ROCKFORD – The state bowling tournament is a two-day event with Friday serving as the all-important qualifying day; place in the top 12 and advance to day two.
Saturday is Moving Day, when it all matters as to where you place in the top 12, and it is a grid with six games, a packed house of fans and the noise level at a season high.
It turned out to a historic day.
Minooka bowled solid all day Saturday and finished third to win their second state trophy in school history. The only other time was a second-place finish in 2012. The Minooka boys finished second three weeks ago.
O’Fallon won the title with a two-day total of 12,122, with Machesney Park Harlem finishing second (12,024) and the Indians rolling a 11,856. Joliet West finished fourth (11,429), Lockport fifth (11,272) and Lincoln-Way East 10th (10,897).
“It’s such a gratifying feeling right now,” Minooka coach Frank Yudzentis said. “To finish they way we did today is special, especially for the three seniors on the team. It’s hard to win a trophy in any sport, and when you do it’s such an honor. It’s so special for the girls to experience the award ceremony because only three teams get to do it.”
Minooka garnered two All-State spots with senior Gina Russell in fifth (2,521) and sophomore Kiara Backstrom ninth (2,477). Other scores from the Indians were sophomore Megan Gillson (2,412), junior Alyssa Ritchie (2,304), senior Kristina Sickler (1,765 in 10 games), and senior Janey Schmidt (377 in two games).
“This feels awesome,” Russell said, as she finished higher than any Minooka bowler in history. “We came in wanting to win; you set your goals high, but to win a trophy is great and to be All-State is just a bonus.”
“Being All-State is just a perk of being a part of a great program and having these girls as my teammates,” Backstrom said.