Fairmont’s Grady strikes down competition, pins en route to state title

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Four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Kettering Fairmont senior Jennifer Grady as the top girls bowler in Ohio.

But through hard work and dedication, she became just that as she
rolled her way to an individual state championship in March and the
Huntington Bank/Ohio High Girls Bowler of the Year honors.


Four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Kettering Fairmont senior Jennifer Grady as the top girls bowler in Ohio.

But through hard work and dedication, she became just that as she rolled her way to an individual state championship in March and the Huntington Bank/Ohio High Girls Bowler of the Year honors.

“When she first came to me asking for lessons, I couldn’t help her because her bowling ball was so poorly drilled,” said Fairmont bowling coach Andy Parker. “So, she has come a long way from then. She’s worked hard on her game and is learning every time she goes out.”

In the state tournament, Grady bowled a 730 series (276-237-217) – 65 pins better than second-place finisher Kelsey Zumfelde of Napoleon.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” she said. “I just went out there and bowled. It’s amazing.

“I knew I wanted it for the team and I knew I had to step up. I found my mark all day and I was on it.”

While Grady may have not expected to win the state championship, Parker thought otherwise.

“I could just see it in her eyes at state. I knew she was going to have a good day. She was totally focused,” he said.

Grady led Fairmont (13-2) with a 204.7 average this season, which was second in the Greater Western Ohio Conference behind Troy’s Alicia Simpson (205.2) and was named the GWOC Bowler of the Year.

“I think when you look at this past year, for her, she was just determined,” said Parker. “She was determined the whole year to have a great year. She’s worked hard on her game.”

And Grady has dedicated herself to the game since slipping on her first pair of bowling shoes as a freshman when her average was in the 120s.

“It was all (Coach Parker),” said Grady. “He helped me through it all. He was the one who told me what to change and how to do it.”

Said Parker, “A lot of times when I get a player in the developmental stage, I put together a plan for them and we worked towards that plan. With her, we had to work on some mechanics to get her started and we just kept building on that every year.”

Grady followed her mentor’s guidance and was even tweaking her game up to the state tournament.

“A week before state we were still making changes to her game and she carried that over to state,” Parker said. “So, it sets the tone for everyone else when someone with a high average is willing to keep learning. It sets a good example for the team to see that.

“Each year’s team has set the standard and set the bar higher, which has been a great thing to watch.”

Having left her mark on the Fairmont bowling program, Grady is focused on her collegiate career at Morehouse State, which is one of the top bowling programs in the country.

“It is a really good school and they have a really good bowling program,” she said of Morehouse. “I want to get better and improve my average.”

“I think she will make the adjustment well,” said Parker, who is a Morehouse alum. “I think it will be a little bit of a shock to her at first but she’ll do fine. She’s got the determination.”

Parker has recently resigned as Fairmont’s coach to start a family but he is looking forward to following Grady’s collegiate career at his alma mater.

“I am very proud of her,” he said. “She’s a good kid.”

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