The top high school girls bowlers gather in Rockford this weekend for the IHSA state tournament. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Cherry Bowl hosting the event.
"Back at the old Cherry Bowl again," Freeport head coach Tim Jacobs said fondly.
Harlem, Guilford, Freeport and Dixon will represent the area as teams at the state tournament, with other individuals also competing. All four of those teams have bowled at the state tournament at Cherry Bowl, a fact they hope gives them an edge.
"It says a lot really," Dixon head coach Larry LaCoursiere said. "It's almost the same group. I only graduated one senior after the varsity squad. Everybody except for the one freshman has been here before."
Dixon's Katlyn Bay has gotten familiar with Cherry Bowl's lanes throughout her high school career.
"This is where I've been bowling for state all three years I've gone," Bay said. "I'm a lot more comfortable with this alley."
Jacobs says his Lady Pretzels have been inconsistent this season. He hopes to see the good version of his team at state.
"When we're on we're really good, when we're off we're really bad," Jacobs said. "So we're hoping somewhere in the middle for a nice good state run."
Freeport's bowlers have learned to feed off one another this season.
"Honestly, it's the energy," senior Kelsey Kruse said. "When we have good energy we make good shots."
The state tournament starts Friday morning. The top 12 teams advance to Saturday's final round.