SHS bowler wins state championship


Contributed by Melissa Bushong

Senior Melissa Bushong (far right) receives her state championship bowling trophy on Feb. 2.

Since 2014, SHS hasn’t been able to crown a state champion. However, this changed on Feb. 2, as senior Melissa Bushong won the girls individual state championship for bowling.

This was her second time competing for the state championship, with the first coming her freshman year. Her sophomore and junior year, Bushong had made it to semi-state before being eliminated.

“Going through sectionals, regionals and semi-state, I was pretty nervous,” Bushong said.

According to Bushong, her goal for this year was to reach the state championship match. There were moments of disbelief, but once she had reached her goal she had a feeling of relaxation and confidence.

Multiple games and rounds take place during a bowling tournament. The first three matches are qualifying rounds to qualify for step ladder competition. The top four bowlers move on to those competitions. The fourth-ranked bowler bowls one match against the third-ranked bowler. The winner of that match bowls against the second-ranked bowler, and the winner of that match is in the state match against the first-ranked bowler, which is where Bushong landed.

According to Bushong, she shot a 603 in the first three games, a 183 in the first round of the step ladder and then a 211 to become the state champion. In step ladders, Bushong has a record of 11-0.

“(During) step ladders, I’m pretty calm and able to be very confident with them,” Bushong said.

Bushong is the second female bowling state champion for SHS, with the last was dating back to 2002.  Jeff Thomas became Bushong’s coach her sophomore year.

“I knew she always had the ability (to win state)…,” Thomas said. “I tried to keep her calm and focused.”