Troy girls bowling team ready for another trip to state tournament


TROY — The Troy girls bowling team is back.

And after a rare year where they didn’t qualify for the state tournament as a team a year ago, the Trojans are back where they belong.

The program has been a mainstay at the state tournament since qualifying for the first state tournament in 2007 and won a state championship in 2016 and finished second in 2017.

And for seniors Kaylee Kalmar, Kayleigh McMullen, Kylie Schiml and Morgan Shilt — it was a big goal to get back to the “Big Show” at Wayne Webb Bowl on Saturday — as they did as freshman and sophomores.

They are joined on the team by sophomores Aiyana Godwin, Kristin Sedam and Kiandra Smith.

“I think we have a great chemistry,” Shilt sai.d “I think compared to other teams, we fet along really well. I think we worked really hard in the offseason to get better.”

And coach Rob Dever would agree.

“I think this is a really good group of girls,” Dever said. ‘There is never any complaining about who is bowling or any distractions and that is important.”

Not that this year’s success came easy.

But, the Lady Trojans made steady progress and had a back-and-forth battle with Fairborn for the district title before finishing second.

“About a month into things (the season), I told the girls we are not where we need to be,” Dever said. “These girls have made drastic improvement. When we were practicing the week of district, I told the girls, I think we are ready. And they proved me right with the way they bowled at district.”

The Lady Trojans are led by McMullen with a 202.6 average and Schiml is next with a 186 average.

Both girls led the team at district with McMullen winning the individual title with a 688 series and Schiml tying for seventh with a 614 series.

McMullen finished second at state a year ago and is again considered one of the top contenders for the individual title.

“I think Kayleigh (McMullen) is more concerned with winning the team title,” Dever said. “If the individual title happens that is great. She is a team player.”

McMullen agreed.

“We want to win it all of course,”she said. ” I think it will help us (having three girls who have bowled there before). It felt good (to come back and have a good week at district).”

Schiml also sees the Trojans past experience at state as an advantage.

“Of course, the first goal is to make the cut. Three of us have bowled over there before. We have been through the atmosphere of a state tournament. It is really loud. I think it will help us.”

Kalmar took a different path to success in bowling and is looking forward to her first state tournament.

”I just want to tell you that Kaylee Kalmar just started bowling when she was a sophomore,” Dever said. “Now, she is bowling in the state tournament. That is very unusual. I don’t know that I have had that happen before.”

Kalmar has been surprised by her success.

“I just started bowling when I was a sophomore,” she said. “I never expected this to happen. I wasn’t expecting to do that well.”

Dever is also happy for the three sophomores to get experience bowling in the state atmosphere.

“I think the great thing is for the three sophomore to get over there and experience what is like to bowl at state,” he said.

So, the Trojans can continue the tradition of the annual trip to Wayne Webb Bowl.

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