its third appearance at the national tournament.

“This tournament is really a big deal, these are good teams,” Parker said.

Their opponents, however, weren’t the Elks only challenge.

“It was an interesting modified shot, we hadn’t practiced on it at all,” Parker said. “But all year, everything we bowled on, helped prepare us.”

While the Elks had their hardware in hand, they weren’t finished bowling as the individual title was still up for grabs with more than 200 boys in the running.

Centerville’s Anthony Conty, a senior in the fall, was the top local placer, finishing fourth. Recent Centerville graduate Ian Dobran placed 11th.

“I knew there would be good competition, but it was even tougher than I expected,” Conty said. “There were a lot of good bowlers there.”

The 18-year-old started strong and was in 11th place when the field was cut to 130 bowlers. Conty continued to climb the standings to ninth for the cut to 64 and eighth in the top 32. By the time the field was cut to the top four, Conty was in the mix, but that’s where his run ended. His fourth-place finish, however, was the highest in school history at this event.

Even after several long days of bowling, Conty wasn’t ready to take a break from the lanes just yet.

“I got into a mini-tournament at Marian Lanes Monday night and won that,” he said, smiling.

His Elks teammates Brendan Salo and Nolan Caban rounded out the top three.

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