Winter warriors : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Winter warriors |
|Oswego boys' bowling team bound for state tournament |
|by Mike Slodki|
The phrase "win or go home" never held more true for the Oswego boys' bowling team than Saturday's Andrew Sectional.
Having just eked into the sectional from the previous Minooka Regional with a fourth-place finish, the Panthers' chance to go for broke on the lanes was at Orland Bowl.
With a 6,286-pin total, the Panthers earned their first trip to state since 2010, finishing fourth behind Minooka (6,510), Lockport (6,461) and Morgan Park (6,331).
Lockport captured the state title in 2013.
Andrew at 6,270 and Bolingbrook at 6,240 also join the field of 24 teams at St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon, near St. Louis, on Friday and Saturday.
"There was a lot of work to be done in the sectional, with us finishing fourth in regional," Oswego head coach T.J. Arnold said. "It was an even stronger field this time. Coming out of the regional, we were going to be in the tightest sectional in the state."
The performance from the Panthers capped off a two-weekend splurge of 11,968 pins knocked down on a quest for statehood.
"We definitely had kind of a team mentality, and we didn't rely much on one guy," Arnold said.
Minooka talent Zach Segatto completed his final sectional with the top individual score at 1,503.
Sectional action also saw the presence of Oswego East seniors Ryan Baumann and Dan Cherven, but the duo did not advance to O'Fallon and make the cut of seven individual bowlers.
Baumann rolled a 1,240 and Cherven finished with a pinfall of 1,153. The final individual state qualifier finished with a pinfall of 1,324.
"I think it's a step in the right direction,"_Oswego East co-head coach Tim Ochoa said. "We've been in the lower half of the conference for many years. I think a lot of JV players are excited._This is good for future players to see success."
Leading the Oswego charge was the established leadership, beginning with senior Dom Glatz, who bowled a 1,314, and classmate Trever Nelson at 1,289.
Junior counterpart Kameron Rockwell was next with a solid 990, followed by classmate Zac Clifton at 965. Senior Brad Behrends added a 944, and sophomore Eddie Mendez bowled a 784 to complete the lineup.
For the senior cornerstone Glatz, no team was going to be easy on the Orland Bowl grounds.
"We knew going in that it was going to be a rough day and tough to start," Glatz said. "You just try to help the team out."
Coming from the bowlers themselves, the plan of attack in 2013-14 has been solid.
"We've been preparing the whole year for this. Whatever comes and whatever decisions the coaches make, we go behind it and we're focused," Glatz said.
Oswego is slated for Lane 42 at St. Clair Bowl, in between Sycamore and Whitney Young of Chicago.
For the Panthers, getting through the sectional for the first time since 2010, when troops like Corey Marshall, Adam Johnson and Mikey Preston helped take first place, was enough for now.
"We just know that with the mistakes we make now, we have to leave them behind and focus. Don't dwell on the past," Arnold said.
However, the next challenge is an almost week-long process, made more complicated by the shelving of two practice days due to cold conditions and school shutdowns.
"Most importantly, we do get practice (Wednesday) and go down Thursday to St. Clair Bowl and practice," Arnold said.
The second-year coach's experience leaves the crew with a potential ace up their sleeve.
"I bowled there for three years on the McKendree College team, so I can hopefully give the guys some insight," Arnold said.
With the end of their run, Oswego East said goodbye to seniors Baumann and Cherven.
"They started a tradition of success,"_Ochoa said of Baumann and Cherven. "They are role models and great leaders as athletes and students."