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High School Girls Bowling Team competes at State level

Fri, May 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Education

The High School Girls Bowling team attended the State Tournament in Fergus Falls on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Back row (left to right): Cristal Adkins (Head Coach), Taylor Adkins, Stephanie Phillips, Haley Riedemann, Mike Norby (Assistant Coach). Front row: Ashley Norby and Hunter Dunbar. Photo submitted

By Barb Jeffers

A bowling team of area High School girls have placed first in their conference which sent them on to the Conference Tournament. This talented team of girls won the Conference Tournament which was exciting for the girls who worked very hard to perform at such a high level. Other towns included in the conference are Winona, Zumbrota - Pine Island, Rochester, and Wabasha. After winning the conference tournament the team headed for the State Tournament.

The Youth Girls Bowling Team consists of Hunter Dunbar, Taylor Adkins, Kayla Phillips (Captain), Haley Riedemann, Ashley Norby, and Stephanie Phillips. The team is coached by Cristal Adkins and Assistant Coach Mike Norby, and is sponsored by Shelly Hanson with B & B Olympic Bowl of Preston, Minn. The team is made up of girls from several area High Schools that include Fillmore Central, Mabel - Canton, Lanesboro, and Rushford - Peterson.

The State Tournament was held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in Fergus Falls, Minn. The team did not win the State Tournament but bowled well and had a wonderful experience. They missed Kayla Phillips who was on her Senior class trip at the time.

The following day was the State All-Conference tournament in Brainerd, Minn. The top scorers in the conference play with and against the other top point earners in the conference. Bowlers Hunter Dunbar and Kayla Phillips made the State All-Conference team which is impressive. Kayla finished third in conference and 37th in the state. Hunter placed fifth in conference and 44th in the state.

The High School Bowling Competition is for students in seventh grade and above and has the same eligibility requirements as other High School sports. Shelly Hanson explained that the bowling team, which has six members, competes against metro area teams which have much larger teams. Needing six players for a team, Shelly said that these girls have to play through illnesses or any other circumstances that may come up because they have no “back up team members unlike other teams that are competing.

The girls on the team all get along well and give friendship and support to each other. The team also receives great coaching and unwavering support from Cristal Adkins who has been coaching the bowling team for eight years. Coach Adkins says “it’s so fun to see them improve” and noted that this year was a “good year to see how much they have improved” since last year.

Cristal Adkins commented on how well the girls get along saying “we have such good sportsmanship and camaraderie between the girls;” it makes her proud to be their Coach. As a matter of fact, Hunter, who is from Rushford, Minn. bowls with the Rushford team during the fall season and then with the Preston team in January so she goes from being a competitor to a teammate of the other girls. Hunter says “bowling is my life” and she really enjoys the sport for many reasons. Taylor states that her favorite part of bowling is “getting to be around other teams and our own team,” “meeting new people,” and having “new experiences” during the bowling season.

Coach Adkins states that Shelly Hanson “is a huge supporter of the girls” saying that “she goes where they go” and is always there for the girls. The team members can go to B & B Olympic Bowl at any time and bowl for free which is invaluable for the girls to get in practice time. Shelly not only sponsors the girls and gives them her full support she states that she feels like “they are my kids too” as she cares so much about each and every one of them.

The girls are looking forward to next year already and Cristal states that the more experience the girls have in competition the less nervous they are. Hunter stated that the State Competition is “very stressful” and having no back up members makes it harder.

There is a regular season co-ed team that starts each Fall as well as the girls team season which begins in January each year. They are always looking for new members. If more students do not join the team they are at risk of not having enough members for a team next year.

Coach Cristal Adkins said it best when she said “we are ridiculously proud of these girls” which not only includes their coach, sponsor, and parents but also all of Southeastern Minnesota.

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