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January 22, 2004

Bears, Lions win duals

From: The Advertiser, LA - Jan 22, 2004

Dan McDonald

LAFAYETTE — The teams weren't sure how to react, both before and after the first sanctioned prep bowling matches ever in Acadiana.

Carencro High's boys held a brief huddle before their first frames, ending it with a "Go Bears" shout. The rest of the teams looked more bewildered than anything else, while organizers attempted to organize.

After CHS' boys and Lafayette High's girls won their dual matches over ESA, there wasn't a lot of celebrating and congratulating.

But it's early yet, and Wednesday's matches at Lafayette Lanes provided a shakedown for what the coaches and players hope will be a success among the area prep ranks.

"This is good to have," said Carencro's Brian Pomier, who bowled in the top individual spot for the Lions. "In future years it's going to get even better because the young guys will get to come up through it."

"It's not a big thing now because it's just getting started," said Lafayette High's Courtney Perry, who had the day's high girls' game with a 151 opening effort. "But I know I talked to my teammates and they're all excited."

Perry, who is almost totally deaf, spoke through interpreter Tammy Cormier, and some of her team's animated sign language throughout the match affirmed their excitement. And it wasn't just because their team topped ESA 25-2 in the first girls' match.

Carencro defeated ESA 23-4 in Wednesday's boys match, with the two dual events kicking off a two-month season for the nine local boys' squads and seven girls' teams. Two more matches — Acadiana facing Comeaux in both boys and girls — are today at 3:15 p.m. at Acadiana Lanes.

The Acadiana area is one of four in the state to begin a high school bowling program, after a successful pilot program in Baton Rouge last spring. New Orleans and Lake Charles are also start-ups this year, and organizers hope to spread the sport in the prep ranks enough to hold a state championship next year.

That was a long way from the competitor's minds Wednesday afternoon, with the teams working through inevitable early-season problems. Several team uniforms weren't yet available, and the scoring system was a vague concept for some.

"I was a little nervous," said Carencro's Tad Quebedeaux, whose final-game 167 was the top boys mark on the opening day and therefore gave him at least temporarily the league record. "As soon as I got started, I felt fine. It wasn't like the pressure of a tournament, but I know it's going to get more competitive."

Pomier (149-153-164—466) and Quebedeaux (164-144-167—475) led the way for Carencro's easy win. Pomier had a chance at the league's first "turkey" (three strikes in a row), but left a solid 4-pin late in the third game.

"I didn't tell them anything," said Bear coach Linda Gipson of the pre-game huddle. "I didn't know what to tell them."

No one for Lafayette High's girls rolled three games, with coaches Susan Harper and Keith Dhuet using their full rosters in the easy win. Perry (151-111—262) and Nikki Arable (133-123—256) led the Mighty Lions.

"I'm leaving here happy and proud," said Perry, whose 151 now gives the rest of the league something to shoot at. "I felt pretty proud of myself."

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser