With an extra spring in his step and a grin starting to sneak across his face, Marshalltown bowling coach Jeremiah McKeever couldn't hide his excitement.
Through round one of the Bobcats' dual with Dowling Catholic, all five of his squads were in front - a feat they hadn't accomplished since the opening week of the season.
And after all was said and done - the grin was firmly cemented as the entire Marshalltown contingent came away victorious over the Maroons at the Totem Bowl Thursday.
"It was an exciting night," McKeever said. "All my teams bowled well by making quality shots and picking up spares. Capturing a sweep was awesome since we haven't done that since week one."
The Bobcat varsity boys (7-2) snapped their two-match skid en route to a 3,046-2,535 victory over Dowling (3-6).
Brett Wax led the way rolling a 205-228-433, while Grant Whitmore tallied a 243-182-425 for second. Dacoda Ewalt (416), Calvin Halvorsen (407) and Kyle Bartles (363) completed the team score. Halvorsen bowled 30 pins above his individual game average for a personal best score.
Adam Chelleen led the Maroons shooting a 193-211-404.
The Bobcats extended their lead with a 1,002-857 advantage in the Baker games.
With Marshalltown cruising past Dowling, the most excitement came between the Bobcats' varsity and JV1 squads trying to top each other. The JV1 squad came out on top by 35 pins and jumped all over the Maroons 3,081-2,126.
"I think it really pushed both teams," McKeever said of the competition between his top two squads. "They really cheer each other on and it got the atmosphere fired up. It was fun to watch."
None fed off energy more than sophomore Floyd Speck - who led the JV squad and all Marshalltown bowlers with personal bests for a series (545) and game (289) before following up with a 256.
Speck flirted with a perfect game as a split in the 10th frame kept him just off the mark. Though the sophomore admitted just missing 300 likely kept him more focused for the rest of the evening.
"If I would have bowled a 300, I wouldn't have been able to pull it together that second game," Speck said. "I still would have been pretty shaky and happy. That second game probably would have been around a 200."
Severio Mancieri reached his career-best for both game and series with a 245-194-439, while Zach Thomsen (413), Brandon Freese (386) and Tyler Wilson (330) also contributed to the team score. The Bobcats earned a 2,113-1,444 advantage in the first round, before adding to the lead with a 968-682 decision in the Baker games led by Freese's 245.
MHS girls rip Maroons
While the Bobcat girls (2-6) didn't have a JV squad to feed off of, they found their own inspiration in a friendly rivalry with the Maroons (1-8) - resulting in a 2,225-1,826 victory to end their six-match slide.
"It was nice to interact with (Dowling) and somewhat cheer them on to," Marshalltown junior Tia Vergauwen said. "Some of the other teams we've faced haven't really done that so it was nice to get something a bit different."
Vergauwen led the Bobcats shooting a 151-179-330, nearly 20 pins over her season average. Samantha Tocheri eclipsed her average by almost 30 pins en route to a 160-155-315. Kathleen Ferrin (266), Mercedies Bills (248) and Lily Neuan (247) rounded out their scoring quintet as the Bobcats trumped the Maroons 1,406-1,231 through the opening round.
Cassi Cahill led the Maroons with a 308 series.
The Bobcats kept things rolling with a season-best Baker score of 819 to easily outdistance Dowling's 595. Tocheri paced the Bobcats with a 178.
"The girls bowled very well tonight," McKeever said.
"They've been struggling this year, but we've been focused on personal bests and continued improvement. They've been doing that and tonight they kept it going. I'm really proud of them."
Powered by Max Mancieri's personal best series of 238-248-486, the Bobcat boys JV2 squad dispatched Dowling 2,625-2,004.
The JV3 squad wrapped up the sweep with a 1,849-1,688 victory over the Maroons. Jose Ramirez led Marshalltown tallying a 299 series.
The Bobcats host CIML CIC Northern division foe Mason City Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Totem Bowl.
Marshalltown will host a Class 2A State qualifying meet Feb. 14 at the Totem Bowl. Other teams in the field include Southeast Polk, Ankeny, Urbandale and Mason City. ... McKeever is excited at the opportunity for his squad to compete in front of the home crowd, where the boys varsity is 5-0 this year. "It's definitely an advantage," said McKeever. "We just need to keep doing what we've been doing at home."