Killeen High School sophomore Amanda Morgan doesn’t remember the first time she went bowling.
“It’s kind of an impossibility for me to remember it,” Morgan said with a chuckle. “Before I was born, both of my parents were always bowling. When my mom was pregnant with me, she was bowling in leagues. So I guess you can say I was on the bowling lanes before I was born.
“I was 4 years old when I first picked up a bowling ball. I wasn’t born a prodigy. I don’t think I was very good at first.”
She is now.
After finishing fifth in the Region V Singles Meet on March 2 with a 182 average, Morgan earned a coveted spot in the State Championship which takes place Friday and Saturday in San Antonio.
“I had a great, positive attitude at regionals and that’s what you need in order to be successful in this sport,” Morgan said. “Now my goal is to make it into the final round of 16 in San Antonio and go from there.”
Morgan will be one of the few sophomores in a field crowded with seniors and juniors.
“That won’t matter to her at all,” said Killeen head coach Steve Salak.
“Amanda doesn’t care how old a competitor is or how long they’ve been bowling. Yes, she’ll be facing mostly juniors and seniors. But once Amanda puts on her game-face, she’s ready to roll.
“But I do want to add that making it to state as a sophomore is an absolutely phenomenal accomplishment.”
Morgan will be the sole Killeen High School participant in San Antonio.
“Nobody feels great about having to leave their teammates behind,” Morgan said. “I wish our team would have qualified for state. But I feel now that it’s important that I be a great representative of my teammates and my high school.”
Salak is certain she will.
“Amanda will make us proud,” he said.
“She’ll make it through the first few rounds. And the possibility is there for her to be the No. 1 bowler in this state.”
The past few weeks, Morgan has been practicing with the Copperas Cove girls and boys teams—both will be competing at state.
“The Copperas Cove teams have been great to me,” Morgan said. “Their coach, Jerry Stutz, has been very generous to let me bowl with his team.
“The past few weeks, I’ve been mainly working on getting my spares down. It’s about spares, spares, spares. I don’t want to be good at state, I want to be great. I must represent my school well and show we have pride.”