Seymour boys and girls bowling teams win sectional titles, advance to regional


In the last meet of the regular season, a four-member Seymour High School girls bowling team defeated a team of five.

Coach Shannon Kelly was excited to see what was going to happen at the next weekend’s Indiana High School Bowling sectional at Columbus Bowling Center.

Last Saturday, the Owls were in second place after 12 baker games with 1,622 total pins behind Columbus North’s 1,904.

In a roll-off consisting of total pins from two baker games, Columbus North jumped out to a 161-122 lead. In the second game, though, the Owls won 170-121 for a total of 292 for Seymour and 282 for Columbus to capture the sectional title.

“It just all came together,” Kelly said. “They all had good confidence, and they kept that up during the game. They stayed up and excited. Other teams noticed us doing well, and they weren’t. Slowly, they all sat down and got quiet. I told them, I said, ‘You know, guys, this is you. You’ve sat all of these teams down. You’ve just got to keep building on that.’ They just kept right along with the plan, and it was great.”

The excitement, however, was just beginning.

The Seymour boys jumped out to the lead in the 12 baker game round with a 174 in the first game, but it was a back-and-forth competition with Columbus North taking the lead for a while.

Games 8 through 10 turned the tide with scores of 188, 192 and 199. Seymour finished with 2,015 pins to Columbus North’s 1,914.

In the roll-off, Seymour put together two more outstanding games of 196 and 182 for a 378, while Columbus North rolled 180 and 160 for 340 total pins.

For the first time in the 12 years of the SHS bowling program, both the boys and girls were sectional champions in the same season.

“The boys have been right there all year,” Kelly said. “Columbus has a very good team. South Ripley has a very good team. We had actually won more games on the season than anybody else, but you have to win two games to win the match. We would win one game, and they would lose big on the next game and lose several pins. I knew we were as good as everybody. We just hadn’t proved it yet, and Saturday, they did.”

This Saturday, Seymour will compete in the regional at Rose City Bowl in New Castle.

The Owls also will be represented in the singles portion of the regional that starts at 9 a.m. with junior Luke Lanam competing.

At sectional, he was in first place after three regular games, placing him in the stepladder finals. There, however, Matt Watson of Columbus North narrowly won 186-181.

Freshman Kaylee Patton also qualified for the girls singles tournament, but won’t be able to go. At sectional, she finished in third after three regular games with a 514, placing her in the stepladder finals. There, she lost to Skye Thomas of Columbus North 168-148.

The team portion of the regional begins at 2 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seymour started the season wondering if it would really happen. The first three matches went on as scheduled, but then the pandemic found the Southeastern Indiana Conference.

Other conferences had the same problem, so the IHSB moved the postseason back two months. Seymour took what ended up being a 10-week break.

Once the Owls got the season going again, the boys placed second in the conference at 10-4 behind South Ripley and Columbus North at 11-3, while the girls finished third at 6-8 behind South Ripley at 11-3 and Columbus North at 13-1.

Seymour senior Trevor Lawson earned all-conference, while Lanam, Patton and junior Kenny Kelly received honorable mention.

Since the girls team had a slow start to the season, junior Micah Maschino said winning sectional was really big.

“It was like a new stepping point that we were like, ‘Yeah, we know that we can do it,'” she said.

She and classmate Lilly Kelly have bowled since sixth grade and that experience benefited the team.

As a freshman, Lucy Horton said she was excited to experience sectional play for the first time.

“Oh, it was insane and very exciting and definitely like a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” she said of winning. “I was standing by Erika (Corya) and I just grabbed onto her and I was like, ‘We won!’ and then everyone started screaming, and I was screaming and I was crying.”

Corya, a sophomore, said it was a memorable moment.

“I was speechless because the first round of it, (Columbus North was) winning, and somehow, we pulled it off in the end,” she said. “We were supporting each other, and we were cheering for each other really well. I didn’t expect us to win, and we did, and I’m just very proud of us.”

Soon after the girls won, the Seymour boys learned they won, too.

“It was really nice because we feed off of each other’s energy, so it was kind of just like, ‘Oh yeah, we both have what it takes to be able to get to where we’re supposed to be,'” Maschino said. “It was really unreal because I haven’t made it that far, so it was really cool, and it’s just a great experience to have overall.”

Horton said it was great to see both teams win.

“It was just complete and utter shock, first of all,” she said. “Second of all, it was just like, ‘Oh my word! We did it. We actually did this.’ It hasn’t happened before, so that’s a big thing.”

At sectional, Lawson said the boys team needed to capture spares and have a few lucky shots, and that’s what happened.

“We ended up executing well,” he said. “We all threw pretty good, and as a team, we bonded more than we have all year.”

Classmate Trey Morris agreed.

“I feel like we accomplished a lot,” he said. “It was very enjoyable that day. I had a lot of fun that day. We were a lot more amped up. We were very excited, like, ‘OK, we’ve got this.'”

Kenny Kelly said he had confidence in the team going into sectional.

“It was super exciting. It was crazy,” he said. “We were loud and together a lot more. Instead of an individual game, it was a team game. If someone messed up, it was a team thing.”

Lanam said it was great to see the Owls come out on top at sectional.

“Throughout the season, we lost a lot of matches to Columbus and South Ripley, and I felt like at the time, they had a better team than us,” he said. “But at sectional, we pulled it together, it worked out perfectly and it was awesome. That was the best I’ve done, and everything worked great.”

Sophomore Joey Larison attributed the team’s success to oil patterns and high spirits.

“We were all really in a good mood, and temperament contributes a lot in bowling,” he said. “If you’re getting frustrated and you’re not feeling well, then your shots tend to reflect that.”

Joining Shannon Kelly as coaches this season are Eduard Sides and Stephanie Stogsdill.

At sectional, Sides said the boys were talking it up and helping each other.

“They were pushing each other like a team should do,” he said. “That’s what you need. Everybody is talking, you need to have a good time and they were enjoying it and they didn’t let it get to them. When they knew they were in the lead, they didn’t say, ‘OK, we’ve got it.’ They pushed even harder, and they bowled better. They pushed their scores up higher, so it’s just phenomenal how they said their time is now.”

Toby Lawson also is assisting. He coached the past seven years but stepped back some this year due to his job and also wanting to watch his son, Trevor, compete in his final year of high school bowling.

“The chemistry was there two years ago, but we were lacking one of the pieces or else I think we could have won a state title,” Lawson said of the boys team.

“At the end of the season, looking at the teams and saying, ‘Where were we going to be?’ Talent doesn’t always win. South Ripley and Columbus North are good. How can we get there?,” he said. “The chemistry just jelled, and that’s what it did. These guys have put in the effort along with the girls.”

Both teams had their only practice Wednesday at their “home away from home,” Scottsburg Lanes, to prepare for regional.

Since the girls will be without their top bowler, they know they have to come together in order to advance to the semistate March 20 at Championship Lanes in Anderson. State finals are March 27 at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne.

“It’s going to be a big spot to take care of, but I feel like we can do it if we just have good spirit and stuff like that,” Maschino said.

“I think we all know as long as we keep the same head space we had on Saturday that we’ll do as best as we can,” Lilly Kelly said.

“It motivates me to try my best and play my best and keep the same energy that was there last time,” Horton added.

Most of the boys have competed at regional before, so they are banking on that experience.

“We have a strong chemistry now, I think, after that boost from last weekend,” Trevor Lawson said. “We have a lot of chemistry, so I’d say we have a shot as long as we can keep advancing and hopefully have a spot at state.”

Lanam would like to advance in both the singles and team tournaments. In singles, he won sectional last year, but has yet to move past regional. On the team side, he helped the Owls place 10th at state in 2019.

“I would like to make it out of regional because every time I’ve made it to regional, I’ve just always had bad luck,” he said of singles. “(It will take) the right mental attitude.”

On the Web

For information about Indiana High School Bowling, visit

At a glance

In the 12 years of Seymour High School’s bowling program, the Owls won the conference championship once as a coed team. Since then, the boys have won two sectional titles, while the girls have won seven sectionals and two regionals.

The JV teams have won three tournament championships, and the middle school team has won three regional events.

The SHS girls finished eighth in the state twice. The boys finished 10th in the state two years ago and went on to compete in the national championships later that year.

Stephanie Misamore and Hannah Kaufman both made several visits to the state finals in singles with Kaufman winning the singles championship in 2016.

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