Dodger boys riding momentum, feeling confident with state up next
WATERLOO — Nick Vinson knows he has all the pieces for another run at a boys state bowling title.
Three competitors return from last year’s championship team, including 2020 individual gold medalist Kaleb Anderson.
The senior and classmate Brady Graves, along with sophomore Carson Werning, were a part of Fort Dodge’s second-ever championship bowling squad last season.
“We just want to go down and set a tone,” said Vinson, who is in his third season at the helm. “If we bowl the way we are capable of, we should be right in the mix.”
The Dodgers will begin the state tournament at 8:30 a.m. at Cadillac Lanes.
Seniors Kyle Davis and Mitchell Bolton have entered the mix in 2021. Juniors Christian Miller and Jace Ulrich are also pieces to the rotation.
The Dodgers rolled a 3,303 to claim gold a year ago, while Anderson won the individual crown with a 546 series.
Davis came up big for the Dodgers at districts, winning the individual crown with a 513 series. He had games of 259 and 278.
On the season, Davis has a 397 series average. He was near perfection earlier in the season, rolling a 298.
“Kyle knows what it takes,” Vinson said. “He has the physical and mental skills. He has a great routine, executes and is super consistent.
“Kyle’s mental evolution has been incredible.”
Anderson, a four-time state qualifier, carries a 461 series average.
“It’s been great to have the seniors around and understand what it takes to bowl good numbers,” Vinson said. “Kaleb is a strong bowler who has been in this situation before.”
Graves, who was 13th a year ago, has been consistent for the Dodgers with a 388 average.
“You know Brady’s always going to be right around 400,” Vinson said. “He never strays too far and you don’t have to worry about him. Brady is as good as anybody putting the ball down in the same spot.”
Werning was 15th as a freshman at state. He is currently sporting a 364 series average.
“Carson is always there when it matters most. He can really turn it on,” Vinson said. “He has learned to slow down, and has worked on becoming a better bowler. He is a huge asset to the program.”
Bolton (381 average), Miller (350) and Ulrich (335) have all stepped up and led at times as well.
“Mitchell has put in a lot of time. He has the physical skills, and has gotten better at being the best he can be,” Vinson said. “Christian and Jace have worked hard this year. They have been in and out of the lineup, along with Jayden Ray and Brady Dodge.
“They’ve come up big for us in key moments as well.”