KANKAKEE — Bradley-Bourbonnais and Bishop McNamara have been athletic rivals for many years, and where there is fierce competition, there is not always camaraderie.
That was hardly the case Wednesday, as the boys bowling teams from the two schools met in a match at Brookmont Bowling Center in Kankakee.
BBCHS earned a 2,138-1,549 win, which was a fine way to cap its regular season and celebrate senior night. Meanwhile, the outcome didn’t leave McNamara overly upset — in this specific case, the schools are friendly rivals.
“It’s nice,” McNamara coach Patricia Sullivan said. “These kids already know each other, and they just had fun.”
The experience also gave McNamara something to strive for. The Irish are a first-year program that moved up from intramural play last year. The Boilers are in their second full year as a program recognized by the Illinois High School Association and have established themselves well in that brief period of time.
The primary reason for the Boilers’ quick rise is the talented senior class, which was honored during the intermission of the match. While addressing team members and parents, coach Matt Nanos said this about the group.
“Thanks seniors for all you have done for this program,” he said. “You have made my life as a coach 1,000 times easier.”
Leading the class is the talented duo of Adam Weedon and Matt Marzke. Both were in fine form against Mac, as Weedon rolled successive games of 237 and 225 and Marzke games of 206 and 229 to account for much of Bradley’s scoring.
Both were catalysts last year as well, as BBCHS finished third in the Southwest Suburban Conference as a fledgling program. That experience still resonates with the Boilers today, and they are eyeing an even better finish as the next conference tournament is set for Saturday at Orland Park.
“Last year, we started off and placed third in conference,” Marzke said. “That really boosted us.”
Asked if the Boilermakers could take the top prize this weekend, Weedon was quick to chime in: “We can definitely win it.”
Weedon and Marzke led BBCHS with two-game scores of 462 and 435, respectively, and Eli Smith helped the cause by rolling a 206 in his opening game. Isaac Fabbro also had a fine first-game result, rolling a 196. Trey Trevino led the way for McNamara with a two-game score of 348.
The Boilers will compete in the aforementioned Southwest Suburban Conference meet, hosted by Andrew at Orland Bowl beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. McNamara is preparing for IHSA regional competition two Saturdays from now in Joliet.