Beavercreek’s Figer named Ohio’s High School Girls Bowler of the Year

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Beavercreek senior Emily Figer. (Photo by Ben Barnes/www.impactactionphotos.com)

Emily Figer’s analytical approach to bowling was in place when her parents introduced her to the game at age 4. “She’d watch how the ball rolled,” said her father, Charles. “If it
didn’t go where she wanted, she’d try to figure out to make it work and
then practice and practice. That’s the way she’s approached everything does. She very analytical and very adaptive.” Those traits has severed Figer well on the lanes.


Emily Figer’s analytical approach to bowling was in place when her parents introduced her to the game at age 4.

“She’d watch how the ball rolled,” said her father, Charles. “If it didn’t go where she wanted, she’d try to figure out to make it work and then practice and practice.

“That’s the way she’s approached everything does. She very analytical and very adaptive.”

Those traits has severed Figer well on the lanes. So much so that the senior at Beavercreek, an eastern Dayton suburb, has been chosen as the Huntington Bank/Ohio High Magazine High School Girls Bowler of the Year.

“Cool, really cool,” said Figer of the honor. “I was really consistent for most of the season. I had a hip injury around Christmas, which bothered me for a couple weeks and my scores were down.

“But I was able to come back strong at the end of the year and help my team get to state again. We qualified to state for last three years. We’re one the only teams in our school history to do that. I’m as proud of that accomplishment as anything I did individually.”

Figer carried a 203.5 regular season average. That was the No. 2 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference. The 16-team, three-division conference of schools surrounding Dayton is considered the toughest bowling conference in the state.

It was her performances in sharpened competition in February and March which led a group of state-wide coaches to recommend her for the award. In those two months she averaged 214 in seven outings at five different venues to help her team win the Central Division of the GWOC, come in second in the sectional, third at district and get to state.

She was the top individual in the sectional on her home lanes at Beaver-Vu with three-game total of of 662 and was fourth in the district at Eastern Lanes in Middletown shooting a 661.

The inevitable one bad game came of 152 game in the opening round of the state tournament Friday, March 6 at Tiki Lanes in Lancaster.

“It took me a while to adjust to the lanes conditions and I missed some spares,” she said. “That took me out of chance for a real high finish.”

But she adjusted nicely throwing a 179 and 193 in her final two games for a 524 series and 28th place finish..

Following the state tournament was she back in form in Dayton area traveling leagues with back-to-back series of 690 (230 average) 680 (226 average).

“Emily was so consistent throughout her high school career, very team-oriented and very competitive,” said Beavercreek coach Dave Hartsock. “She’s a great person. I’m really happy she won the honor. She deserves it.

“Emily is very pragmatic in her approach to bowling. She pays attention to the movement of the ball and the oil patterns on the lanes and adjusts accordingly. She’s one of the best I’ve seen in high school at doing that.”

Figer, who carries a 3.68 grade point average, has  gotten interest from numerous college bowling programs.

But she will forego being a college kegler to concentrate on academics.

“I want to be a chemical engineer,” she said. “I’ve applied to the University of West Virginia and Virginia Tech. I’m waiting to see if I get accepted.

“I’ve always like chemistry, math and physics. I like to analyze things, see how they work and why they work like they do. With a chemical engineering degree I can apply it to all kinds of different areas — maybe helping find more efficient energy sources.
“I’ll bowl wherever I go to college, but it’ll work it around my studies.”

Along with bowling, Figer is very involved in the Beavercreek High School band.

“I play trumpet in the concert band and mullophone (a modified French horn which looks like oversized trumpet) in the marching band,” she said. “I’ve only been playing the mullophone for two years. It was a real challenge learning to play it while we were working on all our different routines for the band competitions.

“But I spent a lot of time on it and got to do a mullophone solo this year. That was a real feeling of accomplishment.”

Her involvement in the sport comes naturally. Wendy, her mother, is the general manager at Beaver-Vu.

Her father, a patent attorney a Cincinnati firm, is president of the state  youth bowling association.

Both parents are certified bowling instructors and coordinate the youth program for the Dayton Area Bowling Proprietors Association.

“Wendy and I have bowled together even before we got married,” said Charles Figer. “I carry about a 200 average and Wendy might be at 185. But neither one  of us are as smooth and consistent as Emily.

“We brought her bowling with us when she was a baby and got her into one of the bumper leagues when she was four. By the time she was seven, we got her in the Saturday morning kids league and I think she was 10 or 11 when she started in the youth traveling leagues.”

Figer’s average  began to rise about 170 in the sixth or seventh grade. “I spent a whole season just concentrating on making my spares,” she said. “I never worried much about strikes. Just making the ball work the way I wanted it to and picking up spares. Since then my average has gone up every year.

“I was probably around 190 for all of last year in school and summer and fall competition. I’d been higher, but I didn’t bowl as much as I had in the past because of my commitment to the band.”

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