Players to watch
Parker Bonife, sr., Union; Stacey Dettling, jr., Evergreen; Allison Falkner, sr., Hudson’s Bay; Tessa Friason, sr., Prairie; Alex Lanning, so., Mountain View; Kendra Preuss, sr., Columbia River; Kaleigh Oliphant, sr., Fort Vancouver; Amanda VanMeter, sr., Heritage.
BATTLE GROUND — Wylicia Faley spent her freshman year at Battle Ground High School striving for perfection in the classroom.
Now in her sophomore season, the drive for perfection has carried over to her bowling.
And she almost achieved it more quickly than anyone expected.
On top of maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average, Faley spends countless hours training, practicing and participating in local bowling tournaments, in addition to competing for the Tigers.
“Last year, I worried about my grades,” said Faley, a sophomore. “I had a big lesson to learn when it comes to balancing school and bowling. But I was able to adapt quickly.”
That adaptation was made easier by a supportive family.
“My parents help with buying equipment, sending me to different tournaments and they are always rooting me on,” she said.
As a freshman, Faley finished as the most valuable player on the Battle Ground team.
This season, she is the team captain, a high honor for a sophomore.
“It means a lot to bowl for the Tigers,” she said. “I hope to get a scholarship someday for bowling and for everyone to know I came from this town and school and to be able to represent it in the right way.”
The highlight of Faley’s season came in the opening week when she bowled a nearly perfect game of 276, racking up 10 strikes for the game.
“That game was amazing,” Faley said. “I have been trying really hard for a perfect game and to be able to get that close shows me that I will reach that perfect game someday.”
For someone who hadn’t touched a bowling ball until the age of 11, Faley has come a long way under the guidance of coach Harold Lysne.
“When I first met her, she had a 12-step delivery,” Lysne said, adding most bowlers take just three strides before releasing the ball. “One time she came up to me and said, ‘I’m going to bowl for you in a couple of years!’ And I kind of just looked at her and said ‘Yeah, OK. Just keep working on your game.’ ”
Faley’s confidence helped the bowler get to where she is today, Lysne said.
“Coach (Lysne) has been here from the very beginning of when I started bowling,” she said. “He has been at my best games and he has also been at my worst. When I first started out I was averaging in the 100s, and now I’m consistently in the 200s. He is such a great coach and is a big part of my success.”
Faley’s future goals include becoming the valedictorian of her graduating class at Battle Ground, attending an East Coast university to study medicine while continuing her pursuit of a career in professional bowling.
“I haven’t decided what school might work for me yet,” Faley said. “As long as there is a medical degree and a bowling team I will be happy. But as for right now, I just need to keep my focus on my classes to keep my grades up and keep on bowling.”