For the first time in school history, a Jacobs’ student will represent the school at the boys bowling state finals. Junior Brandon Biondo will not only be traveling to state to compete, he will so after winning the individual title at the Boylan Sectional on Saturday afternoon at Park Lanes in Loves Park.
Biondo bowled a six-game score of 1,462, seven points clear of the second-place finisher. He took the lead for good after bowling a 289 in the third game, and then held off pursuers to claim the sectional championship.
“It feels great being this is the first time ever to represent my school, and I went out there and did what I do best,” Biondo said. “This was my best stretch of games I’ve ever put together, it’s a great accomplishment.”
The most interesting part about Biondo’s success at the sectional was that Jacobs doesn’t even have a boys bowling team. However, because of a new IHSA bowling rule implemented this year, individuals even without a regular team were able to attempt to qualify for state, and Biondo more than took advantage.
“I’ve watched him bowl for a few years before this, and coaching him this year he’s just so in command out there and was great today. I’m just really proud of him,” Jacobs coach Jim Rood said.
The top six teams, as well as the seven highest scoring individuals not on one of those six teams, advance to the two-day state title tournament next weekend at St. Claire Bowl in Fairview Heights.
Jake Barton of Marengo was the next highest finisher of the local bowlers and almost qualified, as well. Barton, a freshman, bowled a 1,272 series, which was good enough for 40th place overall. He fell 56 points short of making it to state.
“For a freshman to come in here with such tough competition, I thought he did a nice job, I’m really proud of the kid,” Marengo coach Dwain Nance said. “It was a great learning experience, and I know he’s got state aspirations and he’s a good enough bowler to get there.”
McHenry was the lone complete local team to make an appearance at the sectional. It wasn’t the Warriors’ day however, as they finished with a team score of 5,949 and an 11th-place finish.
“We had a very tough start, dug ourselves in too deep and then tried to dig ourselves out for a few games but ran out of steam at the end,” McHenry coach Kyle Funkhouser said. “It was still the best season we’ve ever had; it’s just a little disappointing to end up a little short.”
McHenry was led by senior Kody Hudjera, who bowled a 1,228 series, which was good enough for a 54th-place tie. Senior Paul Colomer was second on the Warriors with a score of 1,224, which tied him for 58th.
Tyler Busch of Woodstock was the only other local bowler to finish in the top 70. He rolled a 1,227 series and finished in a tie for 56th place.