Fourteen high schools will be competing Saturday at Echo Lanes in Morris, each trying to win the seventh annual Charles Butterfield Bowling Invitational. Locally, both the hosting Redskins and Minooka Indians will be competing, and Oswego East will be returning to try to retain the title it won a year ago.
“I am looking forward to this tournament. I feel that my girls thrive off tough competition, and this tournament will have plenty of that,” Oswego East coach Jeremy Hillman said. “The top teams (Joliet West, Minooka, Morris, Oswego and Oswego East) will all have an opportunity to face each other later in the year at sectionals with only four able to advance – and that is without Waubonsie Valley and Moline who can also be there. I think it will be important to see how we all stack up in a tournament that has the potential for higher scores.”
In addition to those top teams, Joliet Central, LaSalle-Peru, West Aurora, Plainfield East, Plainfield South, Streator, Rochelle, Lincoln-Way West and Romeoville will compete Saturday.
The tournament will be run by Morris coach Harry Banks, who likes this year’s field.
“It’s nice to see so many quality schools bowling in this year’s invitational,” he said. “It will also be nice to see this year’s Lady Redskins compete against some of the better schools in the area. This is a good test for the girls before regionals and sectionals.”
Minooka finished third at the event a year ago and coach Frank Yudzentis is looking for another strong showing from his Indians.
“We really enjoy going to the Morris Invite. It has some great teams and programs and Harry and the Butterfields [ownership] do a great job of hosting,” he said. “This year, there will be some teams that will see each other in the state series, are all in the same regional, as well as a couple of the other teams. In addition, add Oswego East to the mix, and you have at least five teams that will be vying for a spot in the state tournament.
“There are some outstanding individuals, as well. We like this tournament because, not only does it allow you to see where your team is at this point in the year, but because it gives a lot of girls in your program the opportunity to compete. We are really looking forward to this weekend.”
Last year’s individual winner was Giselle Poss of Oswego East. She recorded a pin count of 1,369.