By Scott Taylor
Last year Bolingbrook struggled in the Plainfield North Tournament, finishing in the bronze division of the 48-team tournament.
Still, the Raiders ended up qualifying three individuals to the state meet.
This year, they took fifth place in the tournament and hope that leads to advancing to state as a team.
“We’re going to try to go to state as a team this year,” Cameron Zulfer said. “We have to stay strong and don’t mess up on the easy stuff. We need to bowl well when it counts.”
“We want to all go to state this year,” Alex Acosta said. “If we don’t go to state as a team, I want to go individually and have some guys make it with me.”
One of those three state qualifiers from last year return in Steve Stropkovic and he is hoping to use his experience as motivation.
“My whole goal this year was to get the team to state, so I’m trying to get the teamwork going,” Stropokovic said. “None of us are seniors, so we will all be back again next year. This tournament has really turned around how we started because we haven’t been having good matches. I think this is how we will play going forward. I feel a lot better.”
Acosta and Zulfer both medaled in the tournament, finishing in 11th and 25th place, respectively, with scores of 1,322 and 1,274.
“I was happy. We had our ups and downs, but I thought we pulled through at the end,” Zulfer said. “We stuck together and kept supporting each other the whole time. I was proud of myself and we cheered each other on the whole time.”
“I just moved and stayed with the same ball,” Acosta said. “I kept gaining confidence. I’m disappointed I didn’t bowl over 200 the last game, but I did the first five. I’m happy I got a medal. I’m happy with the team too, we made it to gold this year and not bronze like last year.”
Stropkovic finished in 42nd place with a 1,232 and Matt Delli added a 1,167.
“I’m not sure what the difference was this year, but I will take top five,” Stropkovic said. “Overall I did well individually.”
Despite not having any seniors on the squad, the Raiders do have experience as many of the players competed on varsity last year.
“We don’t have any seniors on our team, but we are all experienced,” Zulfer said. “We have really good coaching and that helps, too.”
•Romeoville also competed in the Plainfield North Tournament, placing fifth in the copper division. Jacob Hubbs placed 54th with a 1,196.