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Plenty of reasons to celebrate : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Plenty of reasons to celebrate
Oswego East girls’ bowling takes SPC dual, Oswego’s Valdez rolls 299

by Christine Bolin Dascher


It was senior night for both the Oswego and Oswego East girls’ bowling teams, and each squad had something to celebrate – even though only one walked out of Parkside Lanes last Thursday a winner.

Oswego East edged out rival Oswego, 3,126-3,051, in the head-to-head dual, but Panthers’ senior Cheyanne Valdez made the most noise when she rolled a near-perfect 299 in Game 3. She ended up finishing with a three-game total of 804.
Needless to say, no one left the bowling alley too disappointed after both Southwest Prairie Conference teams posted such great scores.

“We were both undefeated in conference play coming in, and Oswego is a great team,” said Oswego East head coach Jeremy Hillman, whose Wolves improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference in dual matches. “We are going to be right there with them at the end. Our girls are really starting to get it. They are definitely making a lot of progress.”

“This is really exciting because last year, we didn’t do so great,” Oswego East senior Kailey Kopacz added. I’m so glad we beat them this year. We’re getting there.”
Oswego is now 3-2 overall and 2-1 in conference dual meets.

“You can’t hang your head after this one, not at all,” Oswego head coach Dan Okoren said. “It was a great team effort to see on Senior Night. There are so many distractions, but both teams got down to what they do best, and obviously Cheyenne – that was amazing.”

Oswego East won Game 1, 1,040-1,005 before the Panthers tied it up in Game 2, 989-965.

In the third game, the Wolves won, 1,121-1,057. Sophomore Abby Ragsdale led Oswego East with her 674 series, followed by junior Averee Bottcher (647), freshman Samantha Perez (643), junior Jordan Tiritilli (611), Kopacz (532) and sophomore Mallory Weisbrodt (523).

Okoren said Valdez’ 804 is a school record. She rolled a 248 in Game 1 and a 257 in Game 2 before falling one pin short of a perfect game in Game 3. Valdez said her highest-ever score was 290 and a 795 series.

“I knew I was going into good, but that last ball, I know Parkside…but I’m still happy,” Valdez said. “(An overall score of 804) is more rare than a 300, so I’m happy about it.”

Other contributors for the Panthers included sophomore Brittany Breedlove (590), senior Trashaunna Manning (569), senior Jessica Mendez (564), junior Kayla Williams (513) and senior Lauren Torrez (462).

All the seniors from both sides were honored. Oswego East has only one senior this year, Kopacz. She will compete at Robert Morris University next year.

“(Kopacz) has been a very consistent bowler for the entire four years she’s been here,” Hillman said. “Every year, another aspect of her game has improved, and it’s great to see the maturity in her. She has what it takes to bowl at the next level, and she’s a great individual.”

Oswego has four seniors this year – Valdez, Manning, Mendez and Torrez.
“These girls are amazing,” Valdez said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. They are my team and they are like family to me. Having them behind me when I bowl is indescribable. I love them.”

Valdez has been on varsity since her freshman year, was All-Conference last year and is one of the team captains.

“She’s our leader,” Okoren said. “She’s huge for our team and is so helpful with the girls. She just does it all to help out the team.”

Okoren said Torrez has done well so far in her senior year.

“She has really stepped up her game and has worked so hard in the off-season,” Okoren said. “She’s really made great strides in her game. We needed someone to step up and she did.”

Manning was an All-Conference bowler last year.
“She kind of snuck up last year and was our surprise,” Okoren said. “She has really continued that this season. We were counting on that. She works hard and does what she is asked.”

Mendez is Oswego’s other captain and in tournaments has been the Panthers’ leadoff bowler.

“She’s a great leadoff bowler,” Okoren said. “She’s mentally tough, and she’s a competitor – she has been since her freshman year.”

The Panthers and Wolves saw each other again on Saturday at DeKalb’s Holiday Invitational at Mardi Gras Lanes. Waubonsie Valley ended up winning that tournament with a 6,053. Oswego East was second with 5,833 and Oswego was third at 5,788.

Belvidere was fourth (5,286), followed by Dixon (5,239), Belvidere North (5,186), DeKalb (5,114), Guilford (5,111), Sterling (5,058), Jefferson (4,982), Grayslake Central (4,591) and Streamwood (4,040)

Ragsdale led Oswego East with her tournament-best 1,397 series, followed by Perez (1,211), Tiritilli (1,089), Kopacz (1,085) and Bottcher (1,051).

Oswego was led by Valdez (1,302 series), Breedlove (1,227), Mendez (1,198), Manning (1,130) and Williams (484) and Torrez (447) each rolled three games.
Notes: The Panthers and Wolves will see each other again today, Thursday, at Plainfield South’s Holiday Tournament at Town and Country Lanes. That is set to start at 9 a.m.

Oswego will then be a part of Andrew’s Bowling Bash on Friday. The Panthers will not compete again until Jan. 9 against Romeoville.

Oswego East will not compete again until Jan. 9 against Minooka.

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