When both of your teams win the state championship in their division, what can a program do for an encore?

How about repeating as champions this season? That’s what the Neshoba Central bowling teams aim to do when the state tournament comes up in February. And if the Lady Rockets should pull off that feat, it would be for the third time in as many years.

“Both teams are capable of winning state again,” Coach Joey Blount said. “I’m not sure how the other schools are doing at this point. Both teams are undefeated at this point.”

Destiny Dill, last season’s girl Bowler of the Year in Mississippi, is back for her senior year. She is averaging 173 pins per game. Freshman Allie Williams is the No. 2 bowler on the team. She is averaging 163 pins per game. Making up the rest of the Lady Rockets’ top 5 will be Savannah Williams (142 average), Ashton Luke (130 average) and Olivia Nicholson (130 average). Other members of the team are Kathryn Dreifuss, Harley Edwards, Sarah Lewis, Jaiden Sawyers and Reagan Thornton.

“As a team, we are averaging around 150,” Blount said. “That score will put us into the conversation when the postseason starts. But you have to understand. We ware bowling better than our averages. We start practice in October and I keep up with scores from both practices and games. Their averages are not necessarily what they are bowling.”

The top two bowlers on the boys team are returning for their senior seasons. Tyler Holland is averaging 195 while Carson Settlemires has a 193 average. Other members of the top 5 are Landon Coward (170 average), Noah Pickett (167 average) and Justin Fox (161 average).

Other members of the team are John Rylee Barrett, Noah Bates, Brandon Beckham, Chris Chamberlin and Craig Taylor.

The Rockets are defending champions from the 2018 tournament. They were the runner-up team in 2017.

“The boys are very comparable to the girls,” Blount said. “As of late, they are bowling very well. In the past, Tyler and Carson have averaged better scores but I believe they will be where we need them by the time the playoffs start.”

Neshoba Central is in the Central Zone of the Class 2 division which is for 4A and 5A schools. They are in the same class with Germantown, Cleveland Central and Louisville.

Blount said that after Christmas, Neshoba Central will start preparing for the Baker Series competition which will decide the championship.

In a Baker Series game, five teammates will bowl toward one score. That is, rather than a typical league format in which you and your teammates each bowl 10 frames and your team score is the sum of each individual score, your entire team will combine to bowl 10 frames in a Baker match.

In MHSAA state competition, the two teams with the most pins from the league format advance to bowl in the Baker Series. That’s how the state championship is determined.

“The only time you see the Baker Series in in the championship series,” Blount said. “But that decides who wins. We will start practicing and getting ready for it in January.