Neshoba Central’s Emilio Suarez bowls during the MHSAA Class II Bowling State Championship.
Neshoba Central’s Emilio Suarez bowls during the MHSAA Class II Bowling State Championship.
Well, once again, the Neshoba Central Bowling Team, both boys and girls, gave their family, friends, and spectators an exciting day of competition at the 2014 MHSAA Class II Bowling State Championship held at Fannin Lanes in Jackson on Friday.

Representatives from the MHSAA Network were there to live web-stream the event and provided commentary and interviews from coaches. This being the first year for the web-stream, the broadcasters, not knowing what to expect, were amazed by the energetic and enthusiastic atmosphere of the crowd and the skill, determination, and competitiveness of the athletes.

After the coaches' meeting and the drawing for lane assignments, the teams eagerly set up to throw a few practice balls, honor our National Anthem and flag and begin the initial 4 game competition.

Series totals for the girls were as follows: Tupelo 3306, Neshoba Central 2863, Madison Central 2627, Desoto Central 2546, Starkville 2521, Petal 2501, Ridgeland 2345, Hattiesburg 2327.

The boys series totals were: Tupelo 3896, Neshoba Central 3659, Starkville 3420, Clinton 3398, Hancock 3338, DeSoto Central 3312, Madison Central 3228, Petal 3189.

With Tupelo and Neshoba Central finishing as the top two, they advanced to the Baker round. The Baker round is a best three out of five match where the five bowlers make up one score. The first bowler rolls in the first and sixth frames, second bowler the second and seventh frames, third bowler the third and eighth frames, fourth bowler the fourth and ninth frames, and the fifth bowler rolls the fifth and 10th frames.

Although Tupelo was victorious in both the boys' and girls' Baker round, the Neshoba Central Rockets and Lady Rockets should be proud of all of their accomplishments.

Both teams placing second in the State Championship after only two years in the program is definitely awe-inspiring.

So, congratulations to you Lady Rockets for ranking second in the state out of 15 schools, to you Rockets for ranking second out of 19, and to both of you for bringing home the first trophies in bowling for Neshoba Central. Keep up the hard work and drive to make the Neshoba Central Bowling Team the ones to watch.

To the seniors, Devin Skinner, Tyler Dill, Emilio Suarez, Graham Winstead, Ryan Gardner, and Shandrea Moore, it has been a blessing getting to know each of you and encouraging you in bowling. I will truly miss you. I hope you will continue to learn and advance in the sport and encourage others to get involved.

To my graduating senior Marissa Stanfill, thank you for helping bring bowling to Neshoba Central. As your mother and coach, I have enjoyed watching you and Samantha grow in the sport throughout the years.

And of course a big thank you and congratulations to Coach Joey Blount. You have been a blessing to your athletes through your dedication and passion to learn about the sport. I hope Neshoba Central will continue to offer bowling and you will continue to lead them to victory.

Official results can be found at

Finally I must give a big shout out to the Rankin County Sheriff's Department. Without the help of Officer Michael Leonard, we may not have made it to the facility on time or been able to perform as well as they did. Thank you Officer Leonard!