FLINT TWP. — Carman-Ainsworth bowlers made some noise on the state level last year, and the Cavaliers look to make even more this season.
The girls’ team was ranked as high as seventh at one time in the Div.1 poll after winning the first tournament championship in team history at Royal Scot. Quinisha Burnett and Kenzey Lord both qualified for the state meet, where Burnett placed 24th in the qualifying block and missed match play by just 36 pins.
On the boys’ side, Quinton Burnett reached state for the second straight year and also qualified for match play a second consecutive time after placing third in the qualifying block.
All those bowlers are back to lead the Cavaliers’ attack on the lanes once again.
Quinisha Burnett is a junior and one of four returning starters for the Lady Cavs. Kenzey Lord and twin sister Kassidy are now sophomores, and Shance Tyler is back for her senior year. Danielle Sims is another senior looking to crack the starting lineup, but she’ll get stiff competition from senior Brandy Fay, who is up from the junior varsity, and junior Shiann Luxon, a transfer from Flint Southwestern.
“Those three will be shuffling in and out to see who can replace Jessie Teeples,” said girls’ coach Gordie Kaufman, referring to the only starter the Cavs graduated last year. “Those are big shoes to fill.”
The Lady Cavs were missing a starter at last year’s regionals and didn’t qualify for state. But they finished second to powerful Davison in the Big Nine Conference and have set one of their goals to knock off the Cardinals in one of the three matches they’ll meet this year. Kaufman will toughen them for the competition by entering at least four and maybe five tournaments this season.
“I’m just hoping we improve a lot and do as well as we did last year,” he said.
Quinton Burnett is in his fourth year as a starter after earning Second-Team All-State last year. Sophomore Cameron Wright and junior Parker Zellar also started last year. They’ll be joined by several bowlers up from the JV to vie for starting spots. Freshman DeQuincy Adams looks like a good bet to start, while senior Raymond Golden, juniors Nick Davis and Stefan Clark and sophomore Julius McLean are also in the hunt.
Carman-Ainsworth opened the season on a high note by sweeping Powers Catholic at Town and Country Lanes last Saturday. Kenzey Lord bowled 183 and a career-high 274, Quinisha Burnett rolled 183-219, Kassidy Lord 188 and Sims 166 to lead the girls’ 24-6 victory.
The Cavaliers will take on Flint Northern at noon Saturday at Rollaway Lanes.