Saturday represented the culmination of four years of labor for Vinny Doran.
Bowling is often a labor of love. You don't bowl for the recognition or the fanfare. The sport requires patience and mental fortitude. Along with hours and hours of practice.
Vinny Doran's blood, sweat, and tears carried him to the pinnacle of high school bowling – the OHSAA State Tournament. Doran basked in the glow of the spotlight on Saturday as all of his work came to fruition.
Doran did not place amongst the top of bowlers, but the senior represented Saint Ignatius with pride and class.
"Vinny was nervous going down there on Thursday. [Coach] Chris [Nagy] worked with him on Friday," said Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets. "During the practice games, there was a lot of oil. Then on Saturday, the shot was drier. Overall, Vinny threw the ball well. He was dealt some bad breaks, including some 7-10 splits and a couple of missed spares. But as a whole, it was a great experience for him. This is a learning experience for him – something he will always remember and can always put on a resume. Not many people get to bowl in the state tournament."
Doran enjoyed a solid start, notching a 185. The senior adjusted well to the unique oil pattern, doing a solid job of hitting his spares and notching some strikes.
The veteran Wildcat certainly had a nice cheering section behind him. The first Wildcat to ever reach the State Tournament, Chris Thom '11, made the trip to Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl with his family to support Vinny.
Doran fared even better in the second game. In his best game of the day, Doran knocked down a 203. The score placed him in solid standing entering the third and final game of his high school career.
In the third game, the oil pattern began to catch up with him. Doran slid to a 137 due to some open frames. The score completed a 525 series, placing him 69th overall amongst all bowlers.
The final game does not define what has been a special career for Doran, a career that will likely continue on in college.
"During the first three years of his career, his brother was on the team. Anthony and Vinny are competitive, so it was nice to watch two brothers be close in average," Viets said. "It was nice as a coach. I could lock them in. This year, I could lock Vinny up as the anchor for the season. He's consistent – you know what you'll get. Everyone misses a spare here and there, but he was as consistent as they come."
Viets and his assistant coach, Chris Nagy, have enjoyed coaching Vinny. Nagy played a big role in Vinny's development, even helping Vinny in the pit on Saturday. From his vantage point, Viets will miss Doran.
"Vinny is a great bowler and a great kid. He always got along with all of his teammates. He was a great co-captain, along with Alex Gehrlein. I'll miss Vinny and Alex next year. But Vinny will likely go on to Notre Dame College and have some success there. He's a good basketball player, too. He could do either. He'll be a success."
On behalf of Saint Ignatius athletics, congratulations on a special four years, Vinny!