LP Bowlers compete at state, end season strong

Seth Caines, Staff Reporter

The Lake Park Boys Bowling team, a 14-time IHSA qualifying team, competed in the Illinois state tournament last week.
Lake Park boys bowling placed second to Lyons Township in Regionals and went to Sectionals the week after, only to defeat them, according to junior bowler Matt Tumbarello.

“Going into state this year is different from any other season I’ve had before,” he said. “We in all honesty have bowled poorly all season long…(It wasn’t until Regionals) where we knew what we needed…and what needed to be done. Sectionals were (where) the training wheels came off and we were in full speed.

“Going into state, we had the fourth highest team rankings coming (out of) Sectionals,” Tumbarello said. “(Freshman) Jason Gutkowski bowled a 300 at Regionals.”

Likewise, the girls bowling team has improved drastically after a rough start to the season. Though— according to some of the team mates— the season started off shaky, the team still managed to get back up again and is finishing up their season strong.

“I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” said Emily Kress, co-captain of the girls bowling team. “I feel as if I’ve not only improved bowling wise, but I’ve also become a better person, through captaining the bowling team.”

The whole team has been doing well and have consistently enjoyed themselves throughout both practices and competitions.
Jordan Connelly, co-captain of the girls bowling team, said  “We know when to have fun and when to concentrate. Overall, the team bonds a lot and we have a lot of fun together as a group.”

The girls bowling team have won two tournaments and are moving on towards more wins in the future as they continue throughout their season. They also had position night recently, which also went well.

“We’ve been doing way better towards this year and we have gotten to bond more, which is good when you’re heading to Regionals,” Connelly said.

But though the team has been progressively gotten better, they still have problems with recognition from the school and their peers for being a legitimate sport. They seem to be seen as only an organization of avid bowlers instead of a team sport full of passionate and professional players .

“I feel that the school barely recognizes us” Connelly and Kress both said. “It’s come to the point where we (the guys and girls bowling team) don’t even call ourselves ‘the lancers’ because we never get noticed by the school for our hard work. When was the last time you heard about a ‘Lancer victory’ for the bowling team in the announcements?”

Though the team has had a few rough spots, the team is still full of passionate athletes. The team has an aura of competitiveness and is not something that a student should miss out on.

The girls bowling team competes in Regionals Feb 3 and Sectionals Feb 10.