Lavaca's decision to offer bowling as a sport last season has paid off quite well for the Golden Arrows and Jessica Flanagan, the only bowler on the team.
Flanagan rolled a 664 series to win the individual state championship at the Class 2A-1A state bowling tournament in Conway. It is the second state championship for Flanagan, who is the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Girls Bowler of the Year. Omar Franco of Van Buren is the boys' Bowler of the Year.
ALL-STATE BOWLING TEAMS
Class 6A Boys
Omar Franco^Van Buren
Andrew Stephen^FS Southside
Steven Dye^Van Buren
Caleb Jenkins^Van Buren
Conner Seuasingnounance^FS Northside
Class 5A Boys
Tyson Keeney^HS Lakeside
Benjamin Gunter^Mountain Home
Bryan Massey^Hot Springs
Hunter Rhodes^HS Lakeside
Kade Arguello^HS Lakeside
Class 4A/3A Boys
Caleb Patterson^Batesville Southside
Hunter McKinney^Cedar Ridge
Lance Mynatt^Batesville Southside
Hunter Smart^Batesville Southside
Trey Robbins^Valley View
Class 2A/1A Boys
Lou Kerst^Conway Christian
Class 6A Girls
Marlyssa Lee^Bentonville West
Haley Draeger^Mount St. Mary
Alauna Garcia^Rogers Heritage
Class 5A Girls
Jessi Stem^Mountain Home
Ally Ross^Lake Hamilton
Sydney Smith^Siloam Springs
Hannah Barker^Siloam Springs
Danielle Frencl^Mountain Home
Lilly Crabtree^HS Lakeside
Jenna Sims^HS Lakeside
Class 4A/3A Girls
Hope Sharp^Batesville Southside
Oliva Dedman^Central Ark. Christian
Class 2A/1A Girls
Leigha Arrington^Maumelle Charter
Olivia Mowrey^Haas Hall-Fayetteville
Bella Elkins^Haas Hall-Bentonville
Lyndall McSpadden^Conway Christian
Allison Sterling^Ridgefield Christian
Flanagan spends plenty of time at the bowling alleys in Fort Smith. But winning state championships for Class 2A Lavaca is an accomplishment, considering she does not have the benefit of support from teammates or even a coach while rolling for the Golden Arrows.
Being a single competitor, she said, strengthens her resolve to succeed.
"It's not that hard, really," said Flanagan, a senior who hopes to continue her bowling career in college at Oklahoma City (Okla.) Christian. "I usually do a lot of stuff on my own, anyway. I try to compete with a chip on my shoulder and remind myself I can't let down."
Flanagan is an athlete who also plays volleyball and softball at Lavaca. She was on top of her game at the lanes in Conway, where she rolled scores of 200, 194, and 246 to win the girls' medalist honors at the state tournament in Class 2A/1A.
"I am very proud of what Jessica has accomplished," said Lavaca athletic director Mark Headley, who made the trip to Conway to watch Flanagan compete. "She has put in a lot of time and effort to get where she is."
Franco played soccer last spring before deciding to join the bowling team at Van Buren. That decision paid off for Franco, who helped Van Buren to its first state championship in bowling. Franco won medalist honors at the Class 6A state tournament when he totaled 664 (211, 227, 226) after a three-game series.
"I joined the bowling team to be with my friends and it was great that we won a state championship together," said Franco, one of five juniors on the team. "I think I showed a lot of growth during the past nine months. I really took it seriously and focused on being more consistent."
Van Buren bowling coach Kevin Ross said he was impressed by the improvement Franco made throughout the season.
"It's a Cinderella-type story, really," Ross said. "He finished fourth on our team with a 175 average and there were games early on where he bowled 125 or 129. He was nervous at first but we told him to just chill, especially with his teammates' support, and he got better and better, especially in his last six games."
Sports on 03/23/2020
Print Headline: Flanagan, Franco kept their roll going