Jan. 20—DANVILLE — Growing up, Gavin Fauver had always watched his family members go out and bowl in leagues in the area.
Three years ago, he started bowling and in that short time, he has accomplished a lot.
He has not only competed in junior and youth tournaments, the sophomore because the youngest Danville High bowler to advance past a regional last week, when he made it out of the Salem regional with a score of 1,185.
"I was really excited about that," Fauver said. "I said whatever happened, I was going to stay in a good mood and I wasn't going to get angry over an bad shot."
Fauver is the first Danville bowler to make sectionals since Cabot McLoughlin advanced from a regional at Lincoln Lanes in 2022.
"The last ones to do it for us was seniors, so to do it as a sophomore is great because he works hard on it," Danville bowling coach Michael Dokey said. "This sport is all on you and you have no one to bail you out. In basketball, you have four other guys and in baseball, you have eight other guys. You have to figure out the oil pattern and you have to figure out the arsenal of bowling balls to use and he is getting the hang of it."
Before getting the hang of it, Fauver was mostly a spectator watching his family participate in the sport.
"I went up with my mom all the time to watch her bowl and I just got interested in bowling from that," Fauver said. "I started in my eighth grade year. I went to Junior Gold last year and it was a good experience in learning shot patterns. I have been bowling every day and every week. I am not even sure how many games I have played from last year to this year."
Along with gaining experience in the lanes, he is also gaining experience as a leader for the Vikings this past season.
"He's a leader on our team. We had a kid who was new to the team and Gavin took him under his wing and worked with him a lot," Dokey said. "He does a things that a lot of kids don't do. He is out here now working on trying to get the 7-10 split and a lot of kids are just focused on getting as many balls that they can."
Fauver will be a part of today's sectional at Carterville and it will include the best from the central and southern parts of Illinois. Unlike most sports in the IHSA, there is no class system.
"When we went to the tournaments during the season and saw all the seniors there, I told him there are only going to get better in the regionals and sectionals," Dokey said. "I wasn't at the regionals, but this week, I will be here."
"They are all really good bowlers and I hope to do my best," Fauver said.
Dokey said that no matter what happens today, Fauver is only going to get better in the future because of how hard he has worked so far.
"He has a great work ethic and he is here (Lincoln Lanes) all the time," Dokey said. "I already reached out to a couple of colleges about him already for scholarships. His grades are very good and he's a good mentor. I would take a dozen of him in any sport I coach."
Along with Fauver, Hoopeston Area junior Chase Wilson will also make the trip to Carterville after advancing from Salem with a score of 1,111. He will be the only Cornjerker this season after the team advanced from a regional last season.