By Josh Sutker ‘23

Typically, when someone hears the term “they are going bowling” in the winter months, their mind turns to college football bowl season. However, the people on 99th and Pulaski should turn their attention to our red-hot bowling team.

On January 7, the Crusaders marched into the CCL Championship with one goal in mind- win.

Senior George Raphael-McElroy said, “I wasn’t sure if we would win at first, but we were one of the top teams. I knew that if we kept high energy that we would win.”

Bowling against seven other teams, the odds were stacked against us. The bowling team started the season as the third or fourth-ranked team, but gradually ranked up as they dominated week in and week out.

Sophomore Jeremy Gasca led the Crusaders when he scored 300 points, a perfect game. This is one of the rarest performances in any sport, as there were only two perfect games rolled throughout the season by all teams in the CCL.

The way Gasca was able to handle the pressure is admirable. He knew that a perfect game was within reach and that he would need to stay focused.

Gasca said, “In the back of my head, I was telling myself that it’s just any other strike; although, I was nervous about it being my first 300. It made it much easier for me to finish the game knowing I had my teammates and coaches behind me.”

The Crusaders left the arena with the CCL Championship, solidifying yet another dominant regular season.

Gasca said, “Winning as a team is not so much about doing good by yourself, but more of picking up someone when they have a bad break or mess up. Yes, individual achievement does look good, but if the entire team can stay energetic and help each other out, the higher the individual scores will be.”

The team traveled to the regional championship on January 14. Sadly, the team was eliminated from the state playoffs. Junior Reed Norville advanced to the second round of the individual playoffs.

Gasca is only a sophomore and still has two years after this year to dominate the lanes. The varsity bowling team will lose two seniors: George Raphael-McElroy and Sidney Greene. Coach Dwyer will be able to retain four out of their five starters next season. He is looking forward to starting another campaign to state and repeat as champions of the Chicago Catholic League.

The Crusaders will be a scary sight to see for years to come.