Vandy bowler wins girls state singles title

Vandebilt Catholic bowler Colleen Cheramie won the LHSAA girls state individual singles title at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge on Saturday with a 220 final series, which included a 264 single game.

In previous battles on the lanes with Angela Falgoust of St. Michael, Vandebilt Catholic bowler Colleen Cheramie most often came out on the losing end.

But on high school bowling’s biggest stage on Saturday and when it mattered the most, Cheramie bested her rival.

With a 220 average at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge in the state finals, Cheramie edged Falgoust by a two-pin average and took home the Louisiana High School Athletic Association girls individual bowling state championship.

Making it more impressive is the fact that bowling is an open-event sport. That means all classes compete together, and only one boys and girls singles state champion is named per year.

“It was the highest series I ever bowled, and my 264 was my highest game ever,” Cheramie, a sophomore said. “I qualified for state last year, but didn’t make it as far. I got discouraged when I started this year because I wasn’t doing well, but then I got a four-in-a-row, and I knew I could do well.”

Cheramie said it was nice to finally top Falgoust.

“We have been in a lot of head-to-head competitions before, and she would usually beat me,” Cheramie said. “It felt good to be on top this time. It’s a really big accomplishment because I am only a sophomore. I was going up against mostly seniors.”

In the first round of the two rounds, Cheramie advanced with a 219, a 145 and a 168 and that pushed her into the championship round as the third-highest qualifier.

In the championship round, Cheramie bowled a 176, a blistering 264 and a 221. That gave her a 220 average, better than Falgoust’s 218. She also helped the Lady Terriers to the quarterfinals as a team this season.

“I am so proud of Colleen, super proud,” Vandebilt coach Doug Hamilton said. “She is not only an outstanding bowler, but she was a leader on our team this year, and we exceeded our expectations by getting all the way to Shreveport and the bi-regionals where we won our first-round match.”

Making the win even more special for Cheramie was the fact it was the first time the LHSAA officially named individual bowling champions.

“She is actually the first (girls LHSAA individual bowling champion),” Hamilton said. “This is the first official year of singles competition. Last year was a pilot program, so she is the first official LHSAA girls state single champion ever.” K’iara Smith of East Baton Rouge Lab Academy placed third in girls singles with a 194 average.

Other area singles bowlers to compete on Saturday at the state tournament were Marlon Hinton of H.L. Bourgeois, Alex Zanca of Terrebonne, Carly Callais of South Lafourche and Angelica Tran of Ellender.

Hinton qualified into the second round on Saturday.