For Jessica Eberly, this year’s bowling season ended a week early.
The DeKalb senior had made it a spring tradition of advancing to the state meet, qualifying each of her first three years in high school. However, this year Eberly came up 24 pins short, finishing two spots back of an individual berth at state.
“It felt like it stopped all of a sudden because I was used to having to go back another week,” Eberly said. “And then it was like, ‘Well, you’re done.’ ”
Eberly had been in the top two throughout the morning rounds of the Schaumburg Sectional, but fell out of contention in the final game of the six-game series.
“I was just frustrated,” Eberly said. “But at the same time, it was something to learn from.”
Eberly was the top area bowler in the sectional meet, recording a six-game total of 1,179. She also led DeKalb to a fifth-place finish in the sectional in the team standings.
For Eberly’s accomplishments this season, she has been named the Daily Chronicle Girls Bowler of the Year. Eberly also won the award as a junior in 2012 when she finished 34th in the state tournament.
It was a different year for Eberly from the start as the senior assumed more of a leadership role. Along with co-captain Kodilee Underwood, Eberly helped lead a team that was younger and more inexperienced than in previous seasons.
“I got flyers made up to hang up in school because we were low on girls and it was hard to find people to come back,” Eberly said. “It was a role we were all comfortable in. It was a great experience being able to help manage the team a little bit.”
Although her high school career ended sooner than she had hoped, Eberly didn’t take long to make it back to the bowling alley. She’s continued to train after qualifying for a national competition in Detroit. Eberly also said she has been in contact with coaches at the University of Nebraska, hoping to continue bowling in college.
It wasn’t necessarily the ending she wanted to her senior season, but Eberly said she had no regrets about her four years at DeKalb.
“It was a great experience. I made a lot of new friends ... and it was an awesome time,” Eberly said. “I became a better bowler for myself and I think a little bit of a better leader. It’s something that I’m proud to be a part of.”
ALL-AREA GIRLS BOWLING TEAM
Eberly was the top area bowler in the sectional meet, recording a six-game series of 1,179, only 24 pins short of qualifying for state. She also was ninth in the conference meet.
Hearn was clutch for the Spartans in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference meet, bowling a 234 in the final game and finishing 13th individually to help Sycamore to the title.
Pivonka was Sycamore’s top bowler in the conference meet, finishing fifth with a 1,194.
Underwood was DeKalb’s top finisher in the NI Big 12 meet, finishing sixth with a 1,169.
Webb battled back from an early season injury to help Sycamore win the conference crown. She finished 11th in the conference with a six-game series of 1,113.
– Ross Jacobson, firstname.lastname@example.org