Photo by Bill Roseberry
Alton boys’ bowler Mat Gorman prepares to throw the ball down the lane early in the 2014-15 season at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton.
The local boys’ prep bowling season is making its stretch run. Area guys will compete Saturday in the 11-team Alton Regional at Bowl Haven Lanes. Civic Memorial, Roxana, East Alton-Wood River and the host Redbirds will start competition at 9 a.m.
The top finishers advance to the Herrin Sectional and then on to the IHSA finals on Jan. 30-31 at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon. Alton finished seventh in the 2014 state tournament.
Here’s a look at the four Greater Alton area squads. Marquette Catholic doesn’t have bowling.
ALTON: The 9-3 Redbirds should be in the thick of things for the regional team title. So could Southwestern Conference frontrunner Collinsville, plus O’Fallon and CM.
Lucas Pejakovic, last year’s AdVantage News’ Bowler of the Year, ignites the Birds. He possesses a 221 average, making him a threat to win the regional championship.
Seniors Justin Amistadi and Mat Gorman, plus teammates Jacob Donahue, Tyler Stevenson and Matt Fritz add to the Redbirds’ thunder.
“I like our chances in the regional,” AHS coach Jeff Woszczynski said.
CM: Look for the Eagles to be in the middle of the fight for the regional championship. CM is 12-2 and 6-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. The Eagles finished second in the O’Fallon Tournament, outscoring SWC squads. Their only losses have been to MVC rival Jersey.
Ryan Hayes owns a 215 average to lead the five-man senior outfit. Phil Ramos is right behind him at 210. Jacob Troeckler, Dalton Harshbarger and Alex Zukas have chipped in to give Shawn Callies a solid team.
“We have a shot to win the regional,” Callies said.
ROXANA: Brayden Hensley, sporting a 156 average, is tops for the Shells, who were 1-13 going into this week’s matches.
Coach Marsha Ribes can also count on Dalton Baggett and Marcus Hartnett, both carrying 151 averages, to add to the mix. The young squad features four freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and one senior.
EA-WR: The Oilers are experiencing some growing pains with a young team but have high hopes for the future. They were winless going into this week.
Anthony Lane, a 6-foot-8, 340-pound football player bound for Lindenwood-Belleville, is averaging 143. Tyler Hayes, a transfer from CM, is shooting 145. However, seniors Ashtin Wiegand and Seth Stanley are serving as the team’s anchors. Stanley owns 175 average and Wiegand is next at 165. Coach Jesse Daniels figures they will have an opportunity to advance through the AHS Regional.