Lafayette’s Kelle Sumrall named Mississippi Boys Bowling Coach of the Year

Published 3:22 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

Lafayette’s Kelle Sumrall has been named the Mississippi Boys Bowling Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations for her work with the Commodores bowling team in the 2018-19 school year.

“It’s truly incredible. I’m very honored and humbled, even to be nominated by the MHSAA. And then to be chosen, it’s incredible,” Sumrall said. “I think our program is going in a great direction and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The award takes into consideration not just work with the team in the athletics realm, but also community involvement, school involvement and coaching philosophy.

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A season ago, Lafayette went from ground level all the way to the top. They had never before appeared in the bowling state finals, but in February, they won the whole thing.

“It’s been a whirlwind. From just taking over, the first day when the guys found out that I was the coach, they were in my room giving me all these ideas,” Sumrall said. “Honestly, it’s just been them. They put in the work and they’re dedicated to it.”

Sumrall was just a first-year head coach when the Commodores went all the way last year. It’s no surprise winning a state title in her first year got her the coach of the year award. Winning for the state of Mississippi, she’s now nominated for the national award for boys bowling.

This year’s team is led by three seniors: Nick Cohen, Matthew Atkinson and DC Bumgardner, who were key contributors of the state title team a year ago. This year’s regular season concludes next year.

“Just watching the boys grow up and continue to get better every day has been really fun,” Sumrall said. “And we’re having a great season again. It’s been tougher competition this season, but we’ve come out ahead each time.”