adidas zx trainers HHS rolls back to O’Fallon
ROCKTON The Hononegah bowling team is headed for what has become their home away from home: The IHSA State Bowling Tournament.
The Indians will be at the St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon for their fourth year in a row. Combine that with the tournament they play in O’Fallon each year, and they are more than familiar with the bowling center.
The tournament, which includes Freeport from the NIC 10 as well in the 24 team field, will begin Friday, when the teams bowl six games. Saturday, they conclude the tournament with six more games.
The Indians won the tournament in 2015, finished second in 2015 and last year and logged a third place finish in 2012.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors on this year’s team, so we’ve been there before,” Hononegah senior Nick Sommer said. “Hopefully we can do exactly what we think we can do, and I think you can guess what that is. We are really confident going into this. If we make our shots, we’ve got a really good chance of bringing home some hardware. It all comes down to that last game. You can be ahead by 100 pins or behind by 100 pins and still not have it be over. We’ve been on both sides of that in the past.”
Hononegah finished second in the DeKalb sectional to NIC 10 rival Harlem, who also happens to be the defending state champion. Other teams looking to contend for the title include the host school O’Fallon, Lake Park and Lincoln Way Central, all of whom won their sectional meet.
“I really like the teams that are coming from the north,” Indians coach Brad Sommer said. “I think the three NIC 10 teams could all finish in the top three in some order, though O’Fallon could have something to say about that. We won the tournament we played down there earlier this year, so we saw quite a few of those southern teams. Saturday’s meet was the end of a streak where we won 10 tournaments in a row, so we’re hoping to get back on track.”
From an individual standpoint, the Indians’ best chance for a top finisher is Nick Sommer, who will bowl for one of the top schools in the country (Wichita State) next season.
A two time NIC 10 MVP, he finished third at the sectional meet 149 pins behind winner Lucas Pinkus of Stevenson.
Jacob Sommer, Parker Hearne and Brett Beuthin rolled all 12 sectional games, while Zachary Phillips and freshman Cameron Tyler also contributed. HHS is also bringing freshman Ty Wasserman, junior Dylan Hamil and senior Cordel Schelm.
“The beauty of our team is that any of our top five starters could rise up and win the whole thing,” coach Sommer said. “And actually any of the reserves could, too, but they won’t bowl enough games to score high enough. We’ve got a lot of depth”
Nick Sommer said he’s not focused on individual crowns.
“Our middle school coach came up with an analogy,” Sommer said. “He said it was like we were all bobbing for apples, and there was one golden apple in there that represented first place, and the other apples were green, which represented a team championship. Every time you bob your head, you’re likely to come up with a green apple, but you never know if you’re going to get the golden one, too. Our main goal is to win the team title. If an individual title happens, then that’s great. But we’re going down there to win. I’m hoping to end our season with a bang.”