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Lanes will be abuzz with titles on the line

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Three classifications of the state high school girls swimming and diving championships will be Feb. 8-10 in Thornton and Fort Collins. But swimmers and divers will not be alone in being crowned champions this weekend.

The Colorado High School Bowling Foundation’s team and individual state championships are Feb. 10-11 at Belleview Lanes, 4900 S. Federal Blvd., Englewood.

Bowling is not sanctioned by the Colorado High School Activities Association, but 51 teams in five conferences and 287 bowlers compete during the season.

It costs each bowler $60 for the 10-week season and sponsors are obtained to help with team fees.

At the state tournament, scholarship money is awarded through the United States Bowling Congress’ SMART accounts. Bowlers on the top five teams, plus the leading five boys and girls individual finishers, earn scholarship awards. The boy and girl with the top averages will also get a scholarship award.

James Hastings, of the Doherty Spartans Blue, had the season’s top average for the boys of 221, while Luna Ramirez of the Wheat Ridge co-team team and Hannah Perry of the Falcon Falcons 1 shared the best girls average of 185.

The Wheat Ridge co-op team captured the Central Conference title and the Belleview co-op team won the Southern Denver regular-season title.

State tournament team competition will be Feb. 10, with individuals vying for top five finishes Feb. 11. Many of the teams are from outside the metro area. There are 16 teams from the Colorado Springs area and 13 from Grand Junction. Many of the teams are affiliated with schools and some teams are co-op, drawing bowlers from different schools.

“We are struggling in the Denver area,” CHSBF President Victor Holt said. “Kids don’t think of it as a sport. One thing we are trying to do for next year is get a teacher at each school that is willing to start up a bowling club.”

The 2016-17 National Federation of State High School Associations’ participation report showed there were 2,835 boys teams with 30,054 bowlers and 2,821 girls teams with 26,588 participants. The total number of high school bowlers was 56,642. There are 24 states that sanction boys bowling, while girls bowling is certified in 27 states.

All in the family

McKay Vansickle and her younger sister Avery were going one-on-one on Jan. 30, but it wasn’t like it used to be in the backyard of their Castle Rock home.

The sisters played against each other in a key Continental League basketball game in the Castle View gym, and at times they were matched against each other.

McKay is a 5-foot-7 senior at Castle View, who has committed to play next season at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Avery is 5-10 freshman who plays for Regis Jesuit and has already drawn interest from schools like North Carolina.

The sisters would sometimes exchange a brief word, and their parents, Brian and Tami, were able to watch both sisters play a high school game at the same time.

“We were laughing about shots and things,” McKay said. “Our parents were sitting up high and we would look at them at times.”

Regis won 49-39. Avery scored a game-high 17 points, while McKay tallied 6 points.

The sisters, who both wear No. 11, were starters. McKay is averaging 8.8 points a game and Avery 9.4 ppg.

Going for the green

Three area student-caddies were among those awarded Western Golf Association Chick Evans Scholarships, which are a four-year housing and tuition aide worth an estimated $100,000 over four years.

All three will attend the University of Colorado.

They were George Conway of Cherry Creek High School, Cole Prins of Mountain Vista and Kaia Dameron of Bear Creek.

Promotion for coach

Vince Siravo, the Faith Christian offensive coordinator for the past four years, has been promoted to the head coaching position for the Eagles’ football team.

He replaces Ralph Nance, who retired in December and inherits a team that went 9-2 last season and made the Class 2A playoffs.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

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