“Serena is our go-to when we need pins. We win and lose as a team, but when the game is on the line, she’s the first one we look to for more pins.”
Editor’s note: We are welcoming Eli McKown to our team this week. Eli is an Onsted senior and will be focusing on our Student-Athlete of the Week feature. To our area athletic directors and coaches: If you have a student-athlete you would like to see highlighted, call us at 592-2122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Eli McKown
The average teenager on a Saturday in the summer wakes up in the early afternoon to begin their day. They get out of bed and turn on the television before they begin their activities for the day. By then, Serena Nichols is already in the middle of her bowling match.
Nichols is a senior at Onsted High School and is a year-round, dedicated bowler. She not only bowls for Onsted in the winter but competes in the Great Lakes Junior Gold Bowling tournament, a Midwest tournament that hosts some of the best youth bowlers in the Great Lakes area.
The senior from Onsted spoke about what motivates her in bowling.
“It gives me an adrenaline rush when the lanes go quiet, it’s just really fun for me and it’s a passion of mine.”
Nichols is currently the anchor for the Onsted girls bowling team and is averaging around 190 pins per contest. By the end of the season, Serena wants to have an average of 200 or more. She uses a five-step approach, rather than the typical four-step approach most bowlers use. She described her hand position on the ball as “suitcasing” and angles her right shoulder down to get the most effective roll down the lane.
Serena also has high aspirations for her team.
“To be LCAA champions is our goal,” she says. “My sophomore year we won the league but came in second last year. We want to be champions of the LCAA again.”
Anyone who knows Serena gives her high praise. Coach Tim Halliwill says she has great leadership skills. “She holds us together bowling in the anchor spot, and is having a really great senior year.”
Onsted Athletic Director Damien Hiram had similar things to say.
“Serena is a phenomenal student and bowler. She sets such a great example for all of our student-athletes.”
Nichols has lots of mentors in her life, including Coach Halliwill, but none are bigger than John and Terry Myler, her original bowling coaches.
“They have helped me become who I am today,” Serena said.
Serena excels in the classroom as she plans to attend college and study a pre-med focused psychology major, and eventually work in the psychiatry field. While undecided on where she will attend school in the fall, Serena has decided she will bowl at the collegiate level, and with the abundance of skills at Serena’s fingertips, there is no doubt she will succeed at the next level.