The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

MC bowling rolls into CCL playoffs

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Rhoel Risos ‘26
Five MC bowlers during a matchup, from left to right: Julian Avila ‘25, Alberto Rodriguez ‘25, Derrick Rucker ‘28, Josh Green ‘24, and Jacob Sanchez ‘24.

Mount Carmel bowling has had one of its most successful seasons in recent years. The team is currently set to play in the Chicago Catholic League Bowling Championship Tournament on January 6th, 2024, at Stardust Bowl in Addison, IL. Led by senior Captain Josh Aguilar, the team has high hopes of pushing through the playoffs.

There are a total of eight teams in the CCL, and the top four teams in the conference will move on to the CCL Championship. Right now those are Brother Rice, Providence, St. Lawrence, and Mount Carmel. MC was undefeated for the first few weeks until they lost to Brother Rice on November 23rd. 

“It’s kind of funny for a sport like bowling,” said senior Anastasios Koutsis, who also is the junior varsity captain. “Not a lot of people take it seriously. It’s really intense, and it does take a bit of skill.” 

The other two seniors in the program are Josh Green and Jacob Sanchez, making a total of four seniors on the team with twelve members altogether. Five of the bowlers are starters on the varsity team with two substitutes on standby.

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Each matchup is divided into three rounds with five starters. The varsity starters are freshman Derrick Rucker, junior Alberto Rodriguez, junior Julian Avila, Jacob Sanchez, and Josh Aguilar. After a round or two, depending on the score, Koutsis or Green may sub in. 

The team is coached by Armando Gonzalez, and the Caravan’s home lanes are at Castaways Bowl in Calumet City. For practice, the team first does a quick warmup game and the rest is all about the score. Practices can decide who might play for the next matchup but give a chance for JV bowlers to be moved up to varsity based on their skill level which is decided by Coach Gonzalez.

The program also doesn’t just rely on skill, but also on leadership. With Aguilar and Koutsis being the top senior leaders, Koutsis stands out according to teammates, from helping out the junior members to ensuring everyone is performing at their best.

“He’s the most vocal and provides a lot of support at the games,” said Risos, “He’s just good at bringing the whole team together.”

MC bowlers this year are trying to surpass the program’s two biggest accomplishments–placing second in the 2015 CCL season and winning the IHSA Bowling Regionals in 2014.

“Some schools don’t have as good a program as others,” said Koutsis, “but then at the same time, there are times when we are facing teams like Brother Rice and St. Lawrence where we have to be on our A-game.”

The team really does mean business as the season begins to wrap up. As Koutsis said, it takes skill to bowl, but the players build that skill. 

“We got some great guys on the team,” said Aguilar. “Even after some of us [seniors] leave, they’ll be in a good spot.”

Even without their top seniors, Agiluar and Koutsis have confidence that the team will last for the coming years. With new blood taking over the program as the captains next year, the Caravan will be very competitive in the CCL.

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About the Contributor
Jack Breakey '24, Staff Writer
John “Jack” Breakey is a Senior at Mount Carmel High School. Jack resides on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. He also attended grammar school in the neighborhood at St. Cajetan School.  Jack is a member of Caravan Broadcasting Network as their Senior Producer and also a member of the MC Model UN club and a Peer Leader. Outside of school, he’s a member of the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society. For hobbies, Jack enjoys bike riding, watching movies, playing video games, and researching government. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes is listening to music. He is a large fan of rock and roll, especially Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the genre of bluegrass. This influence came from his father, Thomas Breakey, Mount Carmel class of 1982, and an active Chicago firefighter. His father has been a large inspiration for Jack, who has become a better man because of his father. Jack's dream job is working in international relations or national security. He researches current world events and conflicts while also being a student of history. Who knows? Jack might become the real Jack Ryan one day.