Success in bowling is not a new thing for junior Grayson Martin. He made the varsity bowling team as only a freshman, been named to the all tournament team at the Lincoln Pius Holiday Bowling tournament and even made it to state as both an individual and as a member of the team event after winning the district championship last season.

Now Grayson has added on to his career as he becomes the first ever Millard South bowler to ever be named as the Metro Conference Tournament Team Captain. This is awarded to the bowler with the highest individual score across sixteen schools who participated in the tournament. In his three games at the tournament, Martin bowled a 198, a 213, and an incredible 250 in the final game to edge out Anden Sutter of Millard West by 2 pins.

“Honestly, I never expected it,” Martin said. “It was a great feeling because we had never had anybody place that high and we have been going to it for three years now. It felt great for me personally, and then we had some great team scores as well that propelled us as a team,” he said.

However, this accomplishment wasn’t just yesterday as it has been years in the making with lots of practice.

“It’s all about the drills,” Martin said. “At practice some people like to shoot their best game. Others like to practice their spare shots. I just start with some basic drills and then I practice shooting at the corner pins for spares. It’s all about spares because you’re not going to throw strikes every day. So, if you shoot your spares, you’re at least going to shoot a decent score,” he said. 

As mentioned earlier Grayson is only a junior and still has another year left of his Millard South bowling career. So, he still has one more big achievement that he still wants to get.

“I plan on making our way to winning the state championship,” Martin said.

Grayson was not the only one on the Patriots bowling team to get a big win at the tournament. Besides having the individual highest score, the Patriots also made their way through the tournament to defeat Omaha Benson in the tournament championship and win their first ever Metro Conference Tournament Championship.

“I expected us to be somewhere in the top four,” senior Matt Weyant said. “It definitely felt good to win because I was not expecting us to make it that far,” he said.

“Going into the day, I just wanted our boys to compete and do it as a team,” Head Coach Nathan Wragge said. “ I knew we had the ability and talent but knew we had a better shot if we stuck together. We picked each other up when things were not going well and supported one another. This is what would have gave us the best shot and that is what I told them leading up to competition,” he said.

The title did not come easy for the Patriots as after the seeding games the Patriots wound up as the number two overall seed in the tournament. In the semifinals the Patriots had to face the defending tournament champions Papillion LaVista. 

The Patriots fought hard though and defeated the Monarchs three games to one in a best of five series.

In the finals the Patriots would face their toughest opponent yet as they faced the Bulldogs of Burke High School who defeated the Patriots in a matchup earlier this year.

Millard South looked impressive in the first game of the five game series as the Patriots defeated the Bulldogs 154-136.

Both teams jumped their scores up in the second game but the Patriots once again came out on top as the Patriots came through with a 181-171 to jump to a two game lead.

In the decisive third game the Patriots started off on fire as they threw a strike in four out of the first five games and finished out strong to emerge in the third game 190-161. 

This gave the Patriots the match and even more importantly the championship.

“I was ecstatic,” Weyant said. “We really haven’t had a big win this year and last year was kind of a letdown since we won districts but lost in the first round of the state tournament. So I think this year is a really good year for us to get back to that Millard South to where we can keep winning and hopefully win the state title,” he said.

“Winning is always a great feeling,” Wragge said. “But watching the boys see their hard work pay off in the form of a championship is unmatched. We proved that we deserve to compete with the best but our work is not done yet,” he said.