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In the colorful language of bowling, a turkey refers to three strikes scored in a row. On a grander scale, the Louisa Muscatine Junior-Senior High School (L&M) bowling team got a turkey by winning the 1A State Tournament for the third year running. A spectacular close to a strong season, the L&M girls have once again proved their prowess in the bowling alley.
Bowling coach Al Jordan shared that throughout the season, veteran bowlers from last year and before helped newer teammates improve and develop the skills they needed to compete at a high level. “We might have started slow, but as the year went on, things really fell into place. I really credit the upperclassmen for showing [newer bowlers] the way.” Through their hard work and persistence, the L&M girls bowling team once again showed the high calibre blowing needed to make it to the State Tournament, which Jordan reported, “[was their] goal from the first practice in November.”
Once there, Jordan said the team played well and truly enjoyed the special occasion. “The atmosphere is incredible. It’s an environment you only get to bowl in once a year, and it’s incredible.” The team’s scores reflect Jordan’s thoughts too. Overall, the L&M girls bowling team scored a grand total of 2,947 points, giving them the fifteen point lead they needed to beat longtime rival Camanche. Individually, four L&M girls placed in the top ten, with junior Shadyn Bishop in eighth place, sophomore Madisyn Gerdts in fourth, junior Lauren Bodman in second, and junior Whittney Morse as 1A state champion with an impressive score of 472 points.
Though the boys team did not advance to the State Tournament this year, two individual L&M boys bowlers got to join in on the action. In his first ever State Tournament appearance, freshman Zack Robertson earned seventh place individually, a worthy accomplishment for such a young bowler. However, Dustin Beaham truly stole the show by becoming the boys 1A individual state bowling champion in dramatic fashion. In his first game, Beaham bowled a perfect score of 300, an astonishing feat for any bowler. Jordan stated,” very few coaches get to witness a 300 game. I did, and it was a highlight of my coaching career.”
Overall, Jordan could not have felt any prouder of all the L&M bowlers who went to the State Tournament. He elaborated, “as [coaches], we all like to win . . . . Winning isn’t everything, but it means a lot. It’s a pretty special day to win at state.”
Looking ahead to next year, Jordan has high hopes at making another tournament bid. He elaborated, “everyone who bowled this year will be back next year, and we have a lot of eighth graders coming up. It will be a very competitive varsity team.” With such a roster of strong players, the L&M girls bowling team might just earn a four bagger’s worth of State Tournament wins and the boys have the chance to remind the competition just how successfully they can play.

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