Plymouth Christian Academy, Bronson Believe & Achieve at D4 Finals
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 4, 2022
The Plymouth Christian Academy boys couldn’t believe they did it. The Bronson girls just had to believe they could do it again.
Friday’s Division 4 team bowling champions had different back stories, but arrived at the same celebration at M-66 Bowl in Battle Creek. PCA’s boys program – in just its third season – won its first Finals title, and Bronson’s girls team battled through a few tough spots to secure their third championship in four seasons.
The Eagles claimed their title with a 1,194-1,162 win over Grass Lake, which was seeking its third-straight team title after winning Division 3 last season and Division 4 in 2020.
Grass Lake won the Baker games by 53 pins, but PCA followed juniors Adam Moore (237) and Kyle Quick (215) in the regular games.
“It doesn’t feel real. It’s incredible,” Quick said. “It was a long road to get here. We had a lot of ups and downs, but in the end we all put in the hard work and we got it done.
“It shows how rapidly everyone’s been improving. It shows we have great leadership, great teaching, and that we have a great team.”
Grass Lake’s boys were seeded first out of qualifying after dropping 237 pins more than the field, while PCA entered match play seeded sixth. A 37-pin semifinal win over Vandercook Lake thrust the Eagles into the championship match, but they still had to balance out the Bakers with some big rolls down the stretch.
Senior Brenton Cochrane rolled a 197 to lead Grass Lake in the final.
“We thought we were down and out throughout this match. But as soon as we got past that fifth frame, the kids all of a sudden started taking it to the next level and started having fun with the game again – and I think that was the big difference,” PCA coach Robert Moore said.
“At some time throughout this season, each one of them has carried the team with a big game. This was the time for all of them to do it together at the same time.”
Bronson coach Linda Hyska has preached “pins, pins, pins get you the wins” through the hours of practice her team has put in as it’s worked to return to the top after ending in the semifinals a year ago.
The Vikings finished second in qualifying, also to Grass Lake, then moved through the bracket with a 52-pin win over Burton Bendle and 29-pin win over Ishpeming Westwood in the semifinal.
Bronson won the Bakers 357-297 over Grass Lake in the final, and followed up with a 763-714 advantage in the regular games for a 1,120-1,011 win.
“From our lows to our highs, they just finished it to the very end,” Hyska said. “They had moments today that (were) a downer. But you know what? Somebody else on the team picked them up, and that’s what this is – a team event today, and we all finished strong at the very end.”
Sophomore Hadassah Bloom paced Bronson in the regular game with a 179, while senior Cierra Chapo led Grass Lake with a 186. Grass Lake had defeated Bronson in their Regional last weekend at Jax 60, 3,427-3,328, and a combined five bowlers from those teams are slated to compete in Saturday’s Singles Finals.
“Starting off this year, I had faith in us – but we definitely had to work to get here,” Bronson senior Idalia Hernandez said. “Our big saying today was ‘positive mindset equals positive outcome.’ That’s something we live by … (and) we realize that definitely gets us going.
“I have faith they can come back every year.”
PHOTOS (Top) Plymouth Christian Academy warms up before Friday’s Team Finals at M-66 Bowl. (Middle) A Bronson bowler winds up during competition. (Click for more from Champions Photography.)