Seabreeze High bowlers Kara Beissel, Stacey Spaulding, Breanna Hess and Madison Kuenning completed a historic run.
The group helped lead the Sandcrabs to four district titles, a state championship in 2021 and a state runner-up trophy in 2022. On Nov. 2, they completed their high school bowling careers with a fourth-place finish in the Florida High School Bowling Finals at the Boardwalk Entertainment Center in Orlando.
They went to state every year they’ve been together. They were doing their best to get back in the finals."
— PAUL SHULER, Seabreeze bowling coach
“They went to state every year they’ve been together,” Seabreeze bowling coach Paul Shuler said. “They were doing their best to get back in the finals, but I think they took it pretty well. We knew going in there were four or five decent teams that could be in the finals.”
This year, for the first time in Shuler’s 11 years as the head coach, the Seabreeze boys team joined the girls team on the final day of the three-day state tournament. The boys finished among the top six teams, losing to state runner-up Circle Christian 3-0 in the fifth round of the double-elimination round-of-16 baker tournament.
Seabreeze’s Brayden Barnes also advanced to the boys round-of-16 individual bracket. Barnes placed 10th in qualifying with an 895 four-game series to advance. He finished among the top 12, losing 2-1 in the third round to No. 1 qualifier Bruno Brandao of Timber Creek.
Two days later, Barnes shot a 300 game in the Saturday Morning Youth League at Palm Coast Lanes. Barnes shot two other 300 games, but this was his first sanctioned perfect game.
In the team bracket, the Seabreeze boys opened with 3-2 wins over Circle Christian and Pinellas Park before losing 3-0 to eventual state champ Leesburg in the third round of the winner’s bracket. Circle Christian averaged a scorching 249.3 in the elimination match.
Seabreeze’s girls qualified second behind 2022 state champ Space Coast and won three of five matches in the baker tournament. The consolation semifinal was a replay of last year’s championship match, with the Sandcrabs losing in five games.
“We took it to the fifth game, just like last year,” Shuler said. “We lost the first two games and had to come back, just like last year. The put eight or nine strikes on the board (for a 226 in the fifth game), which makes it kind of difficult.”
Space Coast advanced to the championship match, losing in four games to East River.
Beissel will continue her bowling career at Youngstown State next year. Although the Seabreeze girls did not win a second state championship, they were happy to have Hess back after she missed all of last season with degenerative disc disease.
“She struggled a little the beginning of the year because she hadn’t done any bowling,” Shuler said. “But she worked at it and it started coming back. She started getting her technique back and her body back into it. She did very well.”
Hess finished 32nd in individual qualifying with a four-game 760 series. Spaulding was 21st with a 785 series, while Flagler Palm Coast’s Emma Pezzullo was 28th with a 773 series, and Beissel was 33rd with a 754 series.
In boys qualifying, Seabreeze’s Dalton Boice was 43rd with an 816 series and Grant McMillan of Matanzas was 62nd among 202 bowlers with a 789 series.