2017 Boys Bowling

State Stories


2017 Boys Bowling

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There will be no team or individual state title defense at the 2017 IHSA Boys Bowling State Finals when they return to St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon on Friday and Saturday, January 27-28, but some familiar names return in both races.

Hononegah and O’Fallon recorded pinfalls of 13,321 and 13,240 pins, respectively, at the state finals a year ago. Those totals would have been state final records in any other year, but the Indians and Panthers had to settle for second- and third-place after Stevenson posted a new state record of 13,361 pins en route to the state title.

The defending champion Patriots won’t be back in the team field in 2017, which opens up the door for a slew of teams. Half of the Top 12 teams in the state from a year ago have qualified again, with 2014 state champ Hononegah and O’Fallon being joined by Harlem and Lockport, who tied for fourth place last year, as well as Sandburg (6th) and Morgan Park (12th).

Hononegah and O’Fallon are each led by seniors who are among the top returning individual players in the state. O’Fallon’s Andrew Orf placed third individually last year at state with a score of 2,863, while Hononegah’s Brandon Mooney rolled a 2,816, good for sixth. Orf teams with fellow senior Matthew Toohey, who finished just outside the Top 10 last year (11th, 2,756).

Harlem could boast the most dangerous returning roster on paper. The Huskies are led by senior Jacob Nimtz, who set a state record en route to the individual state crown as a sophomore in 2015 and placed 5th last year (2,824), while also returning four of their top five state bowlers from a year ago.

2013 state champion Lockport reloads despite graduating several top players from a year ago, as senior Andy Sims (31st, 2,643 in 2016) takes a leadership position for the Porters. Sandburg counters with its top two players from 2016 returning in senior Tommy Hayes (30th, 2,652) and sophomore Cameron Crowe (39th, 2,618), who both finished in the Top 40 individually last year.

Meanwhile Morgan Park could be poised to move into the Top 10 and beyond with three returnees back from a year ago, including senior Braijon Carter (2,294 in 2016).

Despite all that depth returning, Harlem was the only aforementioned program to win a Sectional title this year. Belleville East recorded the top Sectional pinfall (6,519) in the state en route to its Sectional crown, as the Lancers were paced by senior David Barrett-Ness (1,390 at Sectionals). Minooka (6,179) and Lake Park (6,176) were the other Sectional team winners, with seniors Jon Studer (1,337) and Jack Bedtke (1,330) leading their respective teams.

Columbia (6,449), Rockford East (6,398) and Rockford Christian (6,292) also enjoyed strong Sectional showings, as they were three of the seven teams in the state to eclipse totals of 6,200 pins or more. Columbia had four players bowl 1,266 or better, including sophomore Jacob Amos (1,339), while seniors Mitchell Le (1,363) and Seth Cushman (1,334) went head-to-head in Sectional action to lead Rockford East and Rockford Christian, respectively.

Based on 2016’s state final scoring, individual qualifier Nate Stubler of LaSalle-Peru is the top returnee, as he placed fourth with a score of 2,835 last winter as a junior. Sycamore’s Trevor Smith guided his team to state this season as a senior and will look for a second straight Top 10 finish after rolling a 2,759 (10th) a year ago. Individual qualifier Ethan Gerald of Andrew has his eyes on the Top 10 after placing 12th last year (2,742).

Interestingly, none of the Sectional team champions produced an individual Sectional champ last week, which could make the individual state title race even more wide open. Equally interesting is that none of the 2017 individual Sectional champions competed in the state finals a year ago, so all eyes will be on Sectional champs Highland senior Collin Korte (1,470), Lincoln-Way West senior Eric Ullian (1,425), Fulton junior Seth Sikkema (1,401), and Lisle freshman Brandon Williamson (1,372) to see how they roll on the state final stage.

There will be no competitors in the IHSA's Wheelchair Division this year, following the graduation of four-time state champ Fletcher Hopkins of Mascoutah.

15th year of State Series
15th year at St. Clair Bowl
5th year of Wheelchair Division


St. Clair Bowl (O'Fallon)

O'Fallon High School


Friday, January 27
9:15 AM - Opening Ceremonies
9:45 AM - Start Round 1
1:00 PM - Start Round 2

Saturday, January 28
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

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