The Mustang bowling team should be tough this season. The boys' team is expected to put up strong scores while the girls team is gaining momentum and improving with solid play. Returning letter winners include Jeffrey Stevens, Alysa Shirkey, Kaitlyn Wallace, Aubrey Bachman, Melia Penrod and Kelsey Rook. Second row: Lane Johnson, Cameron Jackson, Beau Small, Will Farley, James McNary, Wyatt McClure and Kaleb Wagler.

Excitement continues to build inside the Davis County Lanes this month as the Mustang boys’ and girls’ bowling teams gear up for the team’s third season. Coach Jason Rook is looking for big things from this year’s teams knowing that both return several of the top bowlers from last year’s squad.

A total of 38 bowlers are going through pre-season workouts and preparing for the upcoming competitive season. The boys’ team sports 28 bowlers. The girls’ team is in its second year and had 10 total bowlers battling for a competitive spot on the roster.

Four seniors lead the boys’ team on the lanes this season. Beau Small returns and leads the team with a 184 average. Jeffrey Stevens averaged 182 a year ago. Will Farley finished with a 174 average and Kaleb Wagler finished with a 168 average score.

Four others also return with varsity experience. They include Cameron Jackson, 164 average; James McNary, 158 average; Lane Johnson, 133 average and Wyatt McClure, 170 average. Jackson, McNary and Johnson are all juniors while McClure is a sophomore.  

Sophomore Kelsey Rook leads the girls team as a sophomore. Rook averaged 146 a year ago. Senior Kaitlyn Wallace returns with a 138 average and Alysa Shirkey finished with a 123 average a year ago. Melia Penrod averaged 98 last season. Wallace, Shirkey and Penrod are all seniors. Aubrey Bachman also returns as a letter winner on the girls team. She finished last season averaging 118.

Rook has three boys showing some strong skills early this season. Fedrick Wiley is a junior. He along with sophomore Jayden Jackson and freshman Connor Hanna will battle for varsity spots and are showing some strong promise early.

Top newcomers for the girls’ team include seniors Kaitlyn Larrington and Gabbie Mobley. Sophomore Breanna Davidson and freshman Hope Brammer will also battle for competitive playing time on the varsity squad this season.

“Both the boys’ and girls’ teams have last year’s top bowlers back. They are throwing the ball with a lot more confidence and are showing awesome scores in the first few weeks of practice. The girls’ team is growing in numbers. Team chemistry is good. I am seeing the top bowlers working to improve their game not only in practice but on the weekends during open play,” said Coach Jason Rook.

“We are looking forward to bowling against teams from Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Fairfield, Burlington and Osceola. All of these schools have solid bowling programs. We are also looking forward to bowling in the Louisa-Muscatine Tournament during the first weekend in January. We will go up against 11 other schools in that tournament,” he said.

In just two seasons, the boys’ team is currently 22-15 overall. The girls finished their first season a year ago with a record of 11-14.

“I am excited for both teams. The boys are going to put up large numbers throughout the season. The girls have shown a lot of improvement since last season and also put up descent numbers on the scorecard. With this being the third season for Mustang bowling, the numbers of bowlers has grown as well. We have 38 out this year,” said Rook.

Rook is also grateful for April Kerby helping out as a volunteer coach again in 2019-20. Kerby helped coach the girls team and will remain in that role again this season. “I think we will continue to grow into the sport and be competitive at the same time,” said Rook.