Jubilant Jones makes bowling history for Mundelein
Ryan Jones rolled into school history Saturday for Mundelein, which has never had a boys bowling team.
The senior got his chance to knock down pins in the Vernon Hills regional at Brunswick Zone Hawthorn and made the most of it. He earned one of the 10 at-large sectional berths thanks to a six-game total of 1,184 pins (197 average).
The idea to compete in the state tournament as an individual struck him last year.
"The experience is pretty interesting," said Jones, who has been bowing since he was 9 years old. "I decided to do it in my senior year. I really want to try to make a name for the (Mundelein) bowling community. Maybe starting a team wouldn't be that bad. People have talked about it and there have been rumors. I've always head that we haven't had enough interest."
Lake Zurich won the regional championship with 6,088 pins, edging Stevenson (6,039) in the 10-team field. Vernon Hills (5,897) and Glenbrook North (5,893) finished third and fourth, respectively. All four teams advance to the Rockford East sectional at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford next Saturday.
The other at-large sectional qualifiers were Grayslake Central's Logan Enerson (1,290), Grayslake North's Cole Pelegrino (1,284) and Danny Yates (1,168), Deerfield's Ryan Flamm (1,237) and Jason Laurich (1,208), Wauconda's Zach Wagner (1,232) and Drew Mason (1,171), and Libertyville's Jason Giza (1,188) and Spencer Baumruk (1,175).
Wagner will bowl in the sectional for the second straight year. He was 30 pins short of reaching state last year.
"I'm really excited because this is my senior year and I want to get the job done," Wagner said. "I think it's easier this time because I have more experience and know what to expect."
Stevenson's Richy Zenner won his third title this season, as he totaled 1,339 pins. He started with games of 195, 248 and 214, before rolling 234, 233 and 215.
"This was a big thing for me," said Zenner, who finished second, one pin behind teammate Matt Poetker, last year. "I came out here knowing that it's one step on the way (to state)."
Lake Zurich was led by Connor Kovanda, who tied Patrick Mulhern of Glenbrook North for second place. Kovanda rolled 257 twice.
Stevenson's Zac Singer had a 233 game and finished in the fourth spot (1,291).
"It means a lot to me," Singer said. "I put a lot into it. When Richy gets going, I feed off that."
Lake Zurich won the title in the final game with a 1,003, while Stevenson had a 932. The Bears had a 1,062 for their best team game of the day. But they also had four of their 6 games over the 1,000 mark.
"It was awesome," Lake Zurich coach Michael Sutton said. "It was a total team effort. We brought eight kids that made a huge impact. There were some good teams here and we'll some more good ones next week."