By Lindsay Doty
Bowling pins crashing against the wood alley floor amid noisy cheers is a familiar sound to Brownsburg High School junior Meagan Kennedy, a champion bower for the Brownsburg Bowling Lady Bulldogs high school team.
“On a good bowling day, everything is just loud and powerful. If you throw a good ball and all 10 of those pins are knocked down instantly, it’s a loud and satisfying feeling,” says Kennedy.
Last week, the teenage bowler won the first-ever state championship title in individual competition for Brownsburg, beating out 600 other high school bowlers from across the state at the Indiana High School Bowling State Championship held in Fort Wayne. She averaged 222 per game for the season that ranked 3rd in Indiana.
“It felt absolutely amazing to go to state, it felt like so much hard work had paid off,” said Kennedy, who has been bowling since she was a little girl, hanging around the alley when her big brother took up the sport in middle school.
“My parents would bring me along to all the alleys rather than leave me at home with a babysitter,” she said. “I guess one day they decided to sign me up in a children’s league, and I’ve just been bowling ever since.”
High school bowling isn’t a sanctioned sport but a club team. The coaches are volunteers. Brownsburg Bowling Lady Bulldogs head coach Mike Loviscek says the support of the community and the school district has helped make it a successful program.
The district added a trophy case for the bowling team at the high school, and principals come out to bowl against the kids after the season is over.
“We have been supported by the school system and the staff from the get-go, and that is the reason we are as good as we are,” said Loviscek.
“The parents are truly the real X factor. They are supportive, loud and they have smart, great kids,” said Loviscek. “That is what Brownsburg Bowling is all about.”
He hopes high school bowling which competes as both a team and as an individual will continue to grow.
“You see, being in large schools where it is hard to get on a varsity team, bowling gives an avenue to allow kids to be part of something,” said Loviscek. “It gives the kids a network of support when it is so easy to get lost in high school.”
For bowlers like Kennedy, it has been more than just throwing a strike.
“I love the friendships that are made while bowling. I’ve met so many amazing people and teenagers through tournaments, many of who(m) I still talk to today,” she said. “I love making new friends, especially when everyone who bowls is very friendly and we automatically know we have something in common.”
By Lindsay Doty