One Team, Three Plaques

The boy’s bowling team has concluded their season with a new plaque from IHSA State.
The boys take a group shot before a phenomenal day in O’Fallon during the IHSA State Tournament.
The boys take a group shot before a phenomenal day in O’Fallon during the IHSA State Tournament.
Photography, Herrin Bowling Tiger Parent

Bowling is a team sport that requires multiple teammates to pick each other up even if they are struggling. However, this year’s boys’ bowling team knows how to make each other better through teamwork and intense dedication to the sport. 


Coach Hubbard mentioned how this year’s boys’ bowling team is incredibly close and has strong bonds that push them through matches and competitions. 


Speaking of matches, the boys had a 9-3 match record and competed at numerous tournaments this season. At the first tournament of the year at their home alley, the boys’ bowling team took a 3rd place win in the Herrin Invitational. 


Even if matches were back to back, each match posed a new challenge and different individual victories as well. Jaxon Howerton (10) mentions how “bowling [his] 289” was the best part of the season so far. 


At their next tournament, the boys’ bowling team had a difficult day but still managed to snag a 5th-place finish at the Collinsville Kahok Invitational. The following week, the boys picked up the pace and placed 2nd at the Salem Invitational. 


The team placed 4th in the Harrisburg Invitational and 2nd in the Belleville East Invitational. 


All of these matches and tournaments led up to the week before Regionals and the start of the post-season. During this lead-up, the realization of the post-season quickly hit the team, and they were determined to win everything in their path. 


The last tournament before Regionals was the O’Fallon Panther Challenge and was the last push needed before the boys competed in the postseason. The team secured a quick 1st place win before the battle of the postseason. 


JV also participated in the Carterville Invitational but was knocked out the first cut. Frankie Patalano (9) mentioned how he ”plans to go out bowling more” to improve before the next season and make the cut next year. 


After weeks worth of practice, the boys’ bowling team had reached their most important date yet: the day of Regionals. Nick Hubbard (11) describes Regionals as “win or go home”, so the stakes are high.


 The Tigers had a tense day but battled until they left the bowling alley with a 1st place plaque. 


The following week was another week of intense practice before the alleged Sectionals day; however, the bowling alley had to close due to a broken A/C unit and a broken oil machine. 


While this was a minor setback, it gave the boys more time to hone their skills and be prepared for the impromptu Sectionals tournament the following Tuesday. Sectionals were the last ticket needed to become one of the top teams in Herrin High School history thus far, so this tournament put everything on the line.


After a long day of bowling, the boys pulled through another 1st place win and claimed their spot at the State tournament. Keegan Vorhees (12) agreed with the other bowlers that “winning Sectionals and seeing everyone so happy” was his favorite part of the season by far.


After another win, the Tigers quickly went to state two days after and were determined to keep their winning streak. After making it past day one, the Tigers pulled through another victory by placing 8th in the State competition, the highest thus far in school history. 


The boys were ecstatic and are now preparing for the next year with most of the state team consisting of juniors. Chase Lannom (11) placed 9th individually in the state but wants to “try and get out to bowl during the postseason”. 


This season has been a long trip of ups and downs, but this team will go down in history as one of the best.

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