By Steve Gunn

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP – Fruitport bowling Coach Mike Weaver tossed a perfect 300 game on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t the first time he did it, and he didn’t make a big deal out of it.

GMAA city bowling chaps, Fruitport: Cameron Weaver, Evan Simons, Jon Wildey, Jray Conklin, Zandez Leonard. Photo/Marc Hoeksema

But the boys on his Fruitport squad certainly noticed, and were apparently inspired.

It started with his son, junior Cameron Weaver, who broke out of a recent slump in a big way on Wednesday, bowling a 413 series to capture the boys individual championship at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association Bowling Tournament at Northway Lanes.

After pulling off that feat, Cameron joined his Fruitport teammates to defeat Mona Shores in the team semifinal round of the tournament, then beat Ravenna in the championship match to capture the boys team title.

The two trophies left Coach Weaver with a big smile when the competition was all over.

“I did bowl a 300 last night at the downtown Eagles,” he said. “I maybe get one a year, but this was my first of the year last night, and maybe it inspired the kids a little bit.”

He said Cameron had not been bowling particularly well lately, so his individual championship was extra special.

“He did really well,” the coach said about his son. “I’m proud of him.”

GMAA City Champs, Ravenna: Emily Linck, Liberty Willick, Amaya Guzman, Morgan Lockhart, Heidi Kloostra, Mae Mabrito, Coach Jason Nutt. Photo/Marc Hoeksema

Coach Weaver also noted that Ravenna won the GMAA tournament last year, and had beaten his team in three matchups earlier this season, so taking the team championship away from the Bulldogs was extra sweet.

“We finally got a little revenge on them,” he said. “They are a very good team, and I’m sure they will do very well in the state tournament.

“This is definitely one that we circle on the calendar. Being the best in your county or town is something to brag about.”

Amazingly, Cameron Weaver said he never bowled competitively when he was growing up, despite his dad’s long history in the sport. He said he only got serious when he joined the varsity as a Fruitport freshman, and has learned to love it over the past few years.

He was not loving the way he had been playing prior to the city tournament. He had fallen from fifth to 13th in the O-K Black Conference individual standings, and couldn’t seem to pull his game together.

But that all changed on Wednesday, when Cameron outdistanced second-place Josh Felcoski of Oakridge 413-393 in the individual competition.

“It hasn’t been good lately,” he said. “I just haven’t had a lot of focus. But today I just had more fun. I just relaxed. After the first game, I was feeling good. My dad bowled a 300 last night, so I figured something must be different today.”

In the team finals, Fruitport won the first game 190-171 and the second game 197-180 to beat Ravenna by a final score of 387-351. It was the first loss in team competition for Ravenna this season.

The other Fruitport bowlers were Jayray Conklin, Jerod Arvey, Zander Leonard, Jon Wildey and Evan Simonis.

Graham wins girls individual title; Ravenna takes team trophy

Bailey Graham. 

Mona Shores junior Bailey Graham knows that strikes get the loudest applause in bowling, but they aren’t going to come all the time.

She has learned that spares are really they key to winning.

Graham said she struggled with spares in the past,  but has become much better at picking them up and salvaging a good score in most frames.

Spares were a major reason why Graham rose above the pack on Wednesday and won the girls individual championship at the GMAA  Tournament, beating out second-place Amaya Guzman of Ravenna 410-351.

“The start of the season was a little rough for me,” said Graham, a junior. “I was just having average games, then lately I’ve been picking it up.”

When asked about the difference in her game lately, Graham said “spares, just spares, spares, spares. I started out with four in a row today and I felt like this was going to be it. Spares make the game. You’re not going to get a strike every time.

“Spares fill your frames and give you those 10 pins. I have it written on my shoe that spares are better than strikes.”

Cameron Weaver

Graham was hoping to be a two-time champion on Wednesday, and she came close. Her Mona Shores team beat Fruitport in the girls semifinals, then came close against Ravenna in the finals, but fell short.

“This would have been the third year in a row we won it, and it’s a little disappointing, but Ravenna did really well,” Graham said.

The Ravenna girls beat Whitehall in the semifinals, then edged Mona Shores 280-273 in the championship round.

The Bulldogs posted a 143-129 win the first game of the finals, then held on as Mona Shores won the second game 144-137 to make the score very tight.

“Not that I was quite ready to grab the trophy, but I was thinking we had this, then it got really close,” said Ravenna Coach Jason Nutt.

The team championship continued a perfect season for the Ravenna girls, who are now 14-0 in head-to-head team competition.

“I wouldn’t have thought that coming into the season, but the girls have really gelled,” Nutt said. “We have one standout (Guzman) who really leads the team, and the rest of the girls have really improved. They don’t get too high or too low.

“They were nervous today. They didn’t look like it, because they were all giggly down there, but I think that was just the nervousness coming out. I am pretty excited for them.”

The champion Ravenna bowlers were Guzman, Mae Mabrito, Emily Linck, Heidi Kloostra, Morgan Lockhart and Liberty Willick.

Cameron Weaver, Fruitport 413
Josh Felcoski, Oakridge 393
Jayray Conklin, Fruitport 385
Derek Place, Ravenna 380
Hunter Johnson, Reeths-Puffer 379
Jerod Arvey, Fruitport 366
Gabe Gothier, Western Michigan Christian 361
Even Simonis, Fruitport 360
Dylan Borgyl, Mona Shores 356
Tyler Ervin, Montague 344

Bailey Graham, Mona Shores, 410
Amaya Guzman, Ravenna, 351
Karlie VanDuinen, Whitehall, 341
Angel Billups, Muskegon, 340
Jayden Sheehy, Whitehall
Lindsay Cross, Mona Shores, 333
Jessica Plichta, Fruitport, 329
Kristina Richards, Mona Shores 315
Mae Mabrito, Ravenna, 309
Heidi Kloostra, Ravenna, 308