If Josh Glover fails in his quest to make history, it won’t be because he got tired.
The Lincoln-Way West senior got stronger at a time when many bowlers started feeling fatigued Friday at the boys bowling state finals at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.
Glover saved his best games for last, finishing the opening day of action with a 278 and a 279 to grab first place.
Glover’s six-game total of 1,542 (257 average) is one of the best one-day performances in state finals history and gives him a 92-pin lead over Andrew junior Joseph Rymsza heading into Saturday’s final round.
“He had a good day,” Lincoln-Way West coach Mike Vogler said. “He’s very focused and he did what he had to do. Most guys wear down and instead he had his best game.”
After starting with games of 236 and 238, Glover finished the morning session with a 277 to move into a tie for second. He was third after a 234 in the fourth game before seizing control.
“I know that by the fifth and sixth games more people are going to be tired, but I was in my comfort zone,” Glover said. “I just stayed focused and did what I knew I could.”
Glover is attempting to become the first male athlete in school history to win an individual state championship. He came close last year, finishing fifth, and came into this season as one of the favorites.
Glover did nothing Friday to indicate he won’t accomplish his goal.
“He started a little slow the first two games but he kept grinding it out,” Vogler said. “[In the afternoon] he was locked in. He never really had a bad shot. It was fun to watch.”
While he may be sitting pretty, Glover knows better than to celebrate early.
“I’m happy to be where I am, but I’ve got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, so I’m not going to look at any scores,” Glover said. “I’m just going to bowl like I normally do and see what happens.”
While seven bowlers, including Romeoville senior Dakota Vostry and Minooka senior Zach Segatto, who are tied for fourth at 1,427, are within 150 pins of Glover, he knows it will be nearly impossible for them to catch him if he reprises Friday’s performance.
“I’m confident,” Glover said. “I’ve just got to make all my shots like I did today.”
Jacobs junior Brandon Biondo is in sixth place at 1,415, while Young senior Livio Bolzon is seventh at 1,410 and Southland College Prep Charter senior Perry Sibby is eighth at 1,404. Bolzon is trying to become the first two-time state medalist from the Public League.
Host O’Fallon lead the team standings with 6,706 pins, 171 more than Rockford Guildford, while Andrew is in third at 6,535 and Minooka stands fifth at 6,288.
Morgan Park became the first Public League team to advance to the second day. The Mustangs are ninth at 6,231, 55 pins ahead of defending state champion Lockport. Oswego and St. Patrick, who are tied for 11th at 6,160, also advanced.