Oxford digs deep, wins Oakland County boys bowling team title – The Oakland Press

Midway through the first round of match play at the Oakland County Boys Bowling Tournament at Astro Lanes in Madison Heights on Saturday, Oxford Head Coach JR Lafnear had every reason to worry.

What happened from then on was something the longtime Oxford coach will not soon forget.

The Oxford team – just as the entire community has done for the past 60 days – faced adversity and roared to life, capturing the school’s third provincial team championship in the past four years.

Oxford defeated Novi in ​​the championship round of match play, 365-308, completing what Lafnear described as “an amazing day for these kids and our entire community.”

Tommy Mace of Oxford rolled a 593 individual series to lead the Wildcats to the title of the Oakland County Boys Bowling Tournament in 2022. Oxford defeated the Novi Wildcats 365 to 308 in the final. North Farmington was third and Farmington fourth. The tournament was held at Astro Lanes in Madison Heights on Saturday, January 15, 2022. (KEN SWART – For MediaNews Group)

As the head coach sat on his bench watching a live stream of the event due to a positive COVID-19 test the day before the tournament, Lafnear watched as the Wildcats bounced back from a 40-pin deficit after the first game in the two-game, opening round match with Ortonville-Brandon to advance to the quarterfinals. 436-373.

“It was after the game with Brandon that I felt the guys were focused on what they had to do,” said Lafnear. “That’s when I knew we had a chance to win everything.”

Indeed they did.

Assistant coaches Steve Burgess and Fred Heichel were tasked with coaching on site.

Oxford came out of the qualifying round placed fifth, sent Brandon home on the first round, advanced to Holly on the round of eight (368-344); and defeated top seeded North Farmington in the semifinals (433-352), paving the way for the win over Novi.

“I am so very proud of these guys,” Lafnear said in a telephone interview. “They’ve been through so much in the last 60 days and it’s just special to smile and be so happy.

“They bonded and worked so hard to get through it all, I couldn’t be happier or prouder of them,” Lafnear continued. “We got behind several times and fought back like the champions they are. Today (Saturday) was a very special day for all of us and we are really grateful for everyone’s support.”

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