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Short turnaround as FDSH girls head to state bowling

Submitted photo: Fort Dodge girls state bowling team members are (left to right): AJ Feathers, Gabby Flores, Paige Copenhaver, Lexi Hanson, Alexis Kenney, Aryssa Lumsden and Hailey Folsom. Back: coaches Nick Vinson and Julie Ulrich.

WATERLOO — Nick Vinson has grown into his role as head coach of the Fort Dodge bowling program.

With that, he also developed an understanding of what it takes to not only lead a team into action, but what he can — and more importantly cannot — control.

Vinson’s Dodger girls will compete here Monday in the Class 2A state meet at Cadillac Lanes after claiming a team title at a qualifying meet last year. Fort Dodge has reached state three consecutive years as a collective unit, earning a title two seasons ago.

“We are feeling good,” Vinson said. “We are doing what we need to do and bowling how we need to bowl. The biggest thing with bowling is understanding this is a sport where you can’t go in wanting to win the state title.

“If you go down there with that being the whole focus, you are putting yourself in a bad spot. There is nothing we can do in terms of the other teams. We can’t change to a man-to-man defense or draw up a different offense or put a new pitcher in. We can only worry about ourselves and controlling that we bowl.”

Alexis Kenney, a junior, won the district title with 428 series. Classmate and teammate Lexi Hanson, along with sophomore Aryssa Lumsden, joined her in the Top-5. Hanson fired a 353 series; Lumsden, a 348.

Freshman Gabby Flores added a 326, senior Paige Copenhaver a 324, and sophomore AJ Feathers a 257. Kenney had two games over 200 and Hanson had one.

Joining the Dodgers will be Le Mars, Keokuk, Western Dubuque, Waterloo East, Denison-Schleswig, Newton and Waverly-Shell Rock. LeMars had the highest score from districts with a 2,986. Fort Dodge enters seventh.

“We really have no pressure on us,” Vinson said. “We aren’t the defending state champions like last year, and we didn’t roll the top district score. We’ve just got to go out there, bowl the best we can and see where that leaves us.”

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