Bowling team strikes 17 at state this season after being canceled last year


Photo courtesy via Sydney Lewis

The varsity girls’ bowling team qualified for state and placed No. 17. Senior Sydney Lewis placed No. 13 individually.

Grace Davidson, Sports Editor

The girls’ bowling team qualified for state after placing third at sectionals. They were ecstatic to be back at state. Overall, the entire team ended up placing No. 17 at state against 24 teams in a six game tournament. 

State was a two day event and after the first day, the top 12 teams advanced into day two. The team did not place in the top 12 and their play ended on day one. 

However, advancing to day two was senior Sydney Lewis who had qualified individually for state. Lewis was able to shoot a 280 on the first day of state and that excitement only transferred onto the second day. The individual games were even more competitive than the teams, with 30 individuals competing against each other. Lewis had an impressive run and placed No. 13. 

“I think I performed the best at state this season,” Lewis said. “My goal for state was to make it to day two, but I had no idea I would end up placing 13 [at] state.”

Last year, the IHSA made announcements that the girls’ bowling team would not have a regional or state level tournament. Many of these bowlers missed last year’s shot at state, but that only made this year that much more significant. A junior last year, Lewis was thrilled that she had one more chance at state before graduating from Metea. 

“I was so excited to head back to state,” Lewis said. “I went my sophomore year but we missed out on the chance to go last year due to the pandemic.”

The bowling team did have a parade planned the day before they were supposed to leave for state, but due to the hazardous snow conditions that caused school to ultimately be canceled, they left a day early. Regardless, when they got to the hotel they took the extra time to go out to dinner, swim, play games, and bond as a team. 

Leading up to the state meet the team practiced and perfected a lot of small skills like timing and spare shooting. Although there is part skill and technique in bowling, there is also a huge mental aspect to the sport, something that was only heightened around such a large opportunity like state. 

“Our biggest goal was just being open with each other and trusting each other,” senior Holly Dudlicek said. “The number one thing with bowling is it is very mental and if you go in with something on your mind it will show in your score.”

Dudlicek has been on the team all four years of highschool and is one of the five varsity players that are leaving next year. Although it is a loss for the varsity team, their experience in highschool has definitely heavily contributed to their lives. Both Lewis and Dudlicek plan to continue bowling at Illinois State University  next year. The sport is something that Dudlicek hopes to pass onto her family one day and Lewis expressed interest in one day becoming a high school bowling coach herself. 

“It has definitely taught me a lot about teamwork and patience,” Dudlicek said. “Two key factors are definitely communication and positive energy which is what has driven the team for the past four years.”

The seniors have produced successful seasons for all four years of their high school career. Losing the seniors is a blow to the team because out of the eight players, five of them will be graduating with the 2022 class. Despite the loss of bowling Mustang legends like Lewis and Dedlicek, their legacies will live on in the remaining varsity, junior varsity, and new players that come with next season. If you are looking for a supportive and welcoming sport community that requires no previous knowledge and willing to put in the physical and mental work, bowling might be for you.

“Anyone can bowl,” Lewis said. “But to bowl well takes practice.”