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Deaf bowler jazzed to be heading to state with Hudson’s Bay

Jazzie Martin brings special sassiness to Eagles

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
7 Photos
Jasmine ‘Jazzie’ Martin, a senior at Hudson's Bay High School, bowls during practice with her teammates at Allen's Crosley Lanes in Vancouver, Tuesday January 30, 2018. Martin, who is deaf, has bowled all four years with the Eagles bowling team and is currently having her best season. The Eagles are headed to the state tournament this Thursday and Friday.
Jasmine ‘Jazzie’ Martin, a senior at Hudson's Bay High School, bowls during practice with her teammates at Allen's Crosley Lanes in Vancouver, Tuesday January 30, 2018. Martin, who is deaf, has bowled all four years with the Eagles bowling team and is currently having her best season. The Eagles are headed to the state tournament this Thursday and Friday. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Ask Reagan Lorey what makes teammate Jasmine ‘Jazzie’ Martin special to Hudson’s Bay High School’s bowling team, bound for the state tournament for the third straight year, is what Lorey describes as Martin’s sassiness.

“Every time we get a high-5,” Lorey said, “she does this flip with her hand. It’s great; she definitely brings another character to our team.”

Martin, who is Deaf since birth, is a senior and four-year member of the Eagles’ varsity bowling team who loves politics. She can’t wait to visit Washington, D.C. in two weeks to visit Gallaudet University to view the campus she’ll call home the next four years.

It’s the nation’s premier higher-education institution for the education of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing; Martin is Bay’s only Deaf student who attends the high school full-time.

But before she takes her first-ever airplane trip, Martin is more motivated than ever for this week she hopes will end how she envisions it.

“It’s senior year,” Martin signed in American Sign Language, translated by her interpreter, Aaron Medlock, “and I want to take first. It’s my last year, and I want to leave a lasting impression.”

Martin credits bowling, a mainstay on both sides of her family, as a motivator not only extracurricularly, but academically, too. A bowler for five years and a member of Hazel Dell Lanes’ junior leagues, it also refocused her energy into looking past high school.

“In high school, I got more serious,” Martin said. “I needed to prepare myself for the future.”

Born to Deaf parents David Martin and Teresa Stotler-Martin, Martin spent pre-kindergarten through first grade at Washington School for the Deaf before making a personal choice for a mainstream education.

While immersed in a Deaf cultural institution and connecting with peers who shared similar emotional and social experiences, Martin said she also craved the benefits that came with attending a non-Deaf-based school and blending her education and extracurricular interest with the hearing world.

Her parents, who both work at WSD, supported her decision.

“I didn’t want to be separated or isolated; I like to be mixed together,” Martin said. “Even though I am Deaf myself, I like to intermingle.”

Martin’s attended Vancouver Public Schools from second grade forward at Harney and Eisenhower elementaries, then Jefferson and Gaiser middle schools. She’s been at Bay all four years; she and Medlock have worked together for two.

Martin also isn’t the first bowler who is Deaf coached by Pam Laughlin, but the Eagles’ coach said Martin is a cut above for reasons that go beyond her skills as a bowler. As far as those skills, though, Martin’s having her best season and also has shown in her career she can come through in the clutch.

Case in point was at last season’s district tournament. As a substitute, Martin rolled a personal-best 242 game, helping lift Bay to the district crown.

“She can come in there and throw the big game,” Laughlin said.

However, Martin wasn’t thrilled. Not at her performance, she was over the moon about that. But she said she bowls her best when she’s angry. She was angry that day when she learned she wasn’t in the original lineup.

That was OK, though, she said, because her 242 helped the Eagles get back to state as a team. The Eagles brought home second place.

Martin’s younger sister, Halie, is a sophomore bowler, and is hard-of-hearing. She described their relationship as a unique, strong bond.

On the lanes, watch out for the ‘sister whammy’ when the Martin sisters have back-to-back strikes in a game. It happened at last week’s district tournament when Bay finished runner-up to Evergreen in the team race.

The reigning 3A state champion Plainsmen, paced by Lexi Henderson’s 679 individual finish, are title contenders again when the state tournament starts Thursday (Class 4A) and Friday (3A, 2A/1A) at Narrows Place Bowl in University Place near Tacoma.

Lorey, a team captain who placed second in the 3A individual competition at state in 2017, still remembers when she and Martin entered their freshmen years together.

Just how far she and Martin have grown together. Her teammate’s confidence has only improved her bowling, Lorey said.

That, and something else.

“Her sassiness has gained by 100 points,” Lorey said. “Now, she walks around and snaps her fingers at everybody.”

WIAA STATE BOWLING

When: Thursday-Saturday

Where: Narrows Plaza Bowl, University Place

CLASS 4A

Thursday: Regular games, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Baker games, 8 a.m.

Local teams participating: Skyview (Kira Glass, Athena Mantalas, Calista Schafer, Alyssa Sutton, Tiffany Tucker, McKenzie Sparano).

Local individuals participating: Darrian Dyer, Battle Ground; Takara Suhama, Battle Ground.

CLASS 3A, 2A/1A

Defending 3A individual champion: Kerissa Andersen, Evergreen

Friday: Regular games, 12:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Saturday: Baker games, 8 a.m.

Local teams participating: Evergreen (Kerissa Andersen, Hailey Dehaven, Karina Johnson, Teryn Stine, Jessica Dufrain, Dakota O’Neil).

Hudson’s Bay (Alexis Shelton, Erica Morley, Lizzie Deloria, Halie Martin, Jazzie Martin, Reagan Lorey).

Columbia River (Jenna Chinn, Rileigh Chinn, Maddy Getz, Becca Gunderson, Emma McLean, Madison Mollahan, Mikayla Munger).

Local individuals participating: Katie Campbell, Fort Vancouver; McKenna Ellen, Fort Vancouver; Jessica Tofte, Fort Vancouver; Madie Bash, Prairie.

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