Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Wildcats defeated eight other teams Sunday, Jan. 19 at Kellogg Bowl in Milwaukie

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville bowlers Lui Blonberg, from left, Trevor Johnson, Gohan Venacia, Spencer Sullivan, Tyler Crawford and Trey Arzie, coached by Mick McMahon, won the District 3 Championship on Sunday, Jan. 19 in Milwaukie.

After graduating seven seniors, Mick McMahon, Wilsonville's longtime boys bowling coach, was not sure he would even have a team this year.

But last Sunday at Kellogg Bowl in Milwaukie, the Wildcats brought home another District 3 championship.

"On Dec. 2nd we weren't very good and the guys showed up regularly to practice on Mondays and Thursdays and we ended up beating some schools with a lot more experienced bowlers than we have," McMahon said. "It's amazing. I've been really fortunate over the years. God keeps sending me really awesome kids to coach and we always pull it together."

Competing against eight other teams, Wilsonville averaged a 198 through 20 Baker games, finishing second behind only Oregon City.

The top six teams then bowled 10 more games in the semifinals with the best three advancing. The Wildcats were in fourth after eight games before moving up to second after the ninth game.

Finishing at No. 2, Wilsonville faced No. 3 Milwaukie in a two-game set with the Wildcats winning 379-370 to face No. 1 Hermiston in the finals.

"It was a nail-biter all the way through the 10th frame," McMahon said.

With the district title on the line, Hermiston came out strong, bowling a 223 in the first game. But Wilsonville was even better, shooting a 230.

Hermiston then fell apart in the second game, bowling a 108 to the Wildcats 193.

"Our guys were just so sharp," McMahon said. "It was just unreal."

While the Wildcats finished the district tournament strong, the combined 423 in the finals was not even their best performance of the day.

Wilsonville bowled a two-game set of 495 in the morning against Oregon City, following a 260 with a 235.

"As long as I've been a coach, I can't even dream of 495," McMahon said. "That is just remarkable. The kids are very, very awesome."

This year's Wilsonville team was again led by Tualatin senior Trevor Johnson, who was the MVP of the state tournament last season when the Wildcats placed fourth.

Johnson finished second overall at this year's district tournament.

"Every time we needed a strike, Trevor came through for us," McMahon said. "It was just incredible to watch."

Wilsonville students Lui Blonberg, Gohan Venacia and Try Arzie made up the rest of the team along with West Linn's Tyler Crawford and Spencer Sullivan.

"All the kids really came up for the matches, never panicking, never upset," McMahon said." It was a coach's dream."

The Wildcats will compete at the state tournament on Feb. 22-23 at Firebird Lanes in Salem.

Derek Wiley
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