Edwardsville senior bowler Mitch McSparin bowls toward the pins. (Photo courtesy of Devon Kane)

EDWARDSVILLE - Senior Mitch McSparin and the other Edwardsville boys bowlers are hitting top stride at the right point in the season.

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The Edwardsville boys finished second this past weekend in the IHSA Taylorville Boys Bowling Regional and advanced as a team to sectional play this weekend in Belleville.

McSparin said he believes the late-season success for the Tigers is because of hard work in the off season and through this season.

“We’re really just performing our best right now and hitting our spots,” he said. “We have been practicing very effectively. We are locked and loaded.”

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Edwardsville head boys bowling coach Craig Ohlau said he couldn’t be more proud of McSparin and the other boys for their play lately. He said McSparin has been a definite team leader through the season. He added that the senior bowler has been a great influence on the other younger boys.

“It’s fairly natural for me to be a leader,” McSparin said. “I think it just developed over time. I have watched my dad lead as a baseball coach. I figured it is just second nature for me to lead the young guys into a very successful season.”

McSparin is uncertain whether he will bowl in college but he said it is an option right now and he is looking at some places where it might be a good fit. His main goal in college, however, is to obtain a solid education and a degree, he said. One of his passions is digital media and McSparin thought he might aspire to have a career in film production. He said Missouri State and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are two schools he is giving consideration, along with others.

The Edwardsville senior has worked at Edison’s Entertainment Complex and he said Coach Rob Turley, who is his boss there, has pushed him to be his best and play the hardest. He said the same thing about Head Coach Ohlau and thanked both for their coaching and direction over the years.

“My goal has been to work hard in practice and teach the underclassmen to keep the work ethic up,” Mitch said. “Bowling takes a lot of consistency and there is pressure to hit your spot every time. Bowling is a game of angles and inches.”

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