The 2015 IHSA Boys Bowling State Finals return to St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon on Friday and Saturday, January 30-31, as O’Fallon High School plays host to the state final tournament once again in the only bowling house the state finals have ever known.
On Saturday, the finals of the Wheelchair Division will also unfold, as Mascoutah junior Fletcher Hopkins returns to compete.
Seven of the Top 10 teams from a year ago return to the state final field in 2015, however, the most noticeable absence is that of 2014 state champion Guilford. While Guilford did not qualify for the field this season, the coach from last year’s title team will be back at the state tournament. After leading Guilford to two state titles (2011, 2014) in four seasons, Brad Sommer has taken the coaching reigns at Hononegah this season. Hononegah, who placed sixth a year ago, recorded the state’s second-best pinfall (6,537) in last week’s Sectional action, where they were led by Sommer’s son, freshman Nick Sommer (1,366 Sectional score).
The only team with a better Sectional score in the state than Hononegah was conference foe Harlem, who won the head-to-head Sectional battle by 15 pins (6,552-6,537) to stake their claim as one of the favorites entering the weekend. Harlem’s top bowler at the state finals a year ago returns in senior Joe Heathscott (12th in 2014, 2,671), while three Huskie freshmen got state final experience a year ago, including individual Sectional champ Jacob Nimtz (1,474).
After finishing second at last year’s state meet, Andrew High School has now placed in Top 8 in the state in five consecutive seasons. The Thunderbolts could be primed to add to that total, as senior Joseph Rymsa returns to lead the squad after finishing 15th individually last year with a score of 2,658.
Minooka could be a team on the cusp of its first state final trophy this season, as the Indians placed fifth a year ago and watched their three returnees, including senior Chris Dombrowski (1,296), all bowl 1,264 or higher en route to the state’s third-best Sectional total (6,284) last week.
O’Fallon captured a trophy for the second straight season in 2014, following 2013’s runner-up finish by placing third in 2014. Four seniors have graduated from a year ago, but junior Justin Hess (1,369), the Herrin Sectional individual champ, has emerged to help the Panthers return as a contender again this season.
Oak Lawn missed the state field last season after placing fifth in 2013, but returns in 2015 with the momentum of a Sectional title (6,216) on its side. Senior Ryan Kirby paced the 2013 squad with a team-best score of 2,615 and will look to break into the Top 10 individually after placing 13th as a sophomore.
Collinsville could be in a position to capture its first trophy since the inaugural year (3rd place) of the State Series, as the Kahoks bested O’Fallon for the Sectional crown with sophomore Clayton Hartman (1,254) leading the way. Meanwhile, first-time state final qualifier Stevenson made noise in Sectional action with a team total of 6,215, just ahead of Taft (6,167), who hopes to become the second Chicago Public School representative to qualify for Saturday action (Morgan Park in 2014) and the first to bring home a trophy.
Most of the individual leaderboard from a year ago has turned over, which makes Jacobs senior Brandon Biondo one of the definitive favorites. Biondo finished second a year ago with a two-day pinfall of 2,878, and was second to Nimtz at the Stevenson Sectional last week. Alton senior Lucas Pejakovic (9th, 2,697) and Lincoln-Way North senior Kyle Pijarowski (14th, 2,669) have both led their teams to the state finals in 2015 after placing in the Top 15 individually in the state a year ago. Meanwhile, St. Patrick senior Danny Silva and Lincoln-Way West junior David Eggert round out the list of individual Sectional champions in 2015, as they tallied scores of 1,488 and 1,406, respectively, to make themselves names to watch on the leaderboard this weekend.
13th year of State Series
13th year at St. Clair Bowl
3rd year of Wheelchair Division
St. Clair Bowl (Fairview Heights)
Host: O'Fallon High School
Friday, January 30
9:15 AM - Opening Ceremonies
9:45 AM - Start Round 1
1:00 PM - Start Round 2
Saturday, January 31
9:15 AM - Introductions
9:45 AM - Start Round 3 & Wheelchair Class
1:00 PM - Start Round 4
4:00 PM - Awards
Qualifiers & Lane Assignments
RESULTS & LIVE STATS
Live Leaderboard - Mobile
Friday Prelim Results
Saturday Finals Results
State Final Gear
No video/audio broadcasts currently scheduled for this event
HISTORY & RECORDS
2015 State Series Results
Record Book & Past Champions