A welcome surprise helped salvage Luke Schroeder’s last appearance at the state bowling tournament.
The Grand View recruit and his Western Dubuque of Epworth teammates fell short of a third straight Class 1-A title, finishing in fourth place. But Schroeder still left Plaza Lanes in Des Moines on Monday with plenty of pride.
His sister Lisa, a freshman at Western Dubuque, rose to the top of the individual girls’ field, tossing a two-game total of 433.
“I could not believe it at all,” Luke said of his sister’s title, which he became aware of when it was announced over the loudspeaker. “With her being a freshman, I did not see that coming at all. It’s awesome.”
Luke finished the day with a strong individual performance himself. He finished third in the boys’ competition with a score of 477.
“They’ve helped me through my bowling career a lot,” Lisa said of Luke and junior brother Brad, who also competed Monday and scored a 365.
Lisa’s emergence further strengthened Dubuque County’s grip on state bowling.
Dubuque Wahlert claimed both the boys’ and girls’ titles. The boys posted a total score of 3,368 — the highest of any 1-A team in their side’s four-year history.
“We were seeded higher with the girls; we really expected to do well there,” said Wahlert coach Tom Kramer, who led the boys to the 2010 title and the girls to the top in 2011. “And with the boys we thought, ‘If we have a good day, we’ll make a run at that thing.’ We just performed admirably.”
Junior Jessie Bahl led the girls with a 421, good for third in the individual field. One lane to the left, senior A.J. Gregory led the boys with a 478 to finish second.
“We are a very close team as a whole,” Bahl said. “It was awesome that we got to bowl right next to each other because we could always kind of boost each other up.”
Cedar Rapids Xavier sophomore Caleb Miller started his second game in the individual competition with eight consecutive strikes before missing a pin in the ninth frame. He settled for a spare, then tossed three strikes to finish with a 279 and a combined score of 492 to win the individual title.
“I thought I was going to get (a perfect 300), but pulled it a little bit on that ball and went a little high,” said Miller, who added he tossed his first 300 just last week.
Miller, a sophomore, and Lisa Schroeder certainly will have high expectations during the next few seasons.
“I don’t think pressure really gets to (Lisa) too much — I haven’t seen it yet,” Western Dubuque coach Al Heiberger said.
And he’s seen a lot of the Schroeder clan — Lisa, Luke and Brad — throughout the years at the bowling center he owns in Farley with his wife Kay, the girls’ coach.
“If you see one, you see another one,” Heiberger said.
Dubuque County schools have won five of the seven state boys’ team titles, and two of the last three girls’ 1-A titles.
Boys’ team winner: Dubuque Wahlert (3,368)
Boys’ individual winner: Sophomore Caleb Miller, Cedar Rapids Xavier (213-279–492)
Girls’ team winner: Dubuque Wahlert (2,855)
Girls’ individual winner: Freshman Lisa Schroeder, Western Dubuque (212-221–433)