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Frontier boys bowling second at Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights high school bowling tournament has been known as one of the top area competitions in Western New York, as year after year, full-fields continue to take part.

With 35 boys, and 24 girls teams participating in the 2013 tournament at Thruway Lanes, this year’s tournament did not disappoint, as the result was in question throughout the entire day.

Players and coaches arrived at the alley around 8:30 am and were in for a long and exciting day of bowling. Six games, 60 frames, or however else it could be measured, it was a lot of bowling, which did not conclude until after 5:00 pm.

The Frontier Falcons, and their star senior Chad Mee, found themselves in a final-game battle with Oswego High School who made the 150-mile trip to take part in, and ultimately win their second Festival of Lights title in the last three years, and their second in as many trips.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have some good luck here in the past,” said Oswego head coach Bob Hoefer. “We wouldn’t come back if it wasn’t a great event. All the other comradery and the other kids and the other teams – they’re all just wonderful. It’s just a pleasure to be a part of it.”

Oswego shot a tournament-best 6,317 to upend the Falcons by 65 pins. They used a 1,133 final game to do so, which was a tournament-high.

With the second place finish, Frontier was able to solidify themselves among the best within their section, beating the next closest team, Tonawanda by 313 pins. Lewiston-Porter and Webster Thomas rounded out the top 5.

“It’s a tough grind,” said Mee on the long day. “It’s a long six games. We bowled pretty well. We threw a lot of strikes but it was a grind at the end, and Oswego threw a great game at the end so it was a grind for us.”

Frontier won the sectional title last year and Mee finished second individually with a 1,367 six-game set. This tournament is set up very similar to the sectional tournament, which will help Frontier, as well as other local teams who will take part in sectionals.

“I think this is a learning experience,” said Falcons head coach John Cordier. “We had a clear advantage in pin differential between us, and the rest of the teams from our section. So the positive we pull out of it is that we proved again that we’re probably one of the best teams in the section.”

Mee finished with a tournament-high six-game set of 1,503 with a 795 opening set, headlining the all-tournament team, while teammate Matt Kinn rounded out the team, finishing tenth with a 1,262 series. Kinn also recorded a 300 game in an earlier season matchup against Lancaster.

“We’re definitely ready for sectionals, and ready to win,” said Mee. “We’ll see Oswego at states. They were there last year so they’ll be a big competition.”

St. Francis was the top Monsignor Martin finisher. The Red Raiders shot a six-game series of 5,671. Williamsville North (5,864), Niagara Wheatfield (5,807), Depew (5,692), St. Francis, and Orchard Park (5,647) rounded out the top 10.

Webster-Thomas (Webster, NY) was able to able to capture the girls’ division title with a six-game series of 5,613, finishing ahead of Niagara Falls High School by 185 pins.


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