Albert Lea bowling team places third

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 14, 2002

CRYSTAL – The Albert Lea Tigers were somewhat of a surprise entrant in the 2002 Minnesota High School Bowling Tournament.

But they sure showed they belonged there.

The Tigers finished an impressive third in a field of 19 teams last weekend at Doyle’s Lanes in Crystal. A total of 16 conferences from throughout the state were represented. Albert Lea, which finished fourth in the regular-season South Central Conference standings, advanced to state by winning the SCC tournament.

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“This team bowled excellent as a team all day long,” said coach Loren Kaiser. “They beat out several teams in the double-elimination finals that had much better stats than they have. But we have a team that does lots of things together. When we had our bad games, no one was getting down on each other. When we bowled our good games, everyone was cheering, including all of the parents and relatives that were there.”

The Tigers, led by all-conference bowlers Brandon Boekelman and Matt Kaiser, qualified fourth through the first 10 games at state, averaging 182.2 pins per game.

Then, in the elimination rounds, the Tigers defeated teams from Farmington, Duluth-Superior and Roseville. They fell to Fridley and eventual state champion Bloomington.

For the day, the Tigers averaged 175.6 per game and filled 75 percent of their frames, with 170 fills and 58 opens.

Boekelman filled the most frames, 84 percent. Matt Kaiser filled 80 percent.

Also bowling were Matt Rasmusson, Shane Walk, Joe Squires, Grant Boyer and Brian Baas.

“We were just a couple more spares or strikes away from making the championship match,” said Loren Kaiser, who’s assisted by Ron Boekelman. “The lanes were playing tough the last two to three matches we bowled. We look forward to a chance to take this team back to the state tournament next year as we will lose only one starter.”