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Lincoln-Way West's Josh Glover promised his mother Tonya he "would throw a 300 game at state for her birthday." | Brett Roseman/Sun-Times Media
Lincoln-Way West senior Josh Glover came into the season with 17 lifetime perfect games, but he was still looking for No. 18 heading into this weekend’s state finals at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.
So Glover gave himself a little extra incentive to make sure he got it.
“I promised my mother [Tonya] that I would throw a 300 game at state for her birthday,” Glover said.
It came a day late – Tonya’s birthday was Friday – but Glover delivered that present and took home two even bigger prizes for himself, winning the state championship with a state-record pinfall of 2,967 (247.3 avereage). That total was four pins more than the old mark set by Salem’s Alex Henseler in 2008 and 89 pins clear of runner-up Brandon Biondo of Jacobs.
Glover is the first male athlete in school history to win a state title.
“It felt good winning,” Glover said. “It means a lot to me, it means a lot for my family, my coach and my school. I’ve put in a lot of work for me and my teammates. I want the best for them and I hope they get Downstate next year and do even better.”
It is hard to imagine anyone bowling better than the top five finishers did. Glover, Biondo, Romeoville senior Dakota Vostry, Southland senior Perry Sibby and Young senior Livio Bolzon all bowled together and in the second game combined to shoot 1,334, which included Glover’s perfect game.
“If we had been a team we would have won the state team title,” said Biondo, a junior who rolled the fifth-highest total in the 12-year history of the state finals. “[Glover] bowled great all day and I did everything I could to catch him and he didn’t give me an opportunity to catch him. I almost broke the state record and finished second and he did break the record, which is incredible.”
Glover did it by not taking anything for granted and making no mistakes.
“Even with the 100-pin lead I knew I had to make good shots,” Glover said. “To tell you the truth, I wasn’t paying any attention to [the state record]. My coach told me at the last minute. I just stayed focused.”
“He never made a bad shot,” Lincoln-Way West coach Mike Vogler said. “It was great to watch and be a part of. It’s huge for our school.”
It was a huge day for the Public League as Bolzon became its first two-time state medalist by taking fifth with 2,767. That was 11 more than he had last year when he took fourth.
“I’m pretty proud,” Bolzon said. “I couldn’t really ask for more. I averaged 230, which isn’t bad, and a couple of my good friends beat me.”
One of those friends is Glover, who all but sewed up the title with his 300 during the second game.
“It was pretty crazy,” Bolzon said. “I shot 249 that game and was low man [of the five]. Josh already had the lead and he shot 300, so he obviously was going to win. So that was good for him and cool to see.”
Rockford Guilford won the team title with 13,107. Andrew was second with 13,002 and Minooka was fifth at 12,602.
Morgan Park also made history as the first Public League team to advance to the second day. The Mustangs wound up ninth with 12,219 as senior Byron Lawson was 44th (2,510) and senior Harold Barbee took 65th (2,368). Junior Duane Campbell (2,268), senior Kendrick Wilson (2,180) and sophomore Jabari Johnson (2,120) also contributed.