Boys Bowling: Eddie Wasielewski lifts Plainfield Central to sectional title
Updated: January 21, 2012 6:37PM
Just one week ago, Plainfield Central’s boys bowling team was going south, metaphorically speaking, after a fifth-place finish in the Southwest Prairie Conference tournament.
Now the Wildcats are literally heading south after winning one the toughest sectionals in the state for the second straight year. Plainfield Central’s pinfall of 6,119 was enough to capture the Minooka Sectional at Channahon Lanes by 22 pins over Romeoville, which edged Minooka by 19 pins to secure the other team berth to next week’s state finals at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.
“This was our best effort all year,” Plainfield Central coach George Oshita said. “Last week we struggled and it was like, ‘What the heck is going on?’ We were going in the wrong direction.
“I told these kids nobody ranked us at all, let’s go in there and surprise these guys today, let’s give it our all. And they did. I’m very proud of these kids.”
The Wildcats were expected to win the sectional last year, when they finished eighth at state, but they returned only one starter, senior Josh Iwinski, from that squad. The lack of expectations actually fueled their fire.
“It’s awesome. I can’t explain it,” said Plainfield Central senior Eddie Wasielewski. “We wanted to prove everyone wrong, basically, so we probably had the best week of practice we had all year, and we were all focused today.”
Wasielewski, who is in his first year on varsity and second in the sport, won the individual championship with a career-high series of 1,404 (234 average), which was nearly 100 pins more than his previous best. That included a 276 in the fifth round. Junior Bryan Blair was 17th with 1,220 and Iwinski placed 22nd with 1,200.
“At the beginning of the season we made a goal chart for our whole team and one was to win sectionals,” Wasielewski said. “We did that and now we’re hoping we can place at state.”
The Wildcats will have familiar company at state in Romeoville, which came from behind in the final game to grab second place for the second straight season.
Sophomore Dakota Vostry finished third with 1,316 to lead the Spartans, who rolled 1,020 and 1,034 in their final two games to overtake Minooka (6,078) and Lincoln-Way West (6.065), which was in the lead heading into the final game.
“We knew we could do it,” Vostry said. “We knew we had to go big and we remembered what we did last year, so we knew we could do it this year.”
Even so, the Spartans still were shocked at how the tournament ended.
“I’m speechless right now,” Vostry said. “I can’t believe we both made it again. It’s a great feeling because I’m really good friends with [the Wildcats] and going back to state with them is amazing.”
Romeoville placed four bowlers in the top 25 as senior Will Thompson was fifth (1,262), sophomore Kyle Zaremba placed 20th (1,211) and junior Brandon Lisak-Talley took 24th (1,196).
“The kids showed a lot of heart,” Romeoville coach Tony Talley said. “One of the things I pointed out at the beginning of the season is we lack that leadership that we had last year. This year’s team is more talented than last year’s team, but last year’s team had the leadership and had that fight. This year we lacked that.
“Will Thompson stepped up a little bit in that leadership role today and that’s what we need. I think we can go downstate and do something special.”
The two other individual qualifiers were Plainfield South senior Chase Patterson, who finished second with 1,367, and Minooka sophomore Zach Segatto, who was fourth with 1,302. Segatto rolled a 300 game in the second round and led the field through four games.