Highlands bowling team has stellar season

Posted on 21 November 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy sophomore Andrew Celesti made school history recently as he became the first member from his school to reach the FHSAA state bowling championships.

Celesti rolled a three-game total of 733 (255-198-280) to finish just 17 pins shy of tournament champion Pablo Cerda of Coral Springs Charter at Strikes at Boca recently.

“It was pretty cool,” said Celesti, who went on to place 109th out of 183 bowlers after rolling a four-game total of 697 (202-176-167-152) at the state tournament at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. “It was amazing to be going to state. I didn’t really have that thought at the beginning of the year.”

Celesti said he averaged 180 in the league during the year, but put up a career-best, 280 in his final game at district to ensure his team would have a shot at the Baker games. His previous high was a 267.

“We were bowling good in competition and, in the third game, we went all out,” Celesti said. “I kept the mindset to strike out and I did it.”

Celesti’s brother, Chris, a senior, took fifth (205-212- 235-652) and narrowly missed advancing to state with his brother.

Knights’ teammate, Tyler Current, rolled a three-game series of 557, while Jonathan Cunningham totaled 461 for his three-game series. Ethan Peraza bowled a three-game series of 358.

Highlands Christian was a surprising qualifier for the Baker games at the statequalifying District 14 tournament as it made up a 36-pin deficit on Coral Springs Charter in its final game by bowling a 1,022. Coral Springs Charter School was only able to muster an 863 in its final game.

The Knights finished with a three-game total of 2,761, while Coral Springs Charter was fifth with 2,638 pins.

Highlands lost 3-1 to Boca Raton in the opening round of the Baker games, but rallied to top Santaluces, 3-1 in the second round. Boca Raton then swept Highlands in three straight games to advance to the final where it lost to Park Vista, 3-2. Only the Top 2 teams and Top 2 individuals advance to the state tournament.

First-year coach Timothy Celesti, father of both Chris and Andrew, said advancing to the Baker games didn’t surprise him.

“There was some good talent and I knew the boys could do it if they kept their minds clear,” the elder Celesti said. “What I did at districts was that they were loose so I left them alone. It would have been unbelievable to get a berth to states, but the fact that we were even in that position was a huge accomplishment because it is only our second year bowling at Highlands.”

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