Led by Javon Trout’s historic individual championship performance, the Hempfield bowling program was able to leave the state championships at North Versailles Bowl with at least one title.
Trout’s singles qualifying round score of 1,425 (six games) earned him the top seed in the finals where he defeated East Pennsboro’s Brandon Runk, 202-183, to claim the school’s first boys state singles title.
“Javon was as solid as I could ask for,” Hempfield coach Dave Montell said. “He bowled well all through singles. He was seeded No. 1 going into the stepladder and he did well in the finals. He’s the first boy I’ve ever had win a singles title.”
For Trout, who competes while coping with a brain tumor, earning the state championship is a great feat.
“I know there’s a lot of great bowlers out there and just to beat all them it’s a really big accomplishment and to be a state champion feels really good,” Trout, a junior, said.
Trout and his teammates on the boys team finished as state runners-up to Pennsbury, losing 2-0 in the championship round after entering as the top seed.
Despite falling short of a boys team title, Montell was pleased with his group of Trout, Jonathan Henderson, Mike Sarsfield, Billy Thomas and Paul Sarp, who won the WPIBL title in February.
“We ended the year fine and I’m happy with second. … They did well, I’m proud of all of them,” he said. “Second place out of, there’s probably 120 teams across the state, I’ll take second place.”
The girls team fell to Penn Manor by a score of 2-1 in the semifinals, but similar to the boys team, Montell was encouraged by the output.
“I was very proud of them,” he said. “I didn’t think the girls were going to end up that well this year because we had lost a lot of good bowlers, but the girls did fantastic.
“The team actually did probably a little better, boys and girls, than I expected because I had a bunch of younger kids on the team this year. … I was very happy with the way the season ended up.”
Courtney Weirs led the girls team with a 558 series in the individual qualifying round.
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.