Friday, March 13, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot boys and girls add to title run

The Cabot girls’ and boys’ bowling teams captured their fourth state titles Wednesday in Jonesboro, giving the program eight combined titles in eight years of competition. This year’s championships were made even more difficult because both teams grabbed a lead, lost it and recaptured it by the end of the day.

“We have worked hard all year focusing on two days, conference and state, and our kids responded by winning both,” said Cabot coach Mike Nash. “Coach Pridmore and I are so proud of what our kids did this year. Each of the eight championships have been special and each has its own story and characteristic. It’s been a good ride.”

Added to the pressures of a state tournament were the weather delays.

The original date for state was Feb. 18, but had to be moved a total of five times until conditions would allow the teams to travel safely to and from Jonesboro. Nash said he had a simple message to his team to maintain its focus.

“I told our kids not to worry about the delays,” Nash said. “While it would be easy to get discouraged and become tired of the process, don’t fall into that pitfall. I told the kids to let the other teams mentally quit, but not us. Stay focused on our goal and let’s win state.”

At conference on Feb. 13, the boys dominated the competition, winning by 469 pins over second place Benton. In addition, Bentonville, who won the 7A/6A-West Conference, finished with 333 pins fewer than the Panthers. Nash said these were encouraging numbers, but it still would come down to which team had the better day.

“After eight years, I have seen some crazy things at state and like any other sport, any team can beat another on any given day. I was cautiously optimistic. I turned 44 in February and told my wife it was a sign that the boys would win their fourth and girls would win their fourth. Glad I was right.”

The Panthers got off to a hot start with their first set of individual games, bowling a total of 1,254 and were led by senior Zac Couch’s 235. Couch was assisted by freshmen Greyson Kaufman’s 223, freshmen Josh Imhoff who was the gold medalist at conference, bowled a 214. Sophomore Cole Stillman added a 213 and juniors Brandon Terhune and Blake Palladino contributed with games of 190 and 179, respectively. Despite the hot start, the Panthers had only a small lead over Benton.