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Girls bowling: Boone’s Paige Kraushaar named P-T Bowler of the Year

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Updated: April 25, 2013 7:26AM



There’s one simple way to describe Paige Kraushaar after the 2012-13 Indiana high school bowling season: She was the best bowler on the state’s best team, period.

The numbers state as much — 220.5 average during the regular season for high in the state and second-highest for a girl in the 14-year history of the state’s program; 524 series for high in the state; 290 game for high in the state; perfect regular-season match play record of 21-0.

And once she reached the postseason, the stellar bowling continued as she averaged well over 200 in team events as Boone Grove’s anchor all the way to a state title, and she also shined in singles by winning sectional and semistate titles, and finished sixth at regional and sixth in the state.

But the reasons Kraushaar earned her second Post-Tribune girls bowler of the year award in three years go deeper than tangible numbers and on-lane dominance.

It’s about tough love.

“She served as the tough leader of the team, always focused on challenging her teammates to excel,” said dad and Boone Grove coach Mike Kraushaar. “Each girl brought specific strengths to the team and each had a key role I expected them to serve. All of them did exactly what I asked, and Paige’s role was to continually challenge and push her teammates to excel, expect more and compete hard, and then back it up on the lanes.

“Paige created a very competitive atmosphere at practices and matches and in the end, that prepared everyone that much better for the stressful tournament conditions that the top teams encounter.”

In other words, Paige wasn’t always her teammates’ favorite person in the world, but winning isn’t about making people happy. It’s about the leader leading on and off the lanes.

“It came natural, it really did,” Paige said with a laugh. “We fought hard as a team because we’re all such strong personalities. But we got over it right away because we have great chemistry.

“I knew we were going to state — nothing less would do.”

Now that sounds like a leader. As for the bowler side of Paige, that went through the roof during her senior campaign — the average, the high series, advancing all the way to state as an individual in addition to leading the Wolves to a title.

So what made the difference?

“I practiced more with more camps and bowling on more tougher shots made house shots more forgiving,” she said.

Her dad/coach also attributed Paige’s improvement to putting less pressure on herself.

“Having signed her (national letter of intent) in November with Stephen F. Austin (after being courted by Vanderbilt, Tulane and Maryland Eastern Shore) and having five solid teammates with strong chemistry allowed her to relax more and not worry about making the perfect shot every time,” he said. “She knew her teammates would be there to pick her up. And she knew that any collegiate coaches in the audience were there to watch her teammates.”

Oh, and thanks in part to Paige, the Wolves went against the norm when it comes to other girls bowling teams.

“We wanted to stay under the radar and use our energy on the lanes,” Paige said. “We aren’t loud, anyway. We do our own thing. We’re not cheerleaders, we’re bowlers.”

They were bowlers who were led by the best anchor in the state on their way to a title.



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