by Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — What they were lacking at the beginning of the season, they are quickly gaining as the Collinsville boys bowling team continues to make improvements.
CHS traveled to the Plainfield (North) Strikefest over the weekend at Bowlero Lanes in Romeoville and came back with a finish near the top of the Silver Division standings.
The Kahoks finished well below their usual standard after the first three games of the day placing 23rd out of 44 squads, but as the day progressed the willingness to apply their newfound experience began to show
“We were placed in the silver division, but we were at the bottom of the silver division,” began CHS coach Sean Hay. “But we came within 30 pins of winning the silver division after the second half of the day. You saw a marked improvement in their scores as they began to piece things together, but we’re still falling short on that last game.”
The shot was as challenging as Hay has seen in his Hall of Fame coaching career at Collinsville but he believed his team will benefit from the conditions in the long run.
“Everybody that bowled had their moments to shine but they also had their moments to struggle,” he said. “A tough shot reveals that and that’s what it’s supposed to do. But their attitude about it was that they cared but they didn’t take it with them. They weren’t pouting, it was just work. Here’s my result, that’s my data, and here’s my adjustment to make on the data.
“It was exactly what we preach.”
Hay noted that in their three tournaments so far this season their last game has not been their best of the day.
Despite all the trials his team has encountered, Hay remains optimistic and upbeat about the Kahoks potential this season.
“I was super happy,” he said. “A lot of people are getting through their first time stating jitters. We’re knocking all this stuff out early and we are seeing improvement within the tournament.”
He pointed to the improvements the Kahoks have made in the fourth and fifth games of the day in tournament play as an important marker for the team.
In Chicagoland, they had eight games of 200 or above with five of those coming in the afternoon. Their three highest scores a 222 from Jace Coats, a 217 from Daniel Wilde and a 216 from Jacob Taylor were all after lunch as well.
“The kids are busting their hump to make these improvements,” said Hay. “They are buying in and we are seeing improvements. I watched the video of them trying out and I watch them now and it’s a huge difference physically. Now it’s the mental game. That’s the hardest part but once they get it that’s where they make the biggest improvements.”
During the course of the postmatch interview, Hay talked about the following quote as something he tries to get his athletes to do.
“I guess the term is focus, free, fun. You want to be focused on what you’re doing. You want your body to be free because that way you’re not overworking it, you’re just letting it happen. Then obviously enjoy it, even the struggles that’s why we do it.”
Collinsville travels to the Rockford area on Saturday to take part in the Harlem Invitational in Loves Park at Forest Hills Lanes.
Earlier this week they hosted Belleville West on Monday and traveled to Belleville East on Tuesday. However, results were unavailable at press time.
Monday they travel to O’Fallon and Wednesday they host Edwardsville.
The girls team also opens up Saturday at the Triad Invitational played at Hi-Top Bowl in Highland.