Maddy Jouris can’t pinpoint exactly what went wrong at regionals.
The DeKalb senior had bowled consistently all season, recently posting a third-place finish at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Tournament. But bowling at Four Seasons in Sycamore, Jouris came up three pins shy of qualifying for sectionals.
“I was really upset because I barely missed it. I was hoping I could get really far and everything,” Jouris said. “I had a high average (coming in) and it just turned out to be just bad.”
Although the ending to Jouris’ senior season wasn’t the way she envisioned it, Jouris’ accomplishments throughout the regular season, including posting the seventh-best average in the NI Big 12, made her the 2013-14 Daily Chronicle Girls Bowler of the Year.
Sycamore’s Kelly Drake and Kelsey Johnston were also considered for the award.
Jouris joined the Barbs as a freshman and was immediately thrust into pressure situations as DeKalb made it to state. She bowled one game at the state tournament and helped the Barbs advance to the second day back in 2011.
Since then, Jouris not only developed into a more consistent bowler, but also a leader on a team that didn’t have as much collectives success this season as in years past.
“The motivator of the team, the leader by performance and by actions on and off the lanes. She really had that,” DeKalb coach William Holland said. “She cared about her teammates and blended well. She would really try to be with them and relax them and help them enjoy the sport.”
Jouris’ brightest moment of the season came in a NI Big 12 dual match against Kaneland. Jouris converted 11 strikes in a row and carried an unblemished game into the 12th frame, the first time she had ever done so.
“When I shot my 296 and my 713 series in a conference meet against Kaneland, it was pretty awesome. It was pretty amazing,” Jouris said. “I was shaking so bad on the last shot. I couldn’t do it and I should’ve waited longer but it happens.”
Jouris is undecided about bowling in college, but looking back at her high school career, she’s happy with how it all unfolded despite the quick finish.
“I thought it was an amazing experience really,” Jouris said. “I didn’t start bowling until sixth grade so starting then and where I am now, high school really helped me a lot with all that. It was pretty fun with all of it.”
Daily Chronicle All-Area Girls Bowling Team
Drake averaged a steady 175 pins during conference play and was one of three consistent bowlers at the top for the Spartans.
Jouris carried the seventh-best average in conference play this season and averaged 191 pins.
She finished third at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference tournament and had a high game of 296 for the year.
Johnston boasted the top average in conference for Sycamore, averaging just less than 176 pins a contest. Johnston and Drake were leaders for a team that started all underclassmen.
Kolberg averaged 170 pins in conference for Sycamore and really came on as a freshman. She’ll be another part of a very young Spartans team.
Kuzmanich was the only Barb to qualify for sectionals, bowling a 1,016 series at regionals to qualify as an individual. She held the second-best average – only trailing Jouris – for DeKalb throughout the season.
– Ross Jacobson, email@example.com