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updated: 12/5/2013 8:22 PM

Boys bowling: Scouting Lake County

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

GRANT

Coach: Angela Balanag (second year)

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House: Lakes Bowl, Round Lake.

Top bowlers graduated: Dom Brugioni

Top returning bowlers: Sr. Hayden Norris, Jr. Mitch Norris.

Newcomers: Jr. David Currie, So. Nathaniel Abernathy, Fr. Noah Abernathy

Other bowlers: Jr. Jake Lostroscio, Jr. Jake Hartzburg, So. Bruce Ciccotosto

Outlook: The first year for Grant's boys bowling last season was a success, as the Bulldogs finished fourth in the sectional. Their numbers are good. "We kept 22 bowlers, and only one (Hayden Norris) is a senior," coach Angela Balanag said. "I expect them to learn and grow as athletes. Our goal is to improve our skills and bowl the best games we can as a team. We would all like to participate in the state competition."

LAKE ZURICH

Coach: Peter Kupfer (eighth year)

House: Brunswick Deer Park

Top bowlers graduated: Brent Poynter, Chris Orabutt, Mike Schmitt (Wisconsin-Whitewater), Mike Wormley

Top returning bowlers: Sr. Bobby Dolatowski, Sr. Max Galarce, Sr. Jonny Kovanda, Jr. Ben Madura

Newcomers: Jr. Donny Gross, Jr. Tommy Keefe III, So. Connor Kovanda, So. Zach Johnson

Outlook: The Bears rolled their way to the Northern Illinois Boys Bowling Conference title last year, only to suffer a postseason letdown, as they did not get out of the sectional. The team graduated star Mike Schmitt, who finished second and third in state in his sophomore and junior year, respectively. Schmitt is now bowling for Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Bears still should be competitive. "This team is looking to rebound and hopefully take a trip downstate," coach Peter Kupfer said. Senior captain and returning all-NIBBC bowler Max Galarce (224 average) will lead the way. "In addition to Max, this is one of our most experienced and seasoned teams in recent memory with three seniors averaging over 200 in the lineup," Kupfer said. "It will be a tough challenge to get through our annual rivals Vernon Hills and Stevenson and then out of the very tough Rockford sectional, but the boys are setting their sights high and so far are putting in the work to get the job the done."

LIBERTYVILLE

Coach: Robert Sweno (first year)

House: Lakeside Lanes, Mundelein.

Top returning bowlers: Sr. Jack Baumruk, Jr. Duncan Hughes, Jr. Alex Price, Jr. Jimmy Smagacz

Newcomers: Fr. Spencer Baumruk, Fr. Troy Sanchez

Outlook: Coach Robert Sweno takes over a young group that might surprise by the end of the season. "I expect us to continually improve each match," Sweno said. "We are a very young team this year with a lot of opportunity for numerous guys to gain experience and bowl in competition." Jack Baumruk, who boasted a 200 average last season, is the Wildcats' lone senior. "He will be a great leader for the younger bowlers," Sweno said. "Ultimately, we look for the varsity team to continually improve and work toward successful regional and sectional tournaments."

STEVENSON

Coach: Barry Lapping (eighth year)

House: Lakeside Lanes, Mundelein.

Top bowlers graduated: Jordan Russell

Top returning bowlers: Jr. Matt Poetker, Sr. Zac Keith, Sr. Ethan Rosuck

Newcomers: So. Eddie Mendrala, Fr. Richy Zenner

Outlook: The Patriots look to be much improved. "I expect us to compete in conference," coach Barry Lapping said. "This is the most talented incoming group we've ever had. They know how to bowl and we're off to a good start. It's good see some of them rolling some high scores."

VERNON HILLS

Coach: Ron Long (11th year)

House: Brunswick Hawthorn Lanes, Vernon Hills.

Top bowlers graduated: Zack Furlett, Jason Onozato, Eric Swanson

Top returning bowlers: Sr. Justin Becker, Sr. Eric Doerhoefer, Sr. Sean Ennis, Sr. Jeremy Gonzalez, Sr. Tommy Kalsch, Sr. Noah Melcer, So. Alec Munro, So. Chris Winter

Newcomers: Jr. Enrique Limon, Jr. Jake Rusch, So. Evan Harris, So. Jacob Hollis, So. Aiken Kang, So. Andrew Solens, So. Jacob Stern, Fr. Bradley Fisher, Fr. Adam Gates, Fr. McNemon Vincent

Outlook: The Cougars have reached state eight straight years, finishing second twice and third another time. Could there be another trip in the making again this season? A new format by the IHSA of adding regionals and sectionals will help. "We have a nice, well-rounded team," coach Ron Long said. "They all know how to score. I expect us to be good by the end of the season. This is a type of team that could go a long way."

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