Rockford Christian looking to make a name for itself

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Stateline has a rich history of producing some of the state's best bowlers with Hononegah, Harlem and Guilford constantly at the top of the list, but there is a new team on the block looking to make a name for itself.

Rockford Christian boys bowling will make its first ever appearance at the state final this weekend down in O'Fallon.

The Royal Lions placed third at this past weekend's sectional in Vernon Hills led by seniors Seth Cushman and Matthew Barabasz and junior Ethan Brander.

Head coach Jeff Barabasz says the last couple of seasons has been a grind to get his kids improving and is just happy to know that they can now be uttered in the same breath as the Indians, Huskies and Vikings.

"It makes me feel good," said Jeff Barabasz. "We have a great program here. Even though we have two seniors this year, we've got a good team and I believe we should be here again the next couple of years."

"I feel like we're top 10 now," said Cushman. "We're the underdogs of the area and we have something to prove. Our whole team is doing great right now, it's not just me, it's not just the seniors, it's everyone. Everyone is doing great."

Barabasz has spent the last three seasons as an assistant and head coach and says his kids are always there for each other with a helping hand.

"It's a great team," he said. "There's no one individual. It's five strong bowlers bowling together. If one guy has a really bad game, then somebody else always picks him up. There's never the huge up and down, it's everyone working together."

"There's no words to describe it," said Matthew Barabasz. "It's just an unreal feeling for our whole team to just go to state and be up there with the top players. It just shows that we have the talent and the support from our fans to make it that far."