For boys bowling sectional champion Brandon Biondo of Jacobs, heading to the two-day state final to compete alone isn’t a big deal. In fact, he’s used it.
Biondo’s road to the state final at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights this weekend was never like most of his competitors. He didn’t compete in weekly games against other high schools or compete that often at all. Mainly because he's Jacobs' only bowler.
“Heading to state, I’m just going to keep doing what I do and stay within myself,” Biondo said. “As other teams are striking, I’m going to do what I can to copy that, or out do them and win.”
Biondo, a junior, mainly bowled within an Illinois State Youth Leaders (ISYL) group that pitted him against people not normally in high school, or in a similar situation to himself. He earned a few second place finishes, but nothing like what compared to is performance at last weekend’s sectional.
Biondo won a highly-competitive Boylan Sectional with a six-game series score of 1,462. The impressive win threw him right into consideration as one of the state’s best bowlers and with another performance like that could make things very interesting at state.
“You’re always surprised to win, but I knew he was capable of doing that,” Jacobs coach Jim Rood said. “Going down to state now he is more than capable of winning a State title. He’s a talented bowler.”
First Biondo will have to survive Friday’s elimination round. After six games Friday, the field will be cut from 24 teams to 12 and down to the last 30 individuals. The 30 individuals will include the highest remaining scores of bowlers from eliminated teams, as well as the 28 individual qualifiers.
If he advances to Saturday, Biondo will then bowl another six games, with the two-day combined score determining his finishing place.
“I would love to perform again like I did at Sectionals, that would be nice,” Biondo said. “I think I can do it, I know it can be done now.”