Warren Central, Vicksburg bowling teams finish inaugural seasons

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 2, 2018

FLOWOOD — The inaugural season for Warren Central and Vicksburg High’s bowling teams came to an end Thursday, as both schools bowed out in the MHSAA region tournaments.

Warren Central’s boys and girls teams finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Class 6A Central regional, while Vicksburg’s boys placed sixth and the girls seventh in the Class 4A-5A Central regional. The top two teams in each regional advanced to next week’s state tournament in Jackson.

“We did great. The kids got better each and every game. I think next year we will be in the top two when we get our own bowling alley. If the kids just keep at it, everything will get better,” WC coach Thomas Mayfield said.

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Both Warren County teams had awkward debut seasons. Without a bowling alley in Vicksburg — there’s one under construction in the Vicksburg Mall, but it is not yet completed — the two high school teams had to travel to Clinton and Jackson for practices and games.

Because of the expense and logistical issues involved with the travel, the teams were limited to only two days a week on the lanes. One was for practice, the other a match.

“It was real tough, because every Monday we had to get on the bus and drive to Clinton. A lot of kids had other obligations and couldn’t make it every week. It was a strain at times, but I think we worked through it and it made them better because it made them work harder,” Mayfield said.

Warren Central’s boys’ team turned in a solid effort in Thursday’s regional tournament, but it wasn’t enough to get past a couple of more established teams.

The Vikings totaled 1,702 pins and beat Pearl (1,652 pins), but were still well behind Clinton (2,521) and Brandon (2,025). In high school bowling, each member of a five-man team rolls three games and their individual scores are totaled to come up with the team score.

“This was the best game we played all year,” WC senior Tyler McBroom said.

In the girls’ tournament, Warren Central was edged out by Pearl and finished fourth out of four teams. The Lady Vikes finished with 1,406 pins and Pearl totaled 1,421. Clinton was first, with 2,093 pins, and Brandon was second with 1,757.

Although neither team advanced to the state tournament, Mayfield was encouraged with their effort in the regional and their progression throughout the season.

“We started off where a lot of these kids had never bowled before. By the time we got to the end of the year, they were comfortable,” Mayfield said. “They had gotten used to the lanes and their teammates. That was the big thing, was getting used to the teammates. Being around a group of people you don’t really know, and now feeling a sense of family when you come to a bowling alley.”

While Warren Central was competing at Fannin Lanes in Flowood, Vicksburg High was about 20 miles away at Metro 24 in Jackson for the Class 4A-5A regional.

The Gators finished sixth out of eight teams in the boys’ tournament, with a total of 1,812 pins. They beat Louisville (1,568) and Raymond (1,478), and were just short of Ridgeland (1,858) for fifth place.
Neshoba Central totaled 2,870 pins to win the regional. Cleveland Central also advanced to the state tournament with a total of 2,416 pins.

In the girls’ regional, Vicksburg knocked down 1,502 pins to finish seventh. Neshoba Central (2,201) and Cleveland Central (1,942) were first and second, respectively. Florence finished third, with 1,789 pins.

Vicksburg’s Jayla Jackson was eighth out of 40 bowlers in the individual standings, with a score of 359 over three games.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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