East Union and West Union will again represent Union County, competing in the state tournament for bowling.
After regionals, the Eagles and Urchins placed second and fourth respectively, with East going into the tournament as a wild card selection. West Union enters the tournament as the defending state champions.
“We had a poor first game, which put us in a hole, then they did great after that,” East Union coach Brad Browning said of regionals. “They put themselves in a tough position, but were able to work their way out of it. I was really pleased with that. Any time you can go to state, it’s great.”
As far as the Eagles’ expectations, coach Barbara White feels it could very well come down to the county rivals for the title again this year. In 2011, East and West were the last two teams competing for the title.
“I feel like our boys’ strongest competition will be East Union, so we could be looking at a great county competition again in the finals,” she said.”
On the girls’ side, East Union finished second to Itawamba by 24 pins and West Union enters state as the number three team. With realignment this year, White noted the tough competition for state, as Itawamba is a threat on both boys’ and girls’ sides. Also, defending champion, Pisgah, is also competing again this year, along with Pontotoc.
“The girls’ biggest competition will be East Union and Itawamba, who both had a strong showing at regionals,” she said. “With the realignment, we now compete against 4A schools, and Itawamba has performed well in the past and will be a strong competitor.”
Browning noted that the competition is strong throughout the state tournament, and any team can come in and win the championship.
“This will probably be the most competitive state tournament we’ve ever had,” he said. “I don’t think there will be a team there that cannot win state, especially on the boys’ side.”
“It’s all about whoever is hot that day and shows up. It should be a great competition.”
The state championships will be held at Paradise Lanes in Jackson. The start time for the tournament is 10 a.m.