New Armstrong bowling programs come up short against Butler in home debut
A full parking lot and a standing-room-only crowd was the scene at King Lanes for high school bowling to make its debut in Kittanning.
The Armstrong boys and girls bowling teams — a mix of Ford City and Kittanning students — had their first home match of the season Wednesday, and though both lost to Section 2 power Butler, the Riverhawks are off to a strong start.
“I've been bowling in leagues for years, so I was really happy to find out we were getting a bowling team,” Ford City senior Josh Barnett said. “I signed up right away. It's awesome to come out and do this every week and do it playing for the school.”
The boys team lost on total pins to Butler, 2,861-2,701, but it did win the second of three games, 932-883. That win earns the team two points out of seven in the section standings, a good result to take from a team that reached the state championships last year.
Butler's girls team is the reigning state champion, and they took all three games and won the total pin count from Armstrong, 2,278-1,946.
“We could've started off with a better result for our first home match, but we're going to be right back next week,” Barnett said. “You definitely get more of a sense of a team here than you do in a league, where you're pretty much on your own. You really want to do well for you and your teammates.”
Jared Shaner rolled the high series of the boys match with games of 188, 228 and 227 for a total of 643. Jake Bowser was second for the Riverhawks with a 541, while Barnett rolled a 194 in the second game to help Armstrong earn its two points.
Cody Rosenbauer bowled a 615 series to lead Butler, which clinched the third game and match win by throwing seven straight strikes as a team in the eighth and ninth frames.
Alexa Emmonds bowled the high series for the Armstrong girls with a 465 that included a high game of 170.
The Riverhawks are at home again Wednesday when they host Knoch, and with two postseason spots available from each section, a loss to the section favorites isn't enough to diminish hope that Armstrong's first season can end in the WPIBL Championships.
“That would be huge to make it in our first year of the team, and I think we can do it,” Barnett said.