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Bowling: Strothers Earns Second State Title as Falcons Dominate Individual Tournament


Kai Strothers '26 celebrates his second state title with runner-up, teammate and best friend Will Cunningham '26.
  • Athletics
Tim LeCras

Kai Strothers ‘26 stood in the lanes at Bowlero in North Brunswick with a calm, collected look on his face. There was no smile. His eyes pierced on the pins in front of him like they have been thousands and thousands of times prior. 

As he approached the lane and lifted his left arm, there was nothing but determination on his mind. 

The bowl slid down the lane, into the pocket and exploded the pins into the backdrop. A strike, his ninth of the game and the deciding mark in Strothers’ run to his second straight NJSIAA Individual Bowling Championship. 

“My first thought was ‘Wow, all the hard work paid off,’” Strothers said. “This hasn’t really been my season, but I’m glad it ended with a bang.”

For the second straight year, it was a Saint Joe’s 1-2 finish on the podium, as Strothers outlasted his teammate and best friend Will Cunningham ‘26 in the championship match. 

“They’ve come here and taken the program to new heights,” head coach Rusty Thomsen said. “Its the place to be, everyone wants to come here. They laid the foundation and you see what is coming here.”

Cunningham threw a 2018 in the final match, including three strikes in the 10th frame to force Strothers to be perfect in his frame. The sophomore, who led the Falcons all season, including a perfect game in the team’s Group 2 semifinal match on Tuesday, advanced to the match with Strothers following a 1-pin victory over Seneca’s Jack Pearson. 

“As the year went on, Will carried the load,” head coach Rusty Thomsen said. “He wanted the ball in his hands. He deserved the win as much as anyone else. I told him if he bowled against any other righty, he’s the champ. Kai just happens to be the best bowler in the entire country. Will did everything in his power to earn it but ran into someone that was just locked in. It’s not like he lost to some nobody, he lost to the best.”

Saint Joe’s had all six of the starting varsity bowlers participate in the NJSIAA Individual Bowling Tournament, which invites the Top 100 bowlers from across the state. 

Josh Lamoreaux ‘27 was one of the biggest surprises of the tournament, finishing No. 5 in the state. Last year’s runner-up Devon Kiessling ‘24 finished No. 20, EJ Chin ‘24 placed No. 26 and Joseph Lamoreaux ‘27 was No. 87. 

“They’re the most competitive team I’ve ever met, the most competitive kids I’ve ever met,” Thomsen said. “It’s contagious. They just feed off each other in a positive way. It makes my life easier. Everyone thinks it’s smooth sailing, but they work hard. They put the work in and they do everything right. They’re humble, and that’s the best part. They’re all good humble kids.”


  • Bowling