Kicmal, Lyons knock ’em over at sectional
Countryside, 01/22/13 Lyons Township's Mike Kicmal goes through his warm-ups during practice at Rolling Lanes January 22, 2013. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 4:55AM
PALOS HEIGHTS — Mike Kicmal stood on the alley at Palos Lanes with his fingers bleeding, determined to get the job done.
Kicmal, a junior on the Lyons boys bowling team, knew he needed a big-time performance in the sixth game of the Oak Lawn sectional on Saturday.
The Lions were on the verge of a trip to state but they had to hold off Brother Rice and Argo in that final game.
“After the fifth game I was a little nervous because I knew I needed a big game to seal the deal,” Kicmal said. “My fingers were bleeding but I didn’t care about the pain. We were going to go to state.”
Kicmal, who has had problems with his fingers bleeding at the end of long matches, didn’t disappoint his teammates, rolling his best game of the day, a 277, to help secure second place for Lyons and a trip to this weekend’s state finals in O’Fallon.
“I was extremely excited,” Kicmal said. “I was almost speechless. Towards the beginning of the year I didn’t think we could get to state. But throughout the season, as players got better, I knew we could do this.”
Oak Lawn won the sectional with a total of 6,218 pins, Lyons was second (6,051), Brother Rice was third (5,984) and Argo was fourth (5,907). Only the top two teams advance.
Kicmal’s score of 1,373 earned him the individual sectional title, as he beat out Marist’s Pete Switalski (1,350) and Oak Lawn’s Ken Vanderwerken (1,342).
“I was extremely happy for that to happen; that was my goal coming into sectionals,” said Kicmal, who was more excited about making it to state as a team. “Individually, it’s awkward going by yourself, but with my teammates, it will be a lot more fun.”
Kicmal rolled games of 220, 207, 232, 234, 203 and 277.
Now the focus turns to the state tournament, which is held at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon on Friday and Saturday. It will be Kicmal’s first trip to state.
“I have no idea (what to expect),” Kicmal said. “I just hope to get in there with my teammates and bowl good. I’ll probably have the same nerves that I did going to sectionals, maybe worse because it’s state. But I’ll get it out as soon as I start bowling.”
Kicmal had plenty of help at sectionals from his teammates. John Yanulis was the second highest scorer on the team (1,292) while Kicmal’s twin brother, Robert Kicmal, was third (1,268) and Patrick Richert rolled a 1,092. Danny Pett (518) and Kevin Justus (508) contributed in limited action.
“I was very nervous,” Robert Kicmal said. “I was just thinking that I had to do good or we weren’t going to make state. It worked for me.
“I didn’t even realize (we made) it until the game was completely over. The coaches told us we made it to state and everyone was congratulating everyone. We were pretty energetic at the end.”