The Jacobs girls bowling team has been around for a long time.
And this year's version is heading on a collision course with being regarded as one of the program's most successful.
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The Golden Eagles finished the first-ever Fox Valley Conference girls bowling season undefeated (54-0 point total) and also won the conference tournament.
Juniors Gianna Scarpelli and Jenn Rood, along with sophomore Sarah Siska were named to the all-FVC team. Siska finished first in the individual tournament standings with a 1,175 pinfall for 6 games, while Scarpelli rolled an 1,168 and took third. Rood finished with a 1,124 and was fifth. Jacobs had a 22-point lead over McHenry going into the tournament. Both teams were awarded 35 points in the tournament, but Jacobs had a higher pin total.
Rood is a returning state qualifier along with Becca Payne. Siska has been the team's top bowler all season with a 182 average, while sophomore Ashley Rood has averaged 172.
"We had the two top bowlers who went to state last year back and Sarah has been our top bowler all year," said Jacobs coach Jim Rood. "We've got a good team and we should have a good team for the next couple of years. I'm excited. We're consistently improving. We started the year with an 840 average and we're now at 900 per game. The team works together. They are a good group of girls. They all enjoy bowling together and that's part of the success. They can have fun and still bowl."
And having three all-conference bowlers and a pair of returning state qualifiers on the roster certainly doesn't hinder matters. To further demonstrate how impressive this season has been for the Golden Eagles, Siska broke the Jacobs individual series record with a 679 earlier this season. Ashley Rood broke Siska's new record with a 689 in an FVC match against Grayslake Central.
"We have a lot of good bowlers," said Scarpelli. "When I have bad days, they are always there to cheer me up and keep me positive."
Jenn Rood believes the team's chemistry has played a major role this season.
"We all get along really well," she said. "We have a lot of fun. We do a lot of cheering and we encourage each other. We have this sticker thing where every mark we get, we put a sticker on this decorated sheet. It's incentive to better. The sheet is filled up."
"We work together and always support each other," said Scarpelli. "We stay positive and have a lot of fun."
Jacobs will head to the Sycamore sectional Saturday (first round at 9 a.m.). Jim Rood feels the Golden Eagles will face stern competition from both host Sycamore and DeKalb. Both teams call Four Season Bowling Alley in Sycamore their home house. Locals Bartlett, Dundee-Crown, Elgin, Larkin, St. Edward, Huntley, South Elgin and Streamwood will also be part of the field.
"We'll need to put our best efforts out there," said Jim Rood.
"We have a pretty good chance," said Jenn Rood. "Everybody has to be on top of their game. We are there. It's a matter of getting it all together that day."
Bartlett update: Bartlett sophomore Erin Boothe bowled a 214 at a recent invitational. Booth and juniors Valerie Simek and Jamie Boothe are all averaging over 150 for the Hawks.
"This season has gone well," said Bartlett coach Tracy King. "The team has grown and learned throughout the season. I would say three or four girls have a chance at going to state if they play their 'A' games. I am very proud of them."
Elgin update: The Maroons took 13th out of 24 teams (second place in the lower bracket) at the Jacobs invitational this season.
Amanda Nowak was the team's top bowler (averaging 175), but she graduated at semester and was unable to finish the season.
In Nowak's absence, Elgin has featured a balanced attack led by freshman Katelyn Tinder and senior Melanie DeBrocke (both averaging 155). Junior Debbie Baeder and sophomore Mehgan Bowman average 150, while junior Kristen Benoe is at 140.
"I believe we are starting to peak at the right time," said Elgin coach Andy LaScala. "The girls have been working really hard and are ready for the sectional on Saturday. I do believe we can surprise some teams and finish up toward the top."
Dundee-Crown update: The Chargers took third at the recent Fox Valley Conference meet with Marie Braun leading the way with an 11th-place finish.
Braun, a junior, bowled a 1,038 at the conference tournament and just missed an all-conference nod. Senior Jasmine Glade has also been a key contributor for D-C.
"The bowlers have shown great improvement and have peaked at the right time," said D-C coach Dave Mensching. "We had our best meet of the year at the conference meet where we moved up two places in the conference standings. We have a very young team and will graduate only one bowler (Glade), so the future of Dundee-Crown bowling is looking up."
South Elgin update: The Storm finished near the top of the Upstate Eight Conference at both the varsity and junior varsity level. Coach Bonnie Kott said final standings have not been tabulated yet.
"We've had a pretty successful year," said Kott.
The Storm has been led by a bevy of senior bowlers. Meagan Edgren averaged 161.1 pins per game in conference action and had a high game of 226. Rachel Bialek averaged a 160.9 and had a high game of 204. Lyra Ceschin averaged 155.2 and had a high game of 205. Alyssa Buelow averaged 153.1 and had a high game of 199.
"This is their best conference result," said Kott. "We hope to bring a strong team back next year, despite losing these key bowlers."
Kott knows the field will be stacked Saturday at the Sycamore sectional.
"Many, if not all, of the teams in our conference will be at Sycamore so we are familiar with the way they bowl," said Kott. "There are some really strong teams in our sectional. We will have to bowl every game at a highly competitive level to have a chance of getting out of this sectional."