Niles defends Wolverine Conference championship

Published 12:53 am Sunday, February 19, 2023

KALAMAZOO — For the second straight year, the Niles boys bowling team has claimed the Wolverine Conference championship.

The Vikings successfully defended their league title Friday at the conference tournament at Eastland Bowl in Kalamazoo.

Niles was defeated by Three Rivers in the championship match, but the Viking won the outright league championship as they finished with 18 points. The Wildcats were second with 17 points and Sturgis third with 15 points.

Niles entered the tournament with a 6-1 record. Three Rivers, Sturgis and Vicksburg were tied for second at 5-2. The Trojans placed third at the league tournament, while Otsego was fourth and Vicksburg fifth.

The Vikings advanced to the championship match by defeating Otsego in the semifinals. Niles received a first-round bye. Three Rivers defeated Sturgis to advance to the finals.

“Last season we joined the Wolverine and played well enough to win the conference and the season ending tournament,” said Niles Coach Jim Jaynes. “This season has been a battle of close matches and lots of work. With that has come some success with our defending our title so two seasons in Wolverine, two Wolverine titles.”

The Niles boys bowling team finished second in the Southwest Michigan Bowling Conference. Pictured from left are Preston Sharpe, Nathan Ryman, Prenton Phillips, Andrew Jackson and Conner Weston. Not pictured are Adam Jackson and Aiden Kidwell. (Submitted photo)

Niles did not have much time to enjoy their Wolverine Conference title, because on Saturday the Vikings competed in the Southwest Michigan Bowling Conference championship match against Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.

Niles defeated the Knights to finish second overall in the conference. The Vikings also defeated the Loy Norrix girls team to finish eighth in the conference.

The Niles boys bowling team defeated the Knights 16-14.

The Vikings lost the Baker Matches 171-158 and 181-150, but won the regular matches 1,758 pins to 1,532 pins to pull out the victory.

Nate Ryman led Niles with a 430 series, which included a game of 253. Trenton Phillips rolled a 373 series, including a 201 game; Preston Sharpe rolled a 345 series, Conner Weston a 311 siers and Andrew Jackson a 299 series.

The Niles girls team split the Baker Matches, winning 97-61 and losing 83-72. The Viking won the regular matches 1,119 pins to 779 pins.

Chevelle Jaynes led Niles with a 349 series. Angel Walsh rolled a 310, Josslyn Maples a 266 and Shania Whitelow a 193.