Steve Millar’s SouthownStar bowling preview

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Josh Glover is a perfectionist.

So when the Lincoln-Way West bowler turned in a terrific second day at the state bowling tournament in February, piling up 1,402 pins over six games (a 234 average) to rise from 26th place after Day 1 to a fifth-place finish, he still wasn’t satisfied.

“He had such a great day, and he was still upset,” West coach Mike Vogler said. “He thought he should have done better. He wasn’t satisfied. He’s been working really hard to do even better in his senior season.”

A bowler from the Southland has captured the state championship the last four seasons. Could Glover be next?

He certainly has to be considered among the favorites. Only two underclassmen, O’Fallon’s Billy Goodman and Young’s Livio Bolzon, finished ahead of Glover last season, taking third and fourth, respectively.

“Last year, I finished fifth but I knew I could do better,” Glover said. “I made a few mistakes. This year, I’m working hard and just want to step up a lot. I’m focused on not letting anything or anyone get in my way this year. I want that title.”

Glover said bowling has been in his family for generations and that he is trying to “continue the tradition.”

It’s rare that the senior is not in a bowling alley. In addition to his practices with West, he works at Lakewood Bowl in Richton Park.

“I bowl seven days a week, eight games a day,” he said. “I really want to put the effort in to be as good as I can be.”

It’s no wonder that Glover has thrown 17 perfect games in his life, including one two weeks ago as part of an 808 three-game series.

“Josh is really focused,” Vogler said. “He’s a very intelligent bowler and he’s always working hard on his game.”

Glover leads a Warriors squad that is intent on making it to state as a team.

Last season, West — which won the SouthWest Suburban Redchampionship — was in first place midway through the Plainfield North Sectional, but one bad game led to a fourth-place finish, two spots shy of advancing to state.

“The kids are always talking about that,” Vogler said. “I think it definitely motivates them.”

The Warriors have two talented sophomores to complement Glover: David Eggert, who finished third in the Red last season, and Anthony Castaneda. Junior Tyler Wollenberg also will be counted on to step up.

According to Vogler, all of the teammates feed off Glover’s play.

“I have the mentality of wanting to help others,” Glover said. “I really want to help my teammates and help take us to the next level.

“I really want to win state as an individual, but it’d be even better to do it as a team. I think we’re capable of doing that.”

Top Southland Teams

1. Andrew: The Thunderbolts return three of their top five bowlers from last season’s team, which finished eighth in the state. Justin Finnen and Kyle Krol will be tough to replace, but Nick Ghilardi and Mike Dertz have been on state-qualifying squads for three straight seasons and were part of the 2012 state champion squad.

2. Oak Lawn: Junior Ryan Kirby finished 13th in the state last season, second-highest among returning Southland bowlers. The Spartans captured fifth as a team. New coach Megan Schillo hopes to lead the squad to its fourth straight state appearance. Senior Matt VanderGriend and juniors Cody Bulow and Joe Kamenske also will be counted on.

3. Lincoln-Way West: Josh Glover has state title on his mind and could lead the Warriors to state.

4. T.F. South: The Rebels return four bowlers from last year’s state-qualifying squad and will add talent from a JV squad that captured the South Suburban Blue title last season. Senior Taveon Robinson returns as the reigning South Suburban Blue individual champion. Justin Abston anchors a strong junior class.

5. Lockport: The Porters brought eight seniors to the state tournament last season and brought home the title. With no returning varsity bowlers, Lockport’s a bit of a question mark but should reload quickly. Dan Duplessis, Brian Baer and Brandon McDowell were strong at the JV level last year.

Top Southland Individuals

Mike Dertz, Sr., Andrew; David Eggert, So., Lincoln-Way West; Terrance Evans, Sr., Brother Rice; Seth Gajdorus, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central; Nick Ghilardi, Sr., Andrew; Josh Glover, Sr., Lincoln-Way West; Tevin Kimble, Sr., St. Rita; Ryan Kirby, Jr., Oak Lawn; Gerald Regep, Sr., Argo; Taveon Robinson, Sr., T.F. South; Orlando Sanmiguel, Sr., Reavis; Nick Shupryt, Jr., Tinley Park; Perry Sibby, Sr., Southland College Prep; Eric Walters, So., Shepard; Christian Whitaker, Sr., Mount Carmel.

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