Spartans enjoy a solid debut at state
Updated: March 2, 2013 7:37AM
Four years ago, there was no such thing as a varsity boys bowling team at Glenbrook North. Now, the school has the 16th-best team in the state.
Glenbrook North finished 16th out of 24 teams during the first day of the state meet in O’Fallon on Friday. Only the top 12 teams advanced to compete on Saturday, but Glenbrook North had two bowlers compete on Day 2. Sophomore Corey Kahen finished 34th while senior Ryan Salzman finished 55th.
“Had you told me two-and-a-half years ago that this is where we would be, I would have told you that you were crazy,” coach Todd Rubin said. “The fact that (making it to state) has come this fast has been surprising, but delightful.”
Glenbrook North featured fours seniors on its squad — Salzman, Jacob Townsend, Tim Schultz and Daniel Doolan. They all broke 1,000 pins in their scoring on Friday. After the six games on Friday, the Spartans had a team score of 5,872, just one pin behind Granite City and 288 pins out of the 12th spot.
“It was a little disappointing not to move on to the second round,” Townsend said. “But seeing where we came from in (the) past three years and having been a part of it is amazing.”
When the quartet of seniors were freshmen, Townsend and Salzman approached Rubin, who was teaching a class they were in, and inquired about creating a bowling program at the school.
“Right off the bat there was a high interest level,” Rubin said. “And the school is great in that it’s willing to help out the students if they want something. The first year was more of an after-school group, then the kids wanted competition against other schools the next year.”
Two years ago, in the first year as a varsity sport, Glenbrook North boys bowling competed in only four dual matches, going 1-3. Last year, the team was about .500 in match play and averaged scores of about 900 per match, according to Rubin.
This year, the team averaged about a 970 per game. Glenbrook North bowlers hit the 1,000-pin mark in 25 of the last 32 games this year. The team started out 10-0 in dual meets before finishing the season 12-3. Then the breakthrough happened with their first tournament win at the Vernon Hills Sectional.
Rubin pointed out the improvement of Doolan as a major reason why the team made it to state.
“I put a lot of practice time in during the summer and fall,” Doolan said. “I didn’t want to lose my spot in the top five.”
Rubin said that replacing the four seniors will be the next challenge.
“They’re irreplaceable,” Rubin said. “They set the bar high. We wanted to be treated like any other sport and our school loves winners.”
Rubin wants to create a feeder system, but for now will he will sell students on this season’s success and the foundation that’s been laid.
“We definitely felt like we belonged (at state),” Rubin said. “We earned it. It wasn’t an accident we were there.”