Hodge wins region bowling title

Published 11:59 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Lincoln County High School senior won the top individual title in a sport that you might not expect – bowling.

Dawson Hodge qualified for the KHSAA State Bowling Championships as a junior by placing third in regionals with a 933, but the Patriot bowler upped his game for 2019 by bowling the top individual score to win the Region 8 Bowling Championships title.

Hodge struck it big in his return to regions, bowling a 5-game score of 1,215 on the lanes at Danville Bowlarama to earn himself first place out of a field of 56 bowlers from 14 different schools and a berth in the state tournament.

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The Patriot bowler, who bowled only one game over 200 in last year’s regionals, went 207 or better in every game this time around. He bowled a 247 in his first game, the 207 in game two and a 268 in game three to give him a total of 722 and move him into the singles finals step bracket. He bowled a 268, which was his high score, again in the finals, and a 225 to put him at 1,215 overall.

Hodge begins his quest to claim a state title today, hitting the lanes of the Executive Strike & Spare in Louisville for the 2019 KHSAA State Bowling Championships.

Also advancing to the state tournament were the region tourney runner-up Luke Morris of Boyle County, third-place bowler Devyn Wafford of West Jessamine and Jeg Flora of Fleming County as the top four individual bowlers earned automatic state berths. Morris bowled a 1,201 for second, Wafford had a score of 1,071 for third and Flora had a 1,044 for fourth.

Wafford will also be competing at state in the team competition, as the West Jessamine Colts won the overall team title. The top two teams advance to state, and claiming the second spot was runner-up Boyle County.

The Patriots had four bowlers competing at regionals, with Austin Cole, Madison Elliott and Charlie Cole on the lanes at the Danville Bowlarama. In team competition, Lincoln, seeded fifth in the tourney, fell out of contention for the team title in the second round. The Patriots defeated No. 12 Garrard County in their first game of the championship bracket but lost to No. 4 Montgomery County in their second.

Lincoln may have made an early exit from team play, but there was a highlight to the team effort as Charlie Cole bowled the highest game ever in the 8th Region. He bowled a 299, one pin away from a perfect game.

In individual competition, Austin Cole scored a Top 15 finish for Lincoln, placing 11th overall with a 3-game score of 614. Elliott came in 27th overall with a 522 and Charlie Cole had a 507 to place 30th.

The Lady Patriot bowlers, seeded No. 8 out of 14 teams, would not get out of the first round of regionals, falling to No. 9 seed Montgomery County in their opener.

Mackenzie Sierra bowled the top score for the Lincoln girls, finishing in the Top 15 of 53 bowlers. She earned a 12th-place finish with a 3-game score of 500. That was an eight-spot jump for Sierra from last year’s regional.

Faith Godby bowled a 409 for the Lady Pats to place 29th overall, Kaylee Wesley scored a 349 to place 36th and Dallis Brown had a score of 331 to place 39th.

Boyle County won the girls team title, led by Savannah Tillett, who captured the girls individual title. Tillett bowled a 5-game score of 957 to dethrone the defending champion, Morgan Napier of Fleming County. Napier bowled a 953. Fleming County repeated as team runner-up.

The other girls individual state qualifiers along with Tillett and Napier were Jacqueline Oliphant of Whitley County, who bowled a 944, and Mashayla Atherton of Corbin, who scored a 941.