The Emerald Ridge Jaguars are three days away from punching a ticket to the Class 4A state bowling championships in University Place.
Emerald Ridge placed third as a team on Jan. 22 at the South Puget Sound League tournament and will be the No. 2 seed at the West Central District III tourney, which will be held Saturday at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma.
Seeding is based on regular-season record combined with results of the league tourney. Emerald Ridge went 13-5 overall. The top four teams from the district event will advance to state.
“We have to finish in that top four, and we feel pretty confident about being able to do that,” Jaguars head coach Al McCormack said. “The girls are really excited about districts. We have a huge opportunity to make the state tournament, and we want to take advantage of that.”
McCormack said the Jaguars have bowled at Pacific Lanes multiple times this season, and he believes that will pay dividends this weekend.
“We are pretty comfortable with the house (Pacific Lanes),” he said. “We know the oil patterns. It may come down to who starts quickly, and hopefully we’ll take advantage of that.”
The Jaguars placed eighth at the state tournament last season and won three consecutive state championships from 2009-11.
McCormack believes Emerald Ridge’s tradition pays off in the postseason.
“Last year, we had such a great run and had a really young team,” he said. “There were a lot of people who thought we would make districts but were not going to advance to state. The fact that we made state last year with such a young team was huge. We have gotten much better this season, and that may be sitting in the back of people’s minds.”