Boys bowling: Vernon Hills, Stevenson headed to state
Vernon Hills and Stevenson each will be making a trips downstate next weekend for the state boys bowling tournament after qualifying out of their respective sectionals on Saturday.
The Cougars will be making their 10th trip to state. They have a pair of second place finishes in 2011 and 2012 along with a third in 2006 and will be looking for a strong finish at St. Clair Lanes in O'Fallon next weekend.
Vernon Hills finished in first place at the Sycamore sectional with 6,450 pins over 6 games bowled at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Rockton Hononegah (6,443), Machesney Park Harlem (6,399), St. Charles East (6,337), Belvidere (6,203) and Sycamore (6,161) were the other teams that qualified.
The Cougars started the day with an impressive 1,148 and shot over 1,000 in every game except an 982 in the last one. They also had two other high games of 1,114 and 1,121.
"This is a great feeling with this group and it's unbelievable," Vernon Hills coach Ron Long said. "These bowlers bowled exceptional and it starts with the seniors down to everybody on the team."
Jacob Gates of Vernon Hills was the sectional champion, throwing a 1,459. He had a 737 series in the morning and followed with a 722 over the last three games.
"Gates was the one that got the team going," Long said. "He never relinquished the lead all day. Watching him was so special. It's a good feeling going into next week."
Other Cougars' bowlers were Nicholas Schwind (1,313), Joseph Napierkowski (1,275), Brandon Cervantes (1,266), Alex Kouvelas (577, 3 games) and Brandon Healey (560, 3 games).
St. Charles East reached state with these bowlers leading the way: Edgar Burgos (1,386), Edward Burgos (1,320), Nicholas Cutrara (1,287), Connor Johnson (1,243) and Tyler Johnson (1,101).
Waukegan's Diego Corttez will be making his second straight trip qualifying as an individual as he had 1,381, and St. Charles North's Zackary McCormick made it with a 1,298.
Alex Nelson of Libertyville rolled a 1,289 and is awaiting to see he qualified at-large in two spots through all four sectionals
Stevenson finished third at the IC Catholic sectional with 6,184 pins that was rolled at Brunswick Zone in Glendale Heights.
"It was great fun for us," Stevenson coach Cody Mathias said. "We made it. We always had a feeling, but we still had to show up and attack the lanes. It wasn't great and we got pushed in doing it."
The Patriots last made it to state in 2018 and finished in 12th place, but they picked up a state championship in 2016.
The top team was Glenbard East (6,339) with St. Patrick (6,287) right behind. Others to qualify were Reavis, New Trier and Lake Park.
Stevenson bowlers were Joey Gluck (1,274), Ryan Grabiner (1,253), Ender Starr (1,238), Nicholas Sternes (1,233) and Ryan Lerman (1,186).
Kyle Bailey was the top bowler from Glenbard East with a 1,400. Others that helped Glenbard East were Tom Reiche, Issei Sherman, Anthony Pope and Nathan Aries.
Lake Park's bowlers included Jason Gutkowski, Luis Arias, Shazad Akhtar, Mike Terracciano, Charles Lauk, Donald Falk and Zachary Nygren.
Jacob Gunther of IC Catholic qualified as an individual with a 1,251.