The 2014 season marks the 12th in the history of the IHSA Boys Bowling State Series and the bar continues to be raised. A year ago, Lockport became the second school (Edwardsville, 2004) in the history of the tournament to take home the team state championship and the individual title in the same season. The Porters title run marked the fourth consecutive season that the winning pinfall (12,846) total rose, while Shane Matejcek’s individual title effort of 2,924 was the second highest score by a state champion in state history (2,963 by Salem’s Alex Henseler in 2008).
The 2014 tournament also marks the second year that the Wheelchair Class will be contested at the state tournament. Mascoutah’s Fletcher Hopkins was one of two competitors who participated a year ago in the inaugural event and he will be back again to compete on Saturday in 2014.
IHSA.tv will be there to document all the action and will have highlights from the tournament posted on the website in the days that follow.
Although Matejcek has graduated, Lockport will be back to defend its team title and 2013 runner-up O’Fallon (12,772) should once again be a top contender. Five other schools who finished in the Top 12 last season return as well, including fourth-place Minooka (12,537) and 2012 state champ Andrew (8th, 12,416).
Lockport graduated all of its scoring players from last year’s state title team, but the perennial power has produced two different individual champs and has more talent in the pipeline. Sophomore Noah Zwit could be the next All-State player from the Porter program after leading the team at Sectionals with a score of 1,333.
O’Fallon has flirted with a state championship several times before and could have its best chance yet in 2014, with the return of seniors Billy Goodman and Damon McIntire. A year ago, both finished in the Top 10 individually, as Goodman placed third (2,775) and McIntire finished tenth (2,628).
Minooka was in first-place after Friday’s prelim round a year ago and with three experienced players returning, will have the chance to claim the top spot on Saturday in 2014. Senior Zach Segatto tallied the state’s best individual Sectional score (1,503) last week, while junior Dylan Pickett was the team’s leading scorer at the state tournament a year ago with a tally of 2,576 (26th individually).
Sycamore had one individual qualifier (Kyle Bonnell) a year ago in the state tourney, but in 2014 Bonnell will be joined by the entire Spartan team after they scored a state-best 6,578 pinfall in the Sectional round.
Schools from the greater Rockford and Metro East areas have experienced significant success in recent years at the state tournament, which bodes well for returning teams like Belleville East (9th in 2013) and Guilford (10th in 2013). Thomas Peters (2,663) returns to lead Belleville East after placing 8th individually in the state a year ago, while Guilford has a Top 30 individual returnee in senior Alex Sommer (27th, 2,573).
The individual champion (Matejcek) and runner-up (Salem’s Dylan Plahm) from 2013 both graduated, making O’Fallon’s Goodman the top individual returnee. Whitney Young senior Livio Bolzon placed fourth a year ago with a pinfall of 2,756 and has led the Dolphins team to state in 2014. Lincoln-Way West senior Josh Glover (5th, 2,712) and Columbia sophomore Cameron Touchette (7th, 2,672) have both qualified as individuals again this season after Top 10 finishes a year ago, while Carbondale senior Joe Lauzon (2,607) has led the Terrier team to state after he placed 15th as an individual qualifier last year. Two freshmen to watch, who also happen to be the lone bowlers in the state to break the 1,500 pin threshold during the Regional round, are Taft’s Thomas Green (1,550) and Harlem’s Jacob Nimitz (1,506).
St. Clair Bowl (Fairview Heights)
Host: O'Fallon High School
Friday, January 31
9:15 AM - Opening Ceremonies
9:45 AM - Start Round 1
1:00 PM - Start Round 2
Saturday, February 1
9:15 AM - Introductions
9:45 AM - Start Round 3 & Wheelchair Class
Noon - Wheelchair Class Awards
1:00 PM - Start Round 4
4:00 PM - Awards
Qualifiers & Lane Assignments
A highlight package from the tournament will be posted on www.IHSA.tv in the days that follow the tournament.
RESULTS & LIVE STATS
Live Leaderboard - Mobile
Friday Prelim Results
Saturday Finals Results
No audio broadcasts currently scheduled for this event
HISTORY & RECORDS
2014 State Series Results
Record Book & Past Champions