GRAY – April 6 was a historic day for the H.L. Bourgeois boys and girls bowling teams.

For the first time in school history, H.L. Bourgeois returned home from the Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association Bowling State Championship Tournament with some hardware.

Junior Donovan Bourg and sophomore Kelsi Stegall each finished as top medalists at the state tournament, which was held at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge.

Bourg finished as the gold medalist in the boys tournament after rolling a 934 series in four games to win the individual state championship.

Stegall also had a strong showing as she finished as the silver medalist with a four-game 811 series to claim the state runner-up title.

After each team fell in the semifinals during the team events, H.L. Bourgeois coach Dusty Foret said Bourg and Stegall each came out focused and determined in the individual competition.

“When the team event ended, we knew that we were so close, so they went into the individual competition with something to prove,” Foret said. “Donovan and Kelsi knew that they wanted to go in and get an award for themselves, and they did it by going out and performing well.”

To win the individual state title, Bourg knew he needed to bowl his best. He ended the South Central High School League season with a 208 average, second best in the league to teammate Austin Cortez.

Bourg got off to a strong start with a 257 and 237 to take the lead after two games but fell to 10th after rolling a 160 in Game 3.

In his final game of the season, Bourg put in his best performance as high school bowler by rolling a 280. It was enough to help him storm back into first and edge Brother Martins’ Drew Gardner for the gold medal and state title.

“After dropping to 10th place after rolling a 160 in my third game, I knew I had to come out strong my last game,” he said. “I was fired up and shot a 280 to win the state title. It felt great to come out on top because this season has been hectic.”

Stegall went into the state tournament with a chance to win a medal after leading the South Central High School League with a 203 average. She didn’t disappoint by finishing second to Academy of Our Lady’s Erin Burkhat.

Although the stakes were high, Stegall said she was not nervous and approached the state tournament like it was any other match. She had her mind of making her dad, Mike Stegall, and grandfather, Henry Stegall, proud.

“I wanted to finish strong and make my family proud, especially my paw-paw who loved to see his grandkids bowl,” she said. “Also, my dad always said to push to the finish, and that’s what I did at state.”

Other H.L. Bourgeois bowlers with strong showing in the individual competition at the state tournament were Cortez (16th in boys), Ty Westerman (28th in boys) and Trinity Robichaux (31st in girls).

Foret said he was proud of the way both H.L. Bourgeois bowling teams remained focused throughout the season and it paid off with strong showings at the state tournament.

“These kids are an amazing group,” Foret said. “They go in expecting high results and perform at high abilities. Going in we knew that we were probably going to have someone place. Throughout the season, they were all in the top bracket of individual bowlers.”

With medals now under their belts, Bourg and Stegall have set their sights on more strong showings at the state bowling tournament.

“Next year, I have my sights set on winning the team and individual state championship,” Bourg said. “I want to end my high school bowling career on top.”

“With two more years left of high school bowling, I have my sights set on two goals – to win team and individual state championships,” Stegall said.