By Mark Jurgena
The Collinsville Middle School girls bowling team won their fifth SIJHSAA State Bowling Tournament on March 20th at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights.
The Trailblazers rolled 2411 on the day to beat Trenton (Wesclin) by 82 pins for the title. Mascoutah placed third.
“They were really hard workers,” said coach Joe Legendre. “They listened and they all put out effort. They never knew they won because I don’t tell them where they stand. We just kept working hard. They kept bowling their best and they kept listening. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Beth Campbell placed third individually with a 703 four-game series. She had a high game of 217 on the day.
Laila Jaoko finished in 12th place at state with a 589 series. Jaoko, a relative newcomer to the sport of bowling, had a high game of 177 at state.
Caici Buckman placed 16th with a series of 569. She had a high game of 162.
Morgan Randazzo had a 559 series with a 159 for her high game of the day.
Collinsville also won their regional tournament on March 13th. CMS fired 1892 to outdistance Lebanon by 56 pins for the title.
Randazzo placed third at the regional event with a three-game series of 507 and a high game of 232.
Campbell placed fifth with a 496 series and a high game of 175.
Jaoko placed eighth with a 470 series and a high game of 173.
Buckman came in 17th place with a 419 series.
The boys team at CMS also qualified for state. They came in 8th place. Salem (Franklin Park) won the state title.
“We didn’t get a lot of practice but they’re really hard-working kids,” said Legendre. “The boys didn’t fare as well because we had a lot of green bowlers. We had a lot of bowlers that haven’t bowled in leagues much.
“The boys team put out that extra effort and they worked hard and they took the game seriously. The boys team basically was made up of 7th graders. I couldn’t be more proud of them!”
Daniel Wilde and Hayden Ladrew led the Blazers with a 21st and 22nd finish respectively.
Wilde fired a four-game set of 645 with a high game of 176 while Ladrew fired a 633 series with a 172 for his high game.
Ben Molina came in 27th place with a 580 series.
Emerson Storm finished in 33rd place, while Ryan Romanik placed 41st.
The boys team qualified for state by virtue of their 3rd place finish in the regional.
Wilde tied for 2nd place in the individual regional event with Owen Monroe of Mascoutah. Both boys shot a 604 three-game set. They finished 15 pins behind Josh Mullenschlader of Fairview Heights (Grant).
Storm placed 22nd with a 435 series while Ladrew finished in the 24th spot with a 418 series.
Molina finished 36th while Romanik placed 47th.
Blazer Notes: In a surprising, but not surprising COVID twist, the SIJHSAA regional and state finals were the beginning of the season for the Trailblazers and their conference brethren. They begin a nine-game conference-only regular season today. The state association is busy trying to get as many state-level competitions as they can and this is where bowling fits in. Since the Middle and High Schools all use the same bowling centers, it was not possible to have a season with the IHSA conducting theirs in February and early March.
The CMS girls also won state titles in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
Legendre wanted to thank Camelot Bowl for giving the Middle and High School teams in Collinsville access to their bowling center to conduct practice and competitions.