By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Tim Hartigan’s sights are set on a professional bowling career, starting this spring.
First, the Tupelo High senior wants to help his Golden Wave team win its fifth consecutive state championship in Friday’s MHSAA Class II state tournament at Fannin Lanes in Brandon.
“I’d like to go out on top,” said Hartigan, who enters the tournament with a 212 scoring average. “My first year we won state and I bowled with my brother, Matt. Last year, I bowled with my little brother, Lucas.
“Those were special. This one would be right under those.”
The Golden Wave boys lineup features the two Hartigans, Jake Houston, Marcus Robinson, Cody Chambers and Kelvin Ransey, the son of former Ohio State and NBA point guard Kelvin Ransey.
Tupelo defeated Olive Branch 3-1 two weeks ago to win the North regional tournament.
“If they’re all on, we’ve got a chance to win state,” Tupelo coach Susan Dudley said. “We’ve got a fairly deep team.”
Dudley’s main concern is the fact that Clinton and Terry, two teams in the tournament, have more experience on Fannin’s synthetic lanes. Tupelo’s lanes are wooden.
“There’s a big difference,” she noted.
Hartigan plans to attend Itawamba Community College and compete in pro tournaments.
“I want him to hit a couple of regional (pro) events and see what he can do,” said Kevin Hartigan, Tim’s father and owner of Tupelo’s Rebelanes.
LADY WAVE STRONG
Tupelo’s girls won their first state championship last season and enter the tournament as the North regional champions. The Lady Wave beat Northwest Rankin 3-0 in the Baker style title match.
“Our girls have two losses and both were to Tennessee teams,” Dudley said. “This is the strongest girls team we’ve had.”
The Lady Wave lineup features Ellye Gafford, Addison Gable, Morgan Pannell, Madison Stafford, Taylor Russell and Ashleigh Burns.
IAHS LEADS IN CLASS I
Itawamba AHS’s girls and boys teams won the North regional championships to qualify for Friday’s Class I state tournament at Paradise Lanes in Jackson.
Pontotoc’s boys captured the Central regional championship to qualify.
Last year’s defending state champions, the Pisgah girls and West Union boys have also qualified.
10:30 a.m. start
WHERE: At Paradise Lanes, Jackson
AREA TEAMS ENTERED: East
Union, East Webster, Itawamba AHS,
Kossuth, Pontotoc, West Union
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: West
Union boys, Pisgah girls
WHERE: At Fannin Lanes, Brandon
AREA TEAMS ENTERED: Tupelo,
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Tupelo
boys, Tupelo girls