Madison’s Hickman bowls with a goal

MADISON TWP. – Coming out of his second season, Madison bowler Collin Hickman felt like he had learned a lot.

He had started out as the Trojans’ anchor bowler, but opted to drop down to the No. 4 position.

Then, before the start of the season, his grandfather, Ken Beevers, died, and Hickman dedicated this season to him at the funeral. So far this season, he feels he has achieved that goal.

“We are having a good season. Personally, I’m fine, I’ve had my good days and I’ve had my bad days like all of us,” Hickman said. “I think he would be proud of me for the way I bowled today and the way I kept my team competitive.”

Hickman started off with a bang, at the Onsted Wildcat Blast-Off at Ten Pin Alley Invitational at Ten Pin Alley in Tecumseh. He shot a day-best 256 in the qualifying rounds en route to a sixth seed, knocking out a pair of bowlers Adrian, Kyle Neuman and Landon Zick, in the quarter-finals and semi-finals to advance to the final.

In the final against Clinton’s Joe Bohnett, the number one bowler, Hickman took the lead on the fifth frame and was leading by 24 after seven frames. Bohnett made a comeback try in the 10th, but Hickman closed the door with an even score before being kissed by his mother during post-game ceremonies.

“(Hickman is) a guy I rely on the most and he’s a guy everyone on the team looks up to,” Madison boys coach Rene Ramirez said. “I’m proud to have him on the team. With the passing of his grandfather, it really gave him some motivation to step up and make his grandfather proud, and I believe he really did that by winning the Blast Off, going to another tournament where we finished second, and then here today at our own tournament.”

Madison's Collin Hickman warms up before the Madison Baker Bash on Saturday Jan. 15 at the Lenawee Recreation Bowling Center in Adrian.

He kept his momentum going and on Saturday morning at his team’s annual Baker Bash tournament at Lenawee Recreation, he helped the team qualify for fourth place with 1,842 pins.

Hickman helped the Trojans to a comeback against top seed Sturgis, coming back from 26 pins in the first game of the two-game semifinal to win by 17 pins (350-333) and place in the final against Adrian.

They wore it to the Finals and took the lead after Game 1, but ultimately couldn’t hold their own against the Maples and one of Hickman’s friends in Zick, who happens to be the bowler for Adrian’s anchor. Even so, the performance was impressive for the team and Hickman, who was nursing an injured leg a little before the competition.

“I’m really good friends with Landon and me and him have a little rivalry,” Hickman said. “Before the game I told him not to lose because that’s what he told me in the Blast-Off tournament. We all had good shots and bad breaks, it could have been a best game, but that’s how it was. That’s how the pins fell today.

Hickman and the Trojans’ potential has him and Ramirez excited, as Hickman has his sights set on a state run for himself and his team.

“I know I have a good team behind me and I personally have everything I need to be successful,” Hickman said. “I just have to let my mental game not get to me.”

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