On Saturday, January 7th 2017, the Brother Rice bowling team competed in the Chicago Catholic League Championships at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates. The team entered the day as the second seed from the Catholic League South and the third seed overall. Their hopes were to play consistently and with a little luck, come away with a championship.
The lane conditions were very oily and the entire field had a tough time with early adjustments. Jake Davies was the only one that seemed unaffected and with his 221 in game 1, and the Crusaders took an early lead over the field. Over the next four games, Notre Dame of Niles would wrestle the lead away from the Crusaders but all the team needed to do in the opening round was finish in the top four to move into the semifinals. After the first five games, Jake Davies was the top bowler for the day in individual play with a 215.8 average.
Four teams that survived to get to the semifinals were Mt. Carmel, Notre Dame, St. Laurence and Brother Rice. The semifinals were played in baker format, with each bowler going in order frame-by-frame in an individual game. Each semifinalist would play each other twice for a total of six games. The highest two teams in pin total would move on to the championship. After the baker semifinals were totaled, Brother Rice came in first with St. Laurence right on their heels. The Vikings and Crusaders would square off in the championship in a best two-of-three baker format.
In the first championship game, the Crusaders came out on fire and strung four strikes together and held on for a 194-156 win. The second game went the way of the Viking as the Crusaders had three open frames and lost 157-183. The showdown was set – one final baker game to decide the CCL Championship. Coach Dwyer shuffled his lineup a bit and threw Butler into the anchor position. With a very tight match through eight frames, the Crusaders had a ten pin lead. The St. Laurence bowler came up and threw a strike in the ninth frame. Mike Stanton stepped up to roll in the Crusader’s ninth. He threw a beautiful pocket ball for a strike to answer the Vikings. In the tenth frame, Tyler Balandis stepped up as the anchor for the Vikings and threw an 8 count for the Vikings. Anthony Butler stepped up in the anchor position for the Crusaders and calmly threw a strike to seal the Catholic League Championship for the Crusaders 178-163.
Congratulations to all the Crusader bowlers that contributed to the win: Vince Carlson, Cade Ruggierio, Mike Stanton, Anthony Butler and Jake Davies.