Howell bowlers strike it big

What a week it was for Howell High School bowling. First, the boys and girls wrapped up their respective Shore Conference B Central Division titles. Then, on Feb. 4, the girls won the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship.

The girls not only won the state sectional title, they owned it: all five starters qualified for the NJSIAA individual tournament.

Jamie Kelly led the way with the second high game of the tournament, 238. She tied for fourth with her 638 series, Shanna Kelly was seventh (596), Sarah VanNosdall was 10th (584), Kendall Patterson was 13th (560) and Leanne Reed was 14th (553).

“I am so proud of those girls,” coach Dave Clampffer said. “They work so hard and they deserve it.”

The state individual tournament will be held on Feb. 15 at Brunswick Zone/Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, which hosted the Central Jersey Group IV event. The state team championships are set for Feb. 13.

Howell won the state sectional title with a three-game total of 2,925 pins to South Brunswick’s 2,759. South Brunswick led Howell by four pins after two games, but the Rebels outscored South Brunswick in the final game, 995-825, to overtake the Vikings and win the sectional crown.

Winning the B Central division was no surprise. No opponent had beaten the Rebels all season, and the girls closed out a 45-0 campaign with a 3-0 win over Freehold Township at Howell Lanes. Things were far more dramatic for the Howell boys as they outlasted Freehold Township and Jackson Memorial.

The Rebels were tied with Freehold Township heading into the Jan. 31 finale and won the B Central division title by beating the Patriots, 2-1. The Rebels won the first two games to clinch the title before the third and final game. In the second game, junior Max Stalter rolled a perfect 300 game, the third perfect game in Howell history.

Howell’s final division record was 33-12, followed by Freehold Township, 32-13, and Jackson Memorial, 31-14.

The Rebels, who earlier won the Monmouth County title, will try to add the Central Jersey Group IV crown to their 2011-12 résumé on Feb. 11 at Carolier Lanes.

While they won their respective division titles this season, the Howell bowlers gave Clampffer his 1,000th career win, a milestone not achieved by any other coach in the Freehold Regional High School District.

Clampffer has been the Rebels’ coach for all 13 years Howell has had a bowling team. The first team was co-ed and won a division title. The girls team started the next season, and the Rebels have won 11 division titles in 12 years, plus the 2002 state crown.

The boys have won four Shore Conference division titles. Both teams have won multiple state sectional titles and Monmouth County championships, making Howell bowling one of the most successful athletic programs in the FRHSD.