CARSON CITY — Although Dawn Steffes’ boys and girls team struggled to win games while going through a rebuilding year, one bowler stuck out from the rest and even made some history.
When Steffes took over the team at the beginning of the year, she had to recruit new members to fill the required number of bowlers. One bowler she knew who was a staple to the team was Sydney Kipp.
The 17-year-old senior ended the year averaging 153, which was the third highest average in Division 4, and also fourth highest for the school’s girls bowling team, behind only Tia Jolls (157 average in 2015) and Zoe Geister (157 this year and 161 as a freshman).
Steffes also qualified for regionals and finished 19th out of 89 bowlers, another top three best regionals finish for the program.
“We recruited two freshmen, but mostly we had juniors, but they were new to the team, too,” Steffes said. “We only had four returning bowlers. With Sydney, I’ve been pleased overall with her performance. She’s a true asset to the team.”
Kipp, who has been bowling almost 10 years, the last four years with the Eagles varsity team, was pleasantly surprised with how she finished out the year.
“There was definitely a lot of pressure on me this year, but I held it together and pulled it off,” Kipp said of her regionals placement.
She credited bowling coaches Rob Foster and Dan Phenix for her strong season-ending finish, as well as the crew from Sheridan Lanes.
“They gave me amazing tips,” she said.
As for making the highest average record, Kipp said, “I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but I’m glad I could do it. What I worked on (this year) was getting my mark down and throwing a brand new fingertip ball to get better scores.”
The experience and leadership that Kipp brought not only helped the inexperienced team but Steffes as well.
“Overall, it was a learning year — for all of us,” Steffes said. “Sydney is a born leader. She stepped up and became captain midway through the year. Anything I needed to know about anything, she knew. She helped me transition into the new bowling coach role smoothly.”
Steffes said junior Zoe Geister was pulled from the girls team and moved to the boys team to fill the required number of bowlers, so it was Kipp who carried the girls team this year.
“Next year, we lose Taylor Reeder and Sydney, but we will have Zoe back, and I’ll be sure to keep her on the girls team. She did really well with the boys team.”
Steffes will need to recruit only one bowler for each team next year.
As for this year, Kipp is happy with the results.
“For my senior year, I made it a goal to come out with a bang in all my sports,” she said. “I’ve done (that) so far in equestrian and now bowling. And now (I’m) waiting on softball.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better season and how it ended,” Kipp added. “I learned that even though we wear different colors and different names on our jerseys, they still make the best of friends.”