With five state championships in six seasons from 2007-12, the Pleasure Ridge Park High School girls’ bowling team found itself in the rare position of state runner-up last year.
PRP coach Julie Nichelson said her team has a solid shot of returning to the top of the state this week.
“We have the majority of our kids back from last year, and they’re very focused,” she said. “They want that title back.”
PRP will get that chance this week as the Ebonite/KHSAA State Bowling Championships are set for Thursday and Friday at Collins Eastland in Lexington, Ky. Singles play is set for Thursday, with team competition slated for Friday.
The PRP girls’ team won state titles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 and captured the first KHSAA-sanctioned championship in 2012. Taylor County knocked off PRP in last year’s final.
Nichelson said Taylor County will be a top contender against his week.
“But I think we have a really good shot,” she said. “We have a talented bunch and have had high standards with them all along. They seem to come together in crunch time.”
PRP beat Mercy in the Region Three final and had three of the region’s four qualifiers in singles competition — juniors Keelyn Cox and Shelby Bigos and senior Sierra Barnes. Cox won the regional title, but Nichelson said Bigos and Barnes also should contend for the individual crown this week.
“All three of them have a lot of tournament experience,” Nichelson said.
Champion Male and runner-up Sacred Heart will represent Region Four in the girls’ team competition. Christian Academy’s Chiara Russman was the individual champion.
On the boys’ side, Simon Kenton beat PRP in last year’s team final, but neither qualified for this year’s state tournament.
“It looks to be pretty wide-open,” said Nichelson, who also coaches the PRP boys’ team.
Representing the Louisville area will be Region Three champion Bullitt Central and runner-up Fern Creek and Region Four champion St. Xavier and runner-up Manual.
PRP’s Alex Wiehebrink (Region Three) and Male’s Michael McCubbins (Region Four) won individual titles.