Bowling Team and Tournaments


Justin Bragg (19′) Getting ready to bowl.

Matthew Turn, Reporter

  It is the start of winter sports, and with that, the startup of the bowling team and tournaments.

Practices started on Oct. 22 at Cherry Bowl. Head coach Ed Glennon currently has 32 members on of the team.

Bowlers with the highest average are placed on varsity then JV and down the line.

The first tournament was Nov. 3 at Viking Lanes where varsity came in 3rd and JV 4th. This was the first out of about 20 tournaments/dual meets scheduled for the year.

Justin Bragg (’19) is North’s leading returnee after averaging 216 in conference play last year and advancing to the state finals as a sophomore two years ago. He also placed second in last year’s postseason NIC-10 singles tournament.

“I feel like I did pretty bad at the first tournament, but it wasn’t that big,” he said, “so there is a lot of room for improvement.”

The results of the tournament did not surprise coach Glennon who said, “We placed third, which is where I expected we would finish. Harlem and Hononegah are clearly the front-runners in the conference this year, and I would predict now that they’ll go 1-2 in the state tournament. The nice thing in a conference as powerful as ours, a third- or fourth-place team can still have the talent to qualify for the state tournament.”

          Even though North finished in a tie for last place in the conference standings a year ago, the Thunder return several outstanding bowlers: Jonathan Powell (‘19), Cal Taylor (‘20), Gabriel Lord (’20), Noel Hefty (‘21), Patrick Bender (‘20), Jacob Hodge (’20) and Ryan Schwegler (’20).

Hefty drew attention as a freshman when he rolled a 300 game at Don Carter Lanes in North’s match against Rockford Guilford. Powell, Bragg and Hefty advanced out of the regionals individually last year.  Lord and Taylor (no, not the department store) go together as the team’s leading two-handed (cradle-style) delivery. Schwegler is the team’s lone left-hander.

While Glennon, an English teacher at North, and his new assistant coach, science teacher Matt Sbertoli, are delighted with the turnout — which is more than double that of last year, there are drawbacks.

 “Having so many bowlers, it’s difficult to get the lanes we need to get kids the practice they need to improve — especially the newcomers,” Glennon said. “Cherry Bowl does its best to accommodate us. Christian Life and Jefferson also practice there.

            “For convenience sake, it would be great if Dodge Lanes were interested in having our team practice there. We’re totally at Cherry Bowl’s mercy regarding lane availability and lane conditions. There is no control of those variables on our part, which puts us at a competitive disadvantage compared to Hononegah, whose coach owns the bowling center in which they practice!”

Upcoming tournaments include the Guilford Survivor Tournament Nov. 17 at Don Carter Lanes, the NIC-10 preseason tournament on Black Friday at Freeport and the Harlem Invitational on Nov. 24 at Forest Hills Lanes. Conference dual meets begin when students return after Thanksgiving.