Record showing from Stevenson on Day 1 downstate
Making it to the state tournament was a big step for Stevenson's boys bowling team last weekend in the sectional.
The Patriots are still on a roll after the first day of state competition.
Stevenson came out rocking and rolling in downstate O'Fallon, setting a school record over its first three games with 3,499 pins and keeping a steady tempo through the rest of the day.
The Patriots led most of the day and finished it in the runner-up spot behind Lockport after the first 6 games at St. Clair Lanes.
Stevenson (6,622) is 155 pins behind the Porters (6,777) going into Saturday's competition, which includes another 6 games.
Lake Zurich's run ended on the first day after the Bears finished in 19th place (6,156) in the 24-team field.
"It was something," Stevenson coach Cody Mathias said. "They were locked in and mentally focused, more so than all year, and it definitely showed."
Stevenson started the day with games of 1,169, 1,210 and 1,100 for an amazing mark just shy of 3,500. The Patriots finished the final three with games of 1,118, 1,067 and 942 for a 3,123 afternoon set. The last game dropped them into second place behind Lockport.
"We did drop down a bit and it should take some of the pressure off of us," Mathias said. "We're in control of ourselves, and what we can do."
Ted Tapas, one of the seniors that was on last year's state-qualifying team that finished eighth, knows that this team learned a great deal from that experience.
"It was very exciting for us," Tapas said. "Compared to our practice, it was a great improvement. We wanted to see the improvement from last year. We want to keep our emotions in check. We wanted to keep focused, and we were just on fire."
The Patriots started out with three of their five bowlers rolling in the 700s in the opening set -- Richy Zenner had 767, Tapas 747 and Zach Singer 730, while Josh Singer added a 688 and Eddie Mendrala knocked down 587. Zenner rolled a 277 game while Tapas had 268, Zach Singer 258 and his brother Josh 246. In the afternoon, Zach Singer had the highest Patriots game, 280.
After the 6 games, Zenner leads the Patriots with 1,431. Next are Zach Singer (1,427), Tapas (1,386), Josh Singer (1,267), Mendrala 962 (5 games), and Lucas Pinkus 159 (one game).
Lake Zurich rolled 3,054 for the morning and 3,102 over the final three games.
"I thought we started out fine," said Lake Zurich coach Mike Sutton, whose team earlier own a regional title. "The scores were high and we had some rough patches. You needed to be on fire out there."
Lake Zurich was led by Trevor Madura (1,269), Connor Kovanda (1,241), Gary Boege (819, 4 games), Connor Kottke (797, 4 games), PJ Waul (795, 4 games), Tommy Keefe (644, 3 games) and Billy Schroeder (591, 3 games).