Dave Thompson is All-Shore Girls Bowling Coach of the Year

Dave Thompson is All-Shore Girls Bowling Coach of the Year

News

Dave Thompson is All-Shore Girls Bowling Coach of the Year

By

It’s no secret that the town of Brick is known for its dominant Shore Conference bowling, with both Brick and Brick Memorial always fighting for the top spot in Class A South. This season it was the Brick Dragons who took home the A South title, along with several other tournament wins, including the Shore Conference Tournament.

However, with the NJSIAA Tournament on the horizon, Brick Memorial head coach Dave Thompson knew something had started to change within his team. The challenge for Thompson early in the year was to try and get his team, which was without a senior, through its expected adjustment period.

“Any young team is going to go through that early in the season,” Thompson said. “They are learning to trust you as a coach, and realizing what they are actually capable of as a team.”

The turning point for Thompson and his Mustangs came against rival Brick in a regular-season division match. Junior Kaity Lash hit three straight strikes in the 10th frame to give the Mustangs the win and hand the Dragons their only loss of the regular season.

“That was really big. We sort of proved to ourselves that we could hang with the best of the best,” Thompson said. “That started the ball rolling for us and there was also a sense of team bonding that started to form.”

The Mustangs’ strong team chemistry came just at the right time, as they made the trip to Carolier Lanes for the state tournament. Not since the 2006-07 season had the Mustangs won a Group IV title, but that all changed as they finished with the highest team series of the tournament.

It also gave them the top seed in the first Tournament of Champions, which was equally as important for Thompson and the Mustangs. The top seed also meant that Brick Memorial would avoid powerhouse schools Brick and Manchester in the semifinals.

“That was really big for us,” Thompson added.

The Mustangs were able to carry their momentum from their semifinal victory and defeat Manchester for their first Tournament of Champions title in school history.

“It was everything that the girls deserved because they worked so hard for it all season,” Thompson said.

Thompson also coached one of his freshman to a Shore Conference Individual title, after Tori Boughton finished with a tournament high series of 654 pins. It came as no surprise to Thompson, who admitted Boughton had arguably the best form he has ever seen from a freshman.

Thompson’s job as a coach was to try and enhance the already exceptional game of his young freshman.

“Straight and fast was really her game when she first came up,” Thompson said. “Depending on the lane condition that can’t always be the case, and she really picked up a finesse game this season.”

After a proven season, Thompson looks forward to another competitive year with all five of his starters returning.

“All the schools enjoy the rivalry that comes with trying to be the best,” Thompson said. “You welcome that challenge as both an athlete and a coach.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports