Cadillac Boys Rolling in Debut Season

January 17, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Jeremy Moore had wanted to get a bowling program going at Cadillac High School for a while.

It appears the Vikings picked the perfect time to give it a roll.

More than a month into its first season, Cadillac’s boys bowling team is undefeated and already the champion of the Big North Conference, winning the lone tournament on the league schedule Dec. 2 in what also was the Vikings’ season – and program – debut.

They edged host Gaylord 338-324 in the championship match that afternoon and have yet to be defeated, earning the MHSAA/Applebee’s statewide “Team of the Month” for December.

“We’ve had our core varsity team. These six guys bowled together in youth leagues for several years,” Cadillac coach Jeremy Moore said. “A couple of them are my nephews, and all of their parents bowl.

“We had high hopes. But when we went in and won (the Big North), now we know they’re really good.”

Cadillac will compete in Division 2 during the MHSAA Tournament, and it wouldn’t be shocking if the Vikings found their way into the first state rankings released Friday by the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association.

If not, it could just be a matter of the good word continuing to get out. Cadillac also bowls in the Greater Northwest Bowling Conference with a number of schools from the northwestern corner of the Lower Peninsula (including others from the BNC), and has yet to be challenged. The Vikings are winning their matches by an average score of 28-2.

All six are juniors or sophomores. Sophomore Kyle Vermilyea is averaging a team-high 224, followed by juniors Tyler Campbell (193), Brandon Foster (191) and sophomore Korbin Keller (190). Sophomore Kyle Perry adds a 176 average, and junior Brennen Dagner has been effective in limited frames as the team’s sub.

Moore, who works at The Pines bowling center in Cadillac, worked with first-year athletic director Fred Bryant (formerly of Newberry) to add boys and girls programs this season. Moore coaches both.

As noted above, he knew he’d have talent on the boys team. Multiple Vikings had won Junior Gold youth events downstate in the past, and two of his bowlers had competed well against members of the Lowell team that won the MHSAA Division 2 championship last winter. (Cadillac’s girls, meanwhile, entered the season with far less experience but are a solid 4-2 and took fifth in the BNC tournament.)

There have been small adjustments to make for high school bowling. Cadillac is learning the Baker format a bit on the fly – in a Baker game, all five bowlers take turns bowling a frame with two turns per game apiece – but that’s hardly slowed them down. They’re looking forward to continuing to see where they fit among Michigan’s high school elite as the season progresses, especially when the pressure gets higher during Regionals late next month.

Not new is how much Moore’s tight-knit group enjoys competing. But now the Vikings are getting to show their talents while representing their school.

“Up here there’s not a lot to do, so they’ve spent a lot of time in bowling alleys. They had a lot of games under their belts before high school started,” Moore said.

“They’re just always amped up in practice, always pushing each other. These guys have bowled together in youth leagues, and they’ve been friends a long time. They’re always together, wherever they go.”

Past Teams of the Month, 2017-18
November: Ottawa Lake Whiteford football - Report
Beaverton volleyball - Report
Shepherd girls golf - Report

PHOTOS: (Top) A Cadillac bowler starts a frame during competition this season. (Middle) The Vikings celebrate a Big North Conference championship in their first event as a high school program. (Photos courtesy of the Cadillac athletic department.) 

Gobles' Brunner Closes with 3rd Title, Nouvel's McCarthy Locks Up No. 1

By Tim Robinson
Special for

March 4, 2023

BATTLE CREEK — A few minutes after making history, Gobles senior Morgan Brunner was calm.

No loud celebration, just smiles all around Saturday after becoming the first competitor in the 20-year history of MHSAA girls bowling to win three Singles Finals titles in a row.

“She’s very even-keeled,” said her mother and coach, Karrie Brunner. “She knows she’s got a job to do, and she comes to do it. But she comes to have fun. That was a big part of today. She relaxed and had fun.”

Morgan Brunner rolled to the title, taking first in qualifying and defeating Traverse City Christian’s Brooke Smith 415-303 in the Division 4 final.

But that’s not to say she was expecting an easy time of it.

“I clinched it early, but I was definitely nervous,” she said. “I was nervous all day.”

Brunner dealt with the nerves by concentrating on the task at hand.

“I just tried to stay calm and make my best shots,” she said.

Brunner helped organize the Gobles program, and Saturday’s third-straight title was the latest achievement in a journey that began when she was 2 years old.

“As soon as she could walk,” Karrie Brunner said. "She was pushing the ball down there. I don’t know how many strikes she threw, but she was knocking pins down.”

Morgan hasn’t stopped since.

In the moments after the feat was accomplished, she said it felt like a weight off her shoulders.

“I don’t think it’s going to set in for a while,” she said of her accomplishment. “But it's nice to win.”

Saginaw Nouvel sophomore Alex McCarthy, meanwhile, jumped for joy as he threw the final ball of his boys match.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said afterward. “It’s hard to put it into words right now.”

McCarthy defeated Bryce Cadaret of Allen Park Cabrini, another sophomore, 433-393 in the final.

McCarthy finished 10th in qualifying, then won two matches before meeting Cadaret in the championship.

Cadaret came out hot, starting the match by rolling three strikes in a row.

“It got me back in the match mentally,” McCarthy said.

After a conversation with coach Brian Montini, McCarthy found his groove and never looked back, right through the final ball, which knocked down six pins as he celebrated.

“I had all these thoughts of my coach and all the other coaches and all the hard work I put in through the years,” he said.

Montini, for his part. wasn’t entirely surprised.

“The experience last year helped him,” Montini said, noting McCarthy’s quarterfinal run as a freshman. “We had it in our minds that he was going to do this. And he pulled through.”

Division 4 Final Results - Boys | Girls