Lincoln-Way West’s Josh Glover didn’t just win the state bowling championship Saturday. Glover left his mark all over the state’s record books as well as his own school’s with a historic performance in O’Fallon.
The senior finished with the highest score in the history of the state meet, averaging 247 over 12 games to finish with 2,967 pins at St. Clair Bowl, taking the state title by 89 over Jacobs’ Brandon Biondo.
He knocked down four pins more than the previous record holder, Salem’s Alex Henseler, managed in 2008.
Andrew (13,002) finished second in the team race, 105 pins behind champion Rockford Guilford.
“I didn’t know how close I was to the state record,” Glover said. “After I shot my last ball, my coach (Mike Vogler) told me ‘Congrats, not only on winning the state championship, but on the record score.’ It was a great feeling. I wanted to do this to make my community proud and my family proud.”
Glover, who finished fifth last season, is the first male athlete in Lincoln-Way West history to win a state championship. Morgan Flaherty won the girls bowling title for West in 2012.
“When I left school earlier in the week, my principal (Monica Schmitt) and athletic director (Ted Robbins) told me they wanted that state title,” Glover said. “I promised I’d do it for them. I felt basically in control all day.”
Glover shot a 300 in Saturday’s second game and a 266 in the tournament’s penultimate game.
“It was like watching a machine,” Vogler said. “He told me he was going to shoot a 300, and he did. He told me he was going to win the state title and he did. When he tells me things, I believe him.”
It’s the fifth straight season a Southland bowler’s won the state championship.
Andrew put up a 1,206 in Game 4 and rallied past O’Fallon to move into second place but couldn’t catch a red-hot Guilford squad.
It’s the fourth state trophy for the T-bolts, who were led by Joe Rymsza (15th, 2,658), Mike Dertz (16th, 2,649) and Nick Ghilardi (21st, 2,624).
“The boys really wanted it, but Guilford was phenomenally strong all weekend,” Andrew coach Mark Lobes said. “We went from 11th (after three games Friday) to second. The boys did a great job.”
Southland College Prep’s Perry Sibby (2,783) finished fourth, becoming the first athlete from the school to win a state medal in any sport.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s a big blessing to be able to do this for my team and my school.”
Morgan Park (12,219) took ninth, the best ever finish for a Public League team. Lockport (11,938) finished 12th.
Lincoln-Way North’s Kyle Pijarowski (2,669) finished 14th and Tinley Park’s Nick Shupryt (2,584) 28th.