Saints strike at State

Mary Kate Moeder

Dedication and effort come with improvement and improvement comes with rewards. 

The Xavier boys’ bowling team had a slower start to their season, but ended up finishing third in the state after coming to the state meet as the seventh seed of eight teams. 

The Saints lost five talented and experienced seniors from last year’s team including Dale Weaver (X20) who was a state champion as a junior and a state runner-up as a senior, but that did not stop the three seniors Justin Korbel, Jack Ramler and Joey Parker from fulfilling these leadership roles. 

The seniors had high hopes for the team, but reaching those goals was not always promising. 

“At the start of the season, it wasn’t looking very good for us to even get to the state competition,” Parker said. “All of us went to work, and towards the end of the season, we kept improving.”

This work towards improvement started particularly early for one senior, Justin Korbel. 

“As a freshman, I entered the bowling program not knowing how to bowl correctly, but I listened to the advice of the coaches and worked at practice to become better,” Korbel said.

He was the Saints’s only individual to place at state this year, earning ninth overall. 

“It felt really good to be the anchor for the state tournament and to strike out on the 10th frame of my last game at Xavier,” Korbel said.

The team’s accomplishments meant just as much to Korbel, as the team completed far more than what they were originally predicted to.

“My final season as a bowler couldn’t have been better and more thrilling, after losing our first seven matches to placing third in the state it was an uphill climb,” Korbel said. “We definitely defied expectations, including our own, just qualifying for the state tournament and then placing third at state was amazing.”

The Saints rallied together as one to keep a steady momentum throughout their final match, which led to their placement. 

“My final thoughts are that it was truly a team effort and we did our best,” Parker said. “I’m pretty happy with the result.”

Even though the Saints had just three returning varsity letter winners this season, they were able to create strong relationships that were vital to the Saints’s success.

“The real special part was how we all bonded as a team after having few returning players and how fun it was along the way,” Parker said. “It was just a fun atmosphere to be around.”

Being a senior comes with having to say many goodbyes, but also memories of the past four years to cherish forever. 

“I’m definitely going to miss hanging out with everyone on the bowling team, alongside traveling to other lanes and going out to eat after matches,” Ramler said. “I loved getting hyped up when we were doing really good and all the inside jokes.”

The seniors learned valuable lessons throughout their high school bowling careers. 

“The past four years of bowling showed me how hard work always pays off,” Ramler said. 

Head bowling Coach Russ Camacho agrees while reflecting on the seniors’ time on the bowling team.

“These guys proved to the younger guys, if you put in the work, you can earn the rewards,” Camacho said. “It doesn’t matter where you are at your first year. There is an opportunity to improve and contribute!”

There is gratitude and appreciation to be shown to the three bowling seniors and the legacies they will leave for the future of Xavier bowling.

“To the seniors, I would simply say ‘thank you’, for working hard and buying into the process,” Camacho said. “Also thank you, for helping every one of the guys to believe in themselves!”

The three seniors’ passion for the program did not go unnoticed and the success they achieved will serve as an inspiration for younger bowlers and be remembered for years to come.