Wapakoneta wins share of conference title

Two strong first games by brothers Chandler Kaeck and Nate Kaeck helped all but seal a conference championship for the Wapakoneta Redskins.

The duo each rolled a 258 to help Wapakoneta in their first game against the Russia Raiders on Saturday and provided a cushion for their team in their pursuit of the West Ohio High School Bowling Conference title.

“That was really big,” Wapakoneta varsity coach Jim Kaeck said of the pair of 258s. “That pretty much took care of it.”

Wapakoneta entered Saturday’s conference match against Russia needing a win to secure at least a share of the WOHSBC title.

Versailles and St. Henry each shared the conference title with Wapakoneta, as all three teams finished the regular season with 14-1 records.

Jim Kaeck described his feelings on the team being a conference champion.

“It feels good,” he said. “It would have been nice to win it outright. It’s still good to be co-champs. It’s better than second or third.”

Each conference champion lost one match to another conference champion this season.

Versailles won every match since their Dec. 28 loss to St. Henry.

Wapakoneta defeated St. Henry in a home match Dec. 30 at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta.

Versailles beat Wapakoneta on Feb. 1 in the Redskins’ second-to-last conference match of the season, with Wapakoneta needing a win to clinch a share of the WOHSBC title.

“I wish we would have bowled them early in the year,” Kaeck said of Versailles. “We were pretty good early in the year. We stayed pretty good throughout the year but they really improved. They got better at the end of the year. If we would have bowled against them earlier in the year, I’m sure we would have beat them.”

Chandler Kaeck had a 213 in the second game for a 471 series. Nate Kaeck dropped to a 154 to finish at 412.

Wapak’s Brandon Kennard was consistent at 211-223, as was Austin Krites at 191-178.

Trevor Copeland (187) and Blake Knueve (168) each rolled one game for the Redskins.

Wapak will begin preparation for the postseason now.

The Redskins will make a long trip to northern Ohio to compete at Star Lanes in Port Clinton at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 in a Division I Northwest District sectional tournament.

Wapak will compete among some unfamiliar teams at its sectional. Wapak is the only Division I school among WOHSBC members in the Northwest District.

Kaeck provided his thoughts entering the sectional tournament.

“It’s definitely going to be different, going to Division I,” he said. “I’m not looking forward to the long drive to Port Clinton. I don’t think it’ll be any different going against Coldwater, Versailles and St. Henry. I think we’ll do fine up there.

This is the first season in which the state bowling tournament will be divided into two divisions. Previously, the state tournament grouped all of Ohio’s bowling teams into one division.