The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media



Junior bowler Matt Kotlowski looks to create a strong bowling culture and leave his mark as District 117 begins their first bowling season.
Hannah Barczak

Junior Matt Kotlowksi has always had a love for bowling. Last winter, he was able to participate in the men’s bowling regional without Antioch Community High School having a team associated with the high school. Kotlowski took the initiative and got the necessary paperwork filled out to be able to participate in the regional. After the regional, Kotlowski was the first ever male bowler to represent ACHS an IHSA competition. Not only was he the first male Sequoit to represent ACHS in a bowling match, Kotlowski was able to finish in the middle of the pack and did not carry a spare ball with him. 


Due to the fact that ACHS did not offer a bowling team, Kotlowski took it upon himself to establish the first ever bowling team. With help from his mother Courtney Kotlowski, he was able to reach out to the athletic director at Antioch, Mike Maloney, and pitch to the district what the next winter sport addition should be. 


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“When Mike Maloney became athletic director he reached out to him via email to let him know the progress he had made getting a team together,”  Courtney said. “From there we put together a survey of interest and more than 50 kids were interested.” 


With an email blast sent out to students at both Antioch and Lakes Community High School, it was safe to say that there was plenty of interest for District 117 to field a team. 


With the season just getting underway, the D117 bowling team has already found success in their early matches. The program was able to get its first team win against Grayslake North High School with varsity winning by over 100 points and the JV team winning by two points. Kotlowski has been a crucial part to the team’s success so far this season. Kotlowski takes it upon himself to educate himself about the sport of bowling as well. 


“It’s been fun to watch him, and learn more about the sport: oil patterns, ball quality, lane adjustments, form, speed  and consistency,” Courtney said. “The deeper he has dug the more he has learned. After practice, he practices. He worked with a bowling coach for the first time this year and improved his speed.” 


One thing that separates Kotlowski from many other high school athletes is he is not afraid to try things. Kotlowksi prides himself in not being one dimensional, he has a wide range of skills and hobbies. When Kotlowski is not bowling or playing baseball he steps away from the athletic scene. Kotlowki loves to fish, ski, and can play five different instruments. Being able to set aside time to still enjoy the hobbies that he has always loved helps to keep his mind clear while he is on the lanes. 


With this winter being the first year of high school bowling in the district, there have been many new learning experiences for the team and for Kotlowski. Things like knowing simple etiquette while other teams are bowling and while teammates are bowling. These are growing pains that a first year team will inevitably have to go through.


“One thing that surprised me is how competitive it is,” Matt said. “There are so many different cheers and chants that the teams do and at tournaments, it gets really loud because there are usually over 30 teams there.” 

There are many things that Kotlowski does at practice to improve his game. Kotlowski just recently adjusted his form to be able to hook the ball more which allows him to hit the pocket better. Kotlowski also had bowling balls adjusted to his hand so that the balls would feel comfortable when bowling, and by doing this he has been able to better his scores tremendously.

“In practice, I make sure my form is consistent by performing different drills,” Matt said. “We also work on 7-pin and 10-pin spares frequently because they are the hardest spares in the game. I am also working on my velocity to be able to hit the pins more effectively.”

With the team playing in their first few bowling matches, Kotlowski was very intrigued with how the matches worked. When the buses arrive at the bowling alley teams are assigned lanes. Varsity and JV split up and there are three bowlers per school assigned to each lane. 

“We bowl three games and some teams count total pins and others count games won,”junior Matt Kotlowski said. “Some of the rules are that you can’t switch your form mid-game, your parents can’t coach you, and the basic one: bowler’s etiquette- this means whoever is ready first and is on a lane next to you, you have to let them go first, other than that, it’s just bowling so we have a lot of fun.”

Teammates like senior Ryan Tolbert feel that Kotlowski brings an infectious positive energy to the practices and matches. This energy drives the team to put in full effort, whether teammates are tired from a long day of school or are worried about upcoming assignments, they know that Kotlowski will bring the best out of them. 

“Matt is a very social person,” Tolbert said. “While many other people get quite and focus to prepare. Matt stays in good spirits and keeps a high head going into matches.”

The bowling team looks to keep improving as a program and make a playoff run. Watch out for Kotlowski as he keeps striving for greatness within the sport and all of his other endeavors. The future is bright for the District 117 bowling team, make sure to keep an eye out as they dive deeper into their season. 

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About the Contributors
James Sheehan
James Sheehan, Sports Digital Director
James Sheehan is a senior and this is his third year on staff. This year he took on the role of digital director. He enjoys being outdoors and hanging out with his friends in his free time.
Hannah Barczak
Hannah Barczak, Visual Director
Hannah Barczak is a senior this is her fourth year on staff as well as her second year as the Visual Director on the Executive Board of the Tom Tom.  Along with her interest in media, this will be her fourth year as an ACHS cheerleader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking pictures, and traveling during her free time. Barczak is excited to make the most of her senior year.
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