Goss: Competing without teammates not the same
By Dick Goss email@example.com January 23, 2013 6:02PM
Plainfield Central's Bryan Blair competes during the Plainfield North boys bowling sectional at Bolingbrook Lanes Saturday, January 19, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 11:35AM
Minooka junior Zach Segatto will arrive at this weekend’s Boys State Bowling Tournament at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon as a sectional champion.
That’s fine and dandy, but what matters most is his teammates will be there competing with him.
“We finally did it as a team,” Segatto said after Saturday’s Plainfield North Sectional at AMF Bolingbrook Lanes. “It feels real good to have the team going.
“The individual title matters, too. But the big thing about the individual title is when you do that, if you have a good team, you know there’s a good chance your team will be going, too.”
That’s a neat aspect of sports such as bowling that are rooted in individual achievement. When you can mix that individual success into the team concept, it doesn’t get any better.
Especially when you feel you belong with the big dogs.
“This is our third time going to state (the Indians were there in 2008 and 2010),” Minooka coach Derrick Rapsky said, “and it’s probably the most talented team I’ve had. With all that these guys have done, it would be a disappointing season if it had ended now. These guys need the challenge of competing at state.”
Minooka finished 49 pins behind sectional champion Lockport as the two claimed the team qualifying berths from the local sectional. That meant noisy celebrations at AMF Bolingbrook Lanes from the Indians, Porters and their throngs of supporters.
And it meant a disappointing end to the season for other area teams that were just about as good all season long. The heartbreak, that’s the flip side.
Atop that list is Plainfield Central, which finished third, 82 pins behind Minooka, after having its two worst scores in Games 5 and 6. Lincoln-Way West was within one pin of Lockport for the lead at the halfway point before slipping to fourth, 93 pins behind Plainfield Central and 175 behind Minooka.
“It’s disappointing,” said Plainfield Central senior Bryan Blair, who dueled Segatto for the individual title and joined Lincoln-Way West junior Josh Glover in capturing the individual qualifying berths. “We worked all year for this as a team.
“Last year, our team was down there and I bowled (taking 36th place, the Wildcats’ best individual finish). I’m glad to be going, but this isn’t the same.
“Two years ago when I was a sophomore, our team went and I went there and watched. That was fun. This is bittersweet.”
Still, Blair promised to do his best to place at state, and you know he will.
“I’d take what I shot (Saturday) next week and take my chances,” he said.
After he averaged 232.3 in the sectional — Segatto averaged 235.2 — you have to believe both are threats to finish in the top 12 and medal.
The difference, though, is Segatto is there with his team. Within a team, kids feed off each other’s energy. Blair, who will be one of the top bowlers on University of St. Francis’ fledgling team next season, won’t have that level of support in his corner this time around.
“That was good competition with Bryan against Zach,” Plainfield Central coach Gerry Oshita said. “Bryan is a fighter until the end.”
In fact, had Segatto not finished his final sectional game with four strikes, the order for the top two easily could have been reversed.
“Zach was awesome (Saturday), awesome at the finish,” Rapsky said. “But he’s done that all year.”
The disappointment Central felt extended to Wildcats senior Ray Ciangiola on an individual basis as well. He and Bolingbrook junior Gio Montecinos averaged 220.3 for their six games.
You think that would be good enough to qualify. Not so, however.
The IHSA guideline for the six at-large berths is how many pins a bowler at a given sectional is behind the second automatic qualifier. Ciangiola and Montecinos were 22 pins behind Glover and that wasn’t good enough. Had Glover shot 203 instead of 224 in his final game, he still would have been an automatic qualifier and Ciangiola and Montecinos would be going to state as well.
Bowling is so exciting to watch when you get to the sectional level, yet the numbers can be cruel.
Old Timers banquet
Baseball fans, listen up. The Hot Stove League is sizzling and limited tickets remain for the 64th annual Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County banquet that will be held Jan. 31 at the Holiday Inn, Larkin Avenue and Interstate 80. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
WGN-TV’s Dan Roan will be the guest speaker. Youth baseball awards will be presented and local high school softball and baseball players and pitchers of the year will be honored. A silent auction also will be held.
Tickets are $40 or $400 for a table of 10. Contact Stan Turk at (815) 740-3411 or (815) 592-3695 to get in on a fun winter’s night of America’s pastime.