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Bowlers seek nation-best 4th straight state title
Hoping to add another tale to its legend, the Oak Harbor High School bowling team begins defense of its state title this weekend at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.
The Wildcats' legend is also starting to resonate beyond the borders of Washington.
Oak Harbor, coached by Jason Youngsman, will be seeking its fourth straight championship. Last year's win was the first time a team won three consecutive titles in the 48 years of the Washington State Bowling Proprietors' Association tournament.
If Oak Harbor claims this year's championship, it will be the first high school team in the nation to win four in a row, according to Youngsman.
The WSBPA state meet is the second longest running high school state finals in the United States to New York.
Not only is Oak Harbor the top seed in the first division, but its second team, coached by Carlton Johnson Sr., leads Division II.
The No. 1 Oak Harbor squad enters the tournament with a 981 average. Spokane's Shadle Park is a distant second at 945 in the nine-team Division I. Shadle Park finished third in the 2013 tournament.
The top Wildcat squad includes seniors Carlton Johnson Jr., Brendan McCardle, Tyler Rollyson and Christian Osorio; and freshmen Devin McCardle and DJ Rutter.
"It feels good to be the favorite," Johnson Jr. said. "It puts more pressure on us, but it is fun."
He added that the Wildcats have "really good chemistry," which will help steady any nerves at state.
"I'd rather be the top dog," Youngsman said. "They all know who we are."
Patrick Anderson, Taylor Osorio, Conner Parmenter, Powell Tarrant and Danny Stochl man the Wildcat No. 2 club, which sports an 841 average. Bellarmine of Tacoma is second at 838 in the eight-team Division II.
Last winter at state, the Oak Harbor No. 2 team placed second in its division, losing by a half point to Curtis.
Jacob Miller and John Youngsman, Jason's father, also help coach the Wildcats.
State will include 25 five-person teams in three divisions. Forty individuals will also compete in the singles division.
In addition to title runs of the past three years, Oak Harbor won the crown once in the 1970s and again in 1991 when Jason Youngsman rolled for Oak Harbor and was coached by his father.
Jason Youngsman was inducted into the WSBAA Coaches Hall of Fame at last year's tournament.
Oak Harbor's No. 2 varsity team: Patrick Anderson, Taylor Osorio, Conner Parmenter, Powell Tarrant and Danny Stochl.