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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Highlands Girls Bowlers Hope to Make School History at State

State Bowling Tournament Moves to Louisville This Year

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham. Highlands freshman Abby Bach prepares to take a shot during a recent practice.
The Highlands Bluebirds girls bowling teams hopes to get a huge monkey off its back at the state tournament this year.

In four previous appearances, Highlands has not made it past the first round. The Bluebirds made it back to the state tournament for the fourth straight year and fifth overall winning the 5th Region championship for the third time in four years.

"The only thing I tell the girls to do is have fun. That's who they are," said Glenn Schmidt, Highlands Bowling Coach. "They're all very close to each other. If they get out there and have fun, they know they can do the job. I have the feeling the same thing can happen down at state."

The Bluebirds earned their highest seed in the state tournament at fourth bowling a team total of 1,102 in the qualifying round last year. But Highlands lost to 13th-seeded Louisville Mercy, 3-2 (144-182, 179-170, 176-160, 161-213, 168-147) in the first round of the tournament in Lexington. Schmidt said the big key at state is covering spares.

The girls team state tournament takes place Feb. 8 at 8:20 a.m. at Executive Strike and Spare in Louisville. The singles tournament takes place Feb. 7 at 11:25 a.m.

Teams can take six bowlers to state. The two seniors going down are Kate Schneider and Tessa Woody. The two juniors are Erin Parrott and Emrel Woody and the two freshmen going down are Abby Bach and Amanda Parrott. Schmidt said he likes the balance of upperclassmen and young talent on the team.

"You need the leadership and the leadership comes from the older bowlers," Schmidt said. "That's what the younger girls have to have to follow in line with the older bowlers to make sure they get the job done."

Schmidt has talked about the importance of putting bad shots behind quickly. Bach said the upperclassmen have been great in helping there and in other areas of the game.

"They definitely help the younger girls out if we're having a bad day," Bach said. "They'll cheer us up and we move on. If we're not sure if we should use a spare ball or a regular ball, the older girls will say what ball to use and what board to stand on and how to shoot at."

Bach will bowl in the state singles tournament. The top four individuals in each region bowl in state. Bach finished third in the 5th Region singles tournament to make it to state.

"Last year, (Bach) did bowl some, but she didn't bowl a lot. She wasn't in the top six last year and this year, she's bowled in every game that we've had because her game has gotten so much better," Schmidt said. "It was obvious it got better when she did what she did in the singles in the regional tournament. I think if she gets down there and can do what she can do, then she's going to make a showing down at state. I really feel that way. I've seen her throw three 200 games in a row."

The Highlands boys bowlers saw senior Andy Campbell qualify for state. He finished runner-up in the 5th Region Tournament.

"(Campbell's) got the maturity. He's got the experience," Schmidt said. "He's got everything that it takes. It's just a matter of putting it all together. He's graduating this year. I think that the last thing he wants to do is win the singles tournament down there. He is good enough to do that."

Last year in the state singles tournament, Hunter Kolb placed sixth for the Bluebirds. On the other side, Schneider finished 20th.

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