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Fergus Falls Otter Bowlers Claim State Championship

By Dean Paulson, 11/20/23, 2:00PM CST


It was a big weekend for Otter bowling, as Fergus Falls JV Black won the Division 2 JV State Tournament on Sunday, with the Otter varsity bringing home a 4th place plaque on Saturday.


Saturday’s Class AA Varsity State Tournament at Southway Bowl in St Cloud, started out great for the Otters, as they claimed the number one seed after the twelve-game qualifying round.  The new format for bracket matches is the teams bowl four games, and total pins over the four games determine the winner.  Fergus Falls won their first bracket match over Belle Plaine/Jordan by just eight pins.  The Otters would lose the semi-final match to the eventual State Champion, a very hot Moose Lake/Barnum team.  Nolan Korby (86%), Nathaniel Whistleon (86%), and Micah Gaines (85%) led the Otters, along with Kyle Korby, Alayna Price, and Kadence Knutson, and as a team, averaged a solid 193 for the tournament.

Sunday’s State JV Tournaments for Division 1 (Class AAA and AAAA), and Division 2 (A and AA) were held at the 48-lane, AMF Southtown in Bloomington, with Fergus Falls JV Black claiming the Division 2 State JV Championship.  JV Black battled through the 12-game qualifier, spending most of the day around the cut line for the eight-team bracket round.  They rolled a much-needed 182 in game 12, which put them in the number seven seed, one pin ahead of the eight seed, and just 5 pins from being ninth, and out of the bracket.  They defeated Lake City Black (+39) in round one, Simley Red (+36) in the semi-final, and Minneapolis-Roosevelt (+18) in the final match, to take the Championship.  Myia Krensing (75%), Maddie Price (67%), and Kendra Koep (65%) were team-high fill percentage, along with Ian Meyer, Ean Knutson, and Josh Rogal, as the team averaged 152 for the day.

Fergus Falls JV Maroon was in the mix all day to make the bracket round, but stumbled in their last two games, just missing the cut.  Logan Jensen (68%), KayLea Weisenberger (63%), and Grace Gaines (60%) led the team, along with Brody Bray, Kendall Sundby, and Owen Foreman, as the team averaged 142 for the tournament.

Fergus Falls JV Gold, in their very first State Tournament, had a great qualifying round, earning the number four seed going into the bracket round.  JV Gold would drop their first match to Hutchinson, the eventual third-place team.  Tucker Blevins (69%), Walter Nebbeling (64%), and Gavin Norgren (62%) were team-high, along with Ayden Muchow, Brayden Haugen, and Alex Cheshire, as the team averaged 146 for the day.

Coach Dean Paulson said, “It was a very good weekend, we have another State Championship banner to hang up, and with all of the excitement, and State Tournament pressure, all four of our teams bowled over their season average.  As a coach, you just can’t ask for anything better than that!”