COLUMBUS –Mississinawa Valley senior Joe Teeter took a goal and a dream and made them into reality Friday morning by bringing home the gold medal as the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state bowling champion for 2016.
Teeter rolled game of 216, 276 and 256 for a 748 series, the highest ever for Division II and second highest in state tournament history.
“I’m just speechless right now,” Teeter said. “The hard work and dedication, couldn’t have done it without the support of everybody at school. They had my back.”
Teeter was competing against members of the top 16 teams in the state and 16 top individuals. A total of 83 bowlers would complete the three-game series, and Teeter defeated them all.
The worst part of the day may have been waiting for the event to start. The bowlers waited at least one hour and 15 minutes for things to get underway. Everyone was anxious and wanted to be in place ready to begin.
The first game Teeter bowled a 216, which is a good score, but there were others near who were rolling in the 230s and 240s. He would have to pick up the pace if he wanted to medal in this event.
Pick up the pace he did. In game two, Teeter opened with strikes in the first nine frames. His ball in the 10th frame gathered only six pins, but he converted the spare and finished with a strike for a 276.
“The first game 216 was alright but not good enough,” Teeter said. “After the ninth strike (in the second game), told myself I was going to win it.”
The key to winning this event was to have consistent scoring. Three high scores were needed to get him into contention for the top spot, and Teeter delivered. He was able to relax under the pressure and deliver nine strikes in the final game. He was able to focus on the prize and control his emotions and roll a 256.
What did his coach tell him along the way?
“Glad I could help him get this far, just to get to state,” said Mississinawa Valley boys bowling coach Joe Teeter, who also is Teeter’s dad. “We expected he had a chance. He got it almost all on his own. I just had to keep him relaxed and remind him of his fundamentals.”
Teeter, the bowler, concluded. “This couldn’t have happened without school support. They were crazy.”
As he was told at the award ceremony, in 20 years the certificate you are receiving may fade and this gold medal may dim, but you will always be a state champion bowler.