Stevenson, Warren's Kailin make NSC history
Stevenson's boys bowling team and Warren's Ethan Kailin made history on Friday.
Stevenson won the inaugural North Suburban Conference championship and tournament hosted by Lake Zurich at Bowlero Deer Park, while Kailin was the top individual with 1,392 pins.
The Patriots won the overall points title, defeating Libertyville 155-142 in the six-team field.
The NSC championship was based on the dual matches during the season, points in the conference meet and overall pinfall in the tournament.
Stevenson posted a six-game total of 6,288 pins. Libertyville was the runner-up with 6,131 pins, followed by Waukegan (5,782), Mundelein (5,759), Warren (5,735) and Lake Zurich (5,647).
"I expected it to be close because Libertyville is a great program," said coach Cody Mathias, whose Patriots' only NSC loss was to the Wildcats. "They pushed us the entire way. It feels good to win this and represent this conference well. The more everybody pushes each other is how everybody gets better."
The state tournament begins next weekend, and Stevenson will compete further south, as they will be in the Glenbrook North regional at Bowlero Mt. Prospect. The sectional is at Brunswick Zone Glendale Heights the following Saturday.
The rest of the NSC teams and others in Lake County will begin regional play next week at Fair Haven Lanes in Mundelein (Grayslake North host). The Sycamore sectional is set for the following Saturday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.
"It definitely will make the path [to state] a lot easier," Mathias said. "It's always nice bowling against the best because if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. The [Rockford schools] are the best. This gives us another chance to get down to state to compete with the best. You never know what will happen. You just want to get in."
Stevenson's Ryan Grabiner rolled a 234 in his final game to help the Patriots get past Libertyville 1,005-990. The Patriots also shot 1,178 and 1,127.
Grabiner finished third overall with 1,307. Mundelein' s Owen Jones was second (1,315).
"Mission accomplished, because this was one of our biggest goals all year," Grabiner said. "We wanted to win conference. I knew the team was close and we were right next to Libertyville."
The Patriots' winning effort was also thanks to Ryan Leman (1,277), Ender Starr (1,269), Joey Gluck (1,262) and Nicholas Sternes (1,173).
Libertyville was led by Devon Hamilton (1,295), Nick Formento (1,256), Alex Nelson (1,234), Liam Ness (1,228) and Randy Moss (1,118).
"Second place means a lot," Libertyville coach Robert Sweno said. "We were right there. Unfortunately, we gave up a couple of points in the last couple of matches. We did a great job in the morning getting those points back. It just wasn't there in the afternoon. Hats off to Stevenson. They bowled awesome and they didn't give [the lead] back."
Kailin, who has autism, put together a strong opening three games. His 755 in the morning set included games of 247, 267 and 241. He followed up by rolling 170, 278 and 189 for a 637 series.
"It's, absolutely, an accomplishment for me," Kailin said. "Because of my autism, it's hard for me to learn at school. [Winning the championship] is one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my whole entire life. When I got here, I knew what ball to use, I knew where to throw, and I knew where to hit."