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updated: 2/23/2014 1:08 AM

Waubonsie repeats as state champ

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

ROCKFORD -- Sara Barsotti is one of four seniors on Waubonsie Valley's girls bowling team. But at the beginning of the season, she wasn't sure that she would be bowling at all after going through knee surgery last August.

On Saturday she one of the integral parts of the team that led the Warriors to a back-to-back state championship at Cherry Bowl as the team was hugging and in tears of getting the team title.

Waubonsie Valley finished with the top score of 12,416 for the 12 games. Leyden was second with 12,214 and Hoffman Estates placed third 12,164.

The Warriors' Julia Bond also was the tournament individual champion with a 2,817

Barsotti shot an impressive 623 series over her final three games with games of 199, 188 and a 236 that capped off a 2,212 for the two days of competition.

However, she had to work her way back to bowling. She had the surgery on her trail right leg that was causing discomfort. Her working hard to return was one thing, but she managed to average 203 by the end of the season.

"It was a problem that I had since birth that started to bother me this past summer," Barsotti said. "It was a major kneecap reconstruction surgery. I was told no bowling for six months. I thought I was going to be out completely.

"Actually, I started with one step in October and avoided my right leg completely and I was able to do all four steps when the season started. Coming back and bowling was a saving grace this year for the team."

Waubonsie Valley joined the girls soccer team winning two straight years, and the Warriors finished third place two years ago. The Warriors won five out of six tournaments this season and took second in another.

"At the beginning of the season, it didn't look like we would have a good season," Waubonsie Valley coach Marty Miller said. "It looked like it was going to be a tough season.

"This group was different over last year, it was like riding Seattle Slew and it was smooth. This year was more like a bucking bronco, we just weren't sure what to expect."

Bond on her day started with a near perfect 299 game. The she had a 189 and 268 for a 756 in the morning. In the afternoon she tossed games of 194, 217 and 205 leading to be the top individual bowler.

"I do think the team part is a little more exciting, because this is the last time bowling with these girls," said Bond, who will bowl at Nebraska next year.

"There can be plenty of other things that I can do as an individual. But nothing is ever going to come close to the experience to these girls on the team."

Other Warriors seniors Rachel Felton 2,540, who shot a 686 in the morning with a high game of 257 and Talyssa Melgoza 1,955. Sophomores Violet Kirk rolled a 1,655 and Veronica Dryfus 1,237.

Jordan Newham picked up Metea Valley's first medal in bowling with a third-place finish. She had a 603 for the first three and then games of 225, 236 and 221 for a 682 and a total of 2,707.

"It's a great feeling and the goal was obviously to win," Newham said. "Julia (Bond) and Reba (Hall) are great bowlers, and I was right behind them.

"Just staying in my head and going with one shot at a time. Not letting other scores or myself."

Jamie McCreedy of West Aurora finished in 15th place with 2,580. She had rolled a 646 in the morning and 661 for the afternoon with a high game of 268.

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