ACADEMICS PLUS BOWLING | O’Neal claims state title

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Academics Plus Coach Ken Holland knows he was in the right place at the right time and takes no credit for senior Shynia O’Neal’s first place finish in the 1A-3A individual bowling championships.

After finishing 11th last year, O’Neal captured this year’s title. A year-round bowler, O’Neal’s performance placed her 10th overall among both boys and girls.

“I just had the opportunity to go along for the ride,” Holland said. “I had little to do with her performance, her parents were a big part.”

In his first year at Academics Plus, Holland was assigned as the bowling coach but gives all the praise to two parents who assisted him. Those parents happened to be O’Neal’s father, Greg, and mother, Lisa Mowrey. Not only did the duo guide O’Neal to a state title, but directed the girls’ team to a fourth-place finish both in the district and state tournaments. Michael Haug also went to state as an individual after finishing fifth in the district tournament.

“Riverview beat everybody pretty good,” Holland said. “Only 20-30 pens separated us from second place. A few more pins and we could have finished second.”

When Holland stepped into the coaching position, he had been around bowling and knew about it. Academics Plus likes to have parents help, and fortunately he had two parents in place.

“I had two parents who all ready knew one of the best bowlers in the state,” Holland said. “I told them I was there to do whatever they wanted me to do. I learned a lot by looking, listening and paying attention. Shynia bowls three to five days a week and is dedicated.”

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