Mililani Seeking Its Third Bowling Title

Mililani girls bowling head coach Dennis August is one who believes that facing formidable competition has a way of bringing out the best in a team.

After a season of competing in arguably the toughest league in the state — the OIA West conference — the Trojans are ready for anything at next week’s state bowling championships. Since 2000, the girls state champion has come out of the OIA West (in all but one year), with the Trojans winning titles in 2005 and 2007.

“Bowling in the West is important for states, to get us ready,” said August. “It definitely helps when you’re bowling next to Pearl City day in and day out. They’re the best, and they’ve proven it over the past four or five years. We’ve had good teams, but we haven’t been able to overcome them.”

With four straight state titles, Pearl City remains the team to beat. The Chargers also have the defending individual state champion in junior Chelsi Morishige.

The Trojans are working on a stellar season of their own and could provide plenty of competition. “We’re young with only one senior, but all the rest are returnees, and they will be returnees again next year,” August said. “We try to improve every week, and I think we’re bowling right now the best we’ve bowled all season.”

Mililani was to compete in the OIA team and individual finals late last Thursday before having this week off. It will now turn its attention solely to the state championships Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at KBXtreme in Kona.

The Trojans were hoping to qualify everyone on their roster, which includes Kacey Brighter, Karla Higa, Taylor Ishisaka, Erin Ohta, Kirsten Ortiz, Karli Shidaki, Keri Shigeta and Krstyn Yata.

Travel can bring teams closer together, and although they will have one of the younger lineups there, the Trojans already have formed a bond as if they’d been together as a group for longer.

“They pick each other up, which is refreshing,” said August. “I just have to worry about the bowling, and they worry about everything else. We have no drama.”