Lauryn Heying had a memorable senior year as a bowler at Fort Vancouver.
Heying placed second in the Class 3A state tournament back in 2015 and that helped in her selection as The Columbian’s All-Region bowler of the year that year.
Now Heying, as a first-year head coach, is trying to help another group of Fort bowlers have their own memorable senior year.
“I went to Fort and I was a Fort bowler,” Heying said. “I’ve got a lot of Fort love. There is no other program that I would want to coach for. This is my fourth year coaching and my first as head coach. (Julie Pagel) left me a great, great program. It’s one that I can hope to live up to the teams she led.”
So far so good, as the Trappers are off to an 12-1 start behind a senior-led roster of bowlers.
“I really think it’s because this varsity team has been together for the last four years,” Heying said of the Trappers’ success. “I think that shows when comes to the team spirit and camaraderie. They just know how to work well with each other. They’ve done a really excellent job of keeping good attitudes throughout the season, which has been instrumental to our success.”
The Trappers are led by seniors Lilly Peschka, Annabelle Wiley, Danika Iosty, Lacey McHan and junior Taryn Albrecht.
Peschka and Albrecht were individual state qualifiers last season, but the Trappers have bigger goals this season.
“This team has been close to qualifying for state every year,” Heying said. “So I think that these girls, they want it. They want it bad.”
That shows in the results. The team is averaging 2,025 pins per match. In their lone loss — Dec. 7 at R.A. Long — the Trappers totaled 2,045 pins.
Heying said the team’s ability to support each other and keep up their spirits has shown during the team’s baker games.
“That’s been one of our stronger suits this year, the baker games,” Heying said. “They’ve really done well. We’ve been averaging about 165 for our bakers this season.”
The Trappers get a chance to avenge that earlier loss to R.A. Long on Thursday at Triangle Bowl in Longview.
“I like that it’s at Triangle,” Heying said. “It’s a big match for us, and we’ll be back at Triangle for districts. So Thursday’s match will help us great ready for that.”
And Heying hopes a big result on Thursday will get the Trappers rolling to a big finish at the end the year.
“We just want to keep our focus,” she said. “Our goal is state. Our goal is hardware. We’ll be really fine-turning the mental aspect of our game, keeping that positive attitude.”
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator at The Columbian. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-735-4538 or follow @360TMart on Instagram and X (Twitter).