The Girls Bowling Team at South High has been rolling for many decades. Many of those years, several bowlers qualified to the state competition as individuals, but only a handful of times has the team qualified for state. This past February, for the first time in 11 years, the Girls Bowling Team qualified for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state competition in Rockford.
Eight bowlers attended the state finals including Junior Alexa Ward, Senior Madison Painter, Sophomore Janine Anzelone, Freshman Gillian Czubernat, Junior Emily Spicuzza, Junior Sami Mark, Junior Julie Gallegos and Junior Ashley Stephenson. A typical tournament is split up into two halves, three games in the morning, with a break, and three games in the afternoon. Scores are compiled for each individual and each team to determine who qualifies for day two of the tournament. Junior Emily Spicuzza qualified for day two to compete against 90 other women in six more games.
Leading up to the state finals, the team placed third at sectionals and third at regionals. The team won both the WSC Headpin Tournament and Fremd Invite. Also, the team placed second at the West Aurora Invite, Hinsdale South Invitational, and Leyden tournament.
“Last year, the girls saw other teams succeed and they decided they wanted to do the same,” said head bowling coach and Spanish teacher Bob Topor. “We’re grateful for the support from students, teachers, bowling alumni, bowlers’ families and the community throughout the entire season.”
Assistant bowling coach, Sara Hayduck, is a special services teacher and 2007 alumna. Hayduck was on the bowling team in 2006 that last made it to the state competition.
“We were so proud to see these ladies make it to the state competition this year,” said Sara Hayduck. “It brought back exciting memories for me and I’m so glad they had the chance to have the same feeling of accomplishment.”
With a young team on board, the team’s goal next year is to experience even greater success. Practice will include improving their individual and team average and supporting each other as a team.
“As much as bowling is an individual sport, it is an even greater team sport,” said Topor. “These girls have created a forever family.”