Lee's Kotek, Mount Greylock's McDermott Earn Athlete of the Week Recognition
Home field advantage is not everything in sports, but it can’t hurt.
And this week’s iBerkshires.com/Southwestern Vermont Health Care Athletes of the Week have been making the most of comfortable surroundings.
Mount Greylock sophomore Quinn McDermott has been one of the best Nordic skiers in the state this winter on any course. But on a course he really likes, McDermott came out on top on Tuesday, finishing first at the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships and leading the Mounties to a second straight team title at Vermont’s Prospect Mountain.
The Bennington County venue is not quite home for Mount Greylock, but the team made itself at home there, running away with a convincing state final win just three days after wrapping up the regular season with a strong performance in the county league relays on the same course.
“Prospect is my favorite place to race, by far,” McDermott said. “It’s really hilly. I like the hills. And I get to come here all the time, and I just love being here.
“Whenever I get up here, I just have so much fun.”
The Lee bowling team has had a lot of fun this winter at Cove Lanes.
Long the home for the South County teams in the Berkshire County League, the Great Barrington venue was the only site available for the league with Ken’s Bowl and Pittsfield no more and Greylock Bowl and Golf in North Adams closed until relatively recently.
At Friday’s county championship, Lee’s Bella Kotek received the league’s sportsmanship award, no small feat in a sport where bowlers routinely celebrate their opponents’ strikes with nearly the same enthusiasm they have for their teammates’ accomplishments.
And the Wildcats accomplished a lot this season, making a late run to finish second in the regular season standings before taking eventual champion Taconic to six games in their best-of-seven title match on Friday.
In so doing, Lee delivered a blow for gender equality in the sport. Four of the Wildcats in the five-player lineup in the championships were girls. The only other girl in sight: Mya Duhamel, one of the aces for champion Taconic.
“And we’ve got Bella’s sister, Maddie, who didn’t bowl today because she fractured her finger, but she’ll be on the team for states,” Lee coach Matt Fillio said.
“Out of the eight kids on this team, seven of them are girls. It’s great to have so many girls on the team and so many girls doing great. Having a team full of girls and Aaron [Armstrong] shows a lot.”
Kotek proved this winter she is more than a good sport. She’s a pretty darn good bowler.
She finished with the best game (244) and best two-game series (459) among the league’s girls. Those two scores were third-best among all the bowlers competing in the five-team league.
The Wildcats will be part of a strong county contingent heading to Chicopee Lanes March 5 and 6 for the state championships.
The iBerkshires.com Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Southwestern Vermont Health Care.