Boys Bowling: Andrew steamrolls 26-team field in Cougar Classic
Updated: December 3, 2011 7:45PM
Lake Zurich bowler Mike Schmitt has been on quite a hot streak the past few weeks.
The junior rolled an 804 series against Libertyville on Nov. 15 and followed that up with a 799 series, which included his first 300 game in high school competition, against Stevenson on Thursday.
Schmitt stayed on a roll Saturday, winning the prestigious Cougar Classic at Vernon Hills with a six-game total of 1,402, 23 pins better than Andrew senior Josh Powell.
“I just feel like every time I go in there I’m just going to try to do my best and fortunately the past couple weeks that’s been a lot higher than usual,” Schmitt said. “It feels nice to come in here with all the great teams that were here…and be able to take a title away from it.”
Schmitt’s success should come as no surprise as he finished second at the state finals last season. But he’s made sure that his success hasn’t gone to his head.
“I think the hardest thing was, especially after the 300, coming in and knowing that I probably wasn’t going to be able to do that again and not getting overly frustrated when things weren’t going quite as well,” Schmitt said. “I’m still just excited for today and the past couple weeks and hopefully I can keep going.”
The lanes at the Brunswick Zone Hawthorn were resurfaced over the summer, making the conditions tougher. But Schmitt was ready because Lake Zurich practiced at that house once in the preseason and had already bowled a dual meet there.
While the lane conditions suppressed the scores of many teams, it wasn’t a problem for Andrew, which blitzed the 26-team field by an unheard of 456 pins. The Thunderbolts, who were sixth at state last season, knocked down 6,290 pins. Reigning state champion Rockford Guilford was a distant second with 5,834.
Harlem was third with 5,786, two more than Vernon Hills, while Deerfield placed fifth with 5,653.
“I can’t remember when [something like] this last happened,” Andrew coach Mark Lobes said. “I was surprised after the second game when they said, ‘oh by the way, you’re ahead by 300.’
“Are you kidding me? That’s not right. So I’m looking at the sheet to see exactly where is the math wrong. Across the board they were strong. It was phenomenal.”
Andrew started the day with a 972, but then ripped off games of 1,177 and 1,103. The Thunderbolts finished with scores of 939, 1,076 and 1,023 and placed four bowlers in the top 25.
“I’ve never seen it done before,” said Powell, who fired a career-high 1,379. “It was nice that we all threw the ball great this time. We came off of a loss, so luckily we got rid of that and bowled it all out today.”
The Thunderbolts were upset at home by Joliet West on Thursday, which Lobes said turned out to be helpful.
“I let them know after that game at Joliet West, I’m glad you lost today because you won’t be losing late in the season,” Lobes said.
Senior Josh Dory was seventh with a 1,281 pinfall, while junior Kyle Krol placed eighth at 1,279 and junior Justin Finnen took 23rd with 1,190. Senior Kyle Damon was in the top 25 until the final game.
“As a team we’re just slowly taking each match one at a time and trying to perform at our best,” Powell said. “We’ve got a better group this year in my opinion. Our spare game is a lot better compared to last year so that should help us get through everything.”
In other local results, Glenbrook North freshman Corey Kahen was third (1,364), Vernon Hills junior Eric Swanson took fifth (1,331) and Lake Park senior Zach McLaughlin was sixth (1,305). Lyons sophomore Mike Kicmal (ninth, 1,277) and Deerfield senior Jon Lipsky (10th, 1,272) rounded out the top 10.