They met one final time, boarding the team bus at 6 a.m. Saturday to head to Narrows Plaza Bowl.
And as usual, even though the Capital High School bowlers were tired after a long day Friday, they bubbled with enthusiasm over their final competition together.
Capital fell one spot on the leaderboard after 14 Baker games Saturday, placing sixth at the Class 3A state bowling tournament.
In the 10th game, Central Kitsap posted a 159 to Capital’s 100, to move into fifth place, which is where the West Sound school stayed.
Capital finished the tournament with 6,479 pins, just behind Central Kitsap (6,566). Evergreen of Vancouver captured its first Class 3A title with an astounding 7,591 pins.
The state-placing switch mattered little afterward. The real accomplishment for the Cougars program was making it this far for the first time in its four-year history, especially after finishing fifth during the regular season in the SSC 3A behind Central Kitsap, the league champion.
“We are losing a lot of our lead seniors, but we’ve got two strong juniors (Mayah Bosley, Ali Nazy), and a really strong sophomore (Miranda Smith),” Cougars coach Michael Deakins said. “We’ve got some real good, positive momentum from this year, so we should be able to push the league next year.”
A year-round bowler, Smith should be the team’s anchor bowler in 2017-18.
“The anchor position carries a lot of pressure with it,” Deakins said. “But it’s never one bowler. Miranda is ready to be our leader, both on the lanes and off. We will lean heavily on her.”
Last Wednesday, the team held its final practice. It came in the classroom. The bowlers sat down to vote on team captains for next season, which will be Bosley and Nazy.
“We have really good bowlers, and next year we have a foundation,” Nazy said. “But we need to work as a team, and get the other bowlers up to our state standard — and get everyone comfortable bowling.”