Seabreeze knocked off rival Mainland 6-1 the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The Mainland and Seabreeze sports rivalry extends well beyond the gridiron. On two lanes at the far end of the Ormond Lanes bowling alley the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Buccaneers and Sandcrabs battled fiercely.
“It’s always a close game when we go against them,” Seabreeze head coach Paul Shuler said. “They have a great program. It seems like we’re always a few pins away from each other and that was the situation today.”
The Sandcrabs defeated their crosstown rival 6-1.
“They’re a really good team,” Sandcrabs senior Landan Kuenning, “so it feels good to beat them.”
“Separate, we’re all very good. But together, we’re even better.”
LANDAN KUENNING, Seabreeze bowler
The Sandcrabs, led by McKay Messner, were one of the top teams in the state last season. They finished third as a team at the 2018 FHSAA state championship and placed three bowlers in the top 10 individually: Messner placed third, Kirk Mowl placed fourth and Kuenning placed eighth.
Messner graduated high school in May, but the Sandcrabs feel like they have a better team this year.
The Sandcrabs return seasoned veterans in Mowl, Kuenning, Luciano Castellano and Alex Grant. Most of the guys grew up bowling together and some of them even knew each other well before they started playing the sport.
Their tight bond has aided them throughout this season.
“We all know a lot about each other and we all help each other out,” Kuenning said. “Separate, we’re all very good. But together, we’re even better.”
And the Sandcrabs have added fresh talent.
Spencer Mosher, though just a sophomore, has plenty of bowling experience. He’s competed for the past seven years and most recently transferred to Seabreeze after his family moved to the area from Ocala, where he attended St. John Lutheran School.
Not only is Mosher one of the team’s most consistent bowlers, he also boasts one of the top averages in the area at 227.
His teammates call him “Rookie.”
Seabreeze has advanced to the state championship each of the last three years, and after last year’s close call, the Sandcrabs have their eyes set on the top spot.
“We know we can do it,” Shuler said. “We’ve been fifth, we’ve been third and now we’re looking for No. 1.”