ROCK ISLAND — Rock Island freshman bowler Kaden Witt picked the perfect time to roll his personal best six-game series.
Witt’s 15th-place performance at last Saturday’s Oregon Regional at Plum Hollow Family Center in Dixon qualified him for today’s Sycamore Sectional, making him the first Rocky boys bowler to advance to the sectional round.
With this being Rock Island’s first year having a boys bowling team, Witt rolled into previously unknown territory.
He followed a 536 in his first three games last Saturday morning with a 610 afternoon series to advance, bouncing back from a 148 second game.
Witt said he tried his best to focus on his bowling, but was admittedly nervous on the postseason stage.
“I was excited,” he said. “It was a new challenge.”
Witt also accomplished his goal of advancing into the postseason with coach Ethan Gordon out of town for a wedding in Mexico. Girls coach Jim Braet stepped in to coach the Rocky boys in their first postseason meet.
“He bowled very consistently and did a nice job; he hung in there,” Braet said of Witt’s performance, during which he kept him updated with where his score stood. “Some kids can’t handle that, but he did well with it and didn’t seem to put any pressure on himself and kept throwing a good ball.”
Gordon will be back for the sectional meet and said he called the team before the regional, telling them it’s “just another tournament.”
The regional was also the Rocks’ first real six-game tournament of the year, adding to Witt’s performance.
“He had our highest series and game of the year,” Gordon said. “He really improved over the season. And he’s a good kid.”
Witt bowled a 698 three-gamer earlier in the year, along with a high game of 254.
“We noticed from that (698) time on he was pretty consistent with what he’s doing,” Braet said, “and could adjust to the conditions.”
Witt’s parents, grandparents and uncles are among the other bowlers in his family. He said he’s bowled for just three or four years, previously competing in local junior leagues.
He said it’s exciting to be considered somewhat of a trailblazer in boys bowling at the school, but that doesn’t mean he won’t still have increased nerves at the sectional.
But his approach is simple enough: “Go out there," Witt said, "and kick butt.”
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