DeKALB – Sycamore sophomore Megan Kolberg entered the season with big shoes to fill.
She took over as the top bowler for the Spartans following the graduation of her older sister, Alexis, who was The Daily Chronicle Player of the Year in girls’ bowling the last two years.
Megan Kolberg responded by carrying on the family tradition and taking home the 2017-18 Daily Chronicle Girls Bowler of the Year award.
“When I look back at my season, I really sometimes think did I really do that. There were that many accomplishments that I had at multiple different places,” Kolberg said.
Kolberg not only filled her sister’s shoes, but she had one of the best seasons in Sycamore history.
Kolberg won three tournaments throughout the regular season, including setting the record for total pins at the Matt Clark Invite with 1,396, which Sycamore hosts.
She also set school records for highest season average with 219, most 700-pin series in a season with eight, and she is already one shy of the career record for 700-pin series of 12.
“We’re re-doing the record books,” Sycamore coach Andy Hampton said.
She scorched into postseason play and set the record for total pins at the Northern Illinois Big 12 conference tournament with 1,534 total pins, which comes out to a 256 average for the tournament. In her fourth game of that tournament, Kolberg scored a spare in her first frame then went on to reel off 11 straight strikes for high game of 290.
“I’ve never seen a 1,500 tournament before and she just made it look effortless. It was a lot of hard work. She did not have an open frame all day long,” Sycamore coach Andy Hampton said.
Kolberg kept on rolling in the postseason as she placed second in the DeKalb Regional tournament and second in the Kaneland Sectional tournament, missing out on the sectional title by only two pins.
Kolberg comes by her success through hours of practice, rarely taking a day off from the lanes.
“I practice probably too much, but it helps and it makes me better,” Kolberg said. “I’ll probably practice at least 4 or 5 days week. “
Aside from her extra work, Kolberg credits her ability to make adjustments quickly to her success and her ability to help her team succeed.
“I notice different things about the lanes that other people might not. When I pose an idea to another teammate they are sometimes like ‘I never thought of that.’ “
Kolberg helped charge the Spartans to the state finals after the team stumbled in sectionals the previous three years.
“She’s a great leader," ,” Hampton said of the 15-year-old sophomore. "It’s hard to believe at her age she can be great leading a group of girls, who most of them are older than her. They follow her because they know nobody works harder than her."
Kolberg finished 28th at the state tournament, the highest finish for an individual in school history.
“Being able to have so many accomplishments and making it to state, days one and two, was beyond anything I really imagined,” Kolberg said.