The Harrisburg High School boys" bowling team finished a respectable fifth out of 10 teams at Saturday"s Harrisburg Invitational at Ross Cottom Lanes.
Belleville East won the event, scoring 6052 points, while Collinsville (5961) was second and Herrin (6515) was third. Marion (5298) and Harrisburg (4979) rounded out the top five, while Eldorado (4940), Mt. Vernon (4825), Carbondale (4741), Centralia (4665) and Cahokia (3894) closed out the top 10.
Harrisburg Bowling At A Glance
Coach: Doug Cottom
Last Season: Harrisburg boys finished 3-13; the girls were 13-3 and advanced out of Regionals to the Sectionals
Lost: The boys graduated no one and girls graduated Kourtney Keasler
Returning: The boys return two starters in Brenden Mitchell and Zach Hunt
From head coach Doug Cottom: The boys will be very young, but ability wise, we are as good as we have been in about three years. I have a couple of freshmen that could have a nice impact.
For the girls, I am cautiously optimistic about this team. We return three starters that are pretty darn good and have a couple of others that can fill in nicely.
Expected to have a breakout season: Boys — Freshman Sebastian Barton; Girls — Keely Reed
Who has something to prove: Boys — Zach Hunt, a four year player that wants to go out with a bang. Girls —Claire McDermott, a sophomore that has worked the hardest in the off season.
Tournament to circle: Alton Holiday Tournament in December, which will give both boys and girls a nice barometer to see where they stand.
The season hinges on: Boys — how well the freshmen adapt. Girls — if Claire McDermott and Keely Reed take it to the next level to be on par with Elizabeth Davis that would give Harrisburg a big three so to speak.
Zach Hunt led the charge for the Bulldogs with a 1078 and Sebastian Barton wasn"t far behind, finishing with a 1076.
"We are really struggling with getting comfortable in the tournament environment right now," Harrisburg head coach Doug Cottom said. "We are not far off, but we just need to do the little things better to make us more competitive."
On Friday, both the Bulldogs" boys and girls" team came out on top in their dual match with Marion at S.I. Bowl in Carterville.
The Harrisburg boys won 2586-2579, while the girls were convincing in a 2264-1814 victory.
Claire McDermot led the ladies with a 511 and Barton was tops for the boys with a 592.
"Our girls struggled from top to bottom, but in their defense, we do have them working on several things as we play," Cottom said. "The boys really showed me something in squeaking out a seven pin win. Barton has quickly shown to be the leader for this team."
Harrisburg returns to action Wednesday, when they travel to Carbondale and will host Massac County Friday at home. Both boys and girls" team will make the trip to the Belleville East Invitational on Saturday.