Elgin Lanes will be adding a mix of youth and experience when it attempts to claim this year's match-game title in the Elgin Cross-Town Classic II. That mix means two new bowlers to help members from last year's lineup.
Joining the team will be hard-throwing right-hander Brett Golabek of South Elgin, a former NJCAA all-American and National Champion. He's currently averaging 213 at Elgin Lanes.
"I'm excited about this pick," said Elgin Lanes General Manager Lex Perly. "Brett started bowling in our junior program when he was a kid. He's really developed into an excellent bowler, who can play on a variety of conditions. He will be tough to beat," added Perly.
Complementing Golabek will be John Mundt of Elgin, a seasoned league and tournament bowler. Mundt plays in multiple leagues throughout the area and is no stranger to performing well in big situations. One of the highlights of his career was averaging 235 in the singles portion of the United States Bowling Congress National Championships. He currently averages 216 at Elgin Lanes.
"We tried to get John to bowl last year, but he was away bowling the National tournament," Perly said. "His overall consistency and great spare shooting will be great for our team."
Rounding out Team Elgin will be three returning right-handers from last year's team. Drew Perly of Elgin, who led the team in average and match-game points, will be joined by Ken Buhlmann, of South Elgin and Cary O-Donnell of Elgin, two solid players. Total average for the five man team is 1,058 or 211 per bowler.
Last year, Team Bowlway won the inaugural event after winning the first five matches and fighting off a late surge from Elgin Lanes. Early indications suggest this year's tournament will be even more competitive with both teams adding higher average players. Team Elgin has a slight edge over Bowlway.
The Elgin Cross-Town Classic is a throwback to the past. It features challenge matches, a format popular in the 1930s-50s when bowling centers would form teams of top bowlers to compete against each other.
This year's east side vs. west side challenge will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Elgin Lanes, 402 Shepard Drive. The final three matches will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Bowlway Lanes, 810 Villa St. The team that wins the most match game points during the two week competition will win the Mayor's Cup, personally presented by Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain.
The event is free and open to the public. It's sponsored by Bowlway Lanes, Elgin Lanes, Miller Lite, madwill creative, city of Elgin, Jason Pawlowski, Jeff Myers, Anderson's Trophies, and certification is provided by the United States Bowling Congress. To learn more, go to www.bowlelgin.com. On Facebook: Elgin Cross-Town Bowling Classic II.