Tonawanda News

Local Sports

April 1, 2011

NT’s Larson headed to Pikeville

— — Following the 2010 bowling season it wasn’t a question of if, but where North Tonawanda standout Brianna Larson would decide to compete at the collegiate level.

Last weekend she made her choice, signing to bowl for Pikeville (Ky.) College , one of the top programs in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Larson, who recently set a new Niagara Frontier League season high average record with a 221.71, was invited by the Pikeville coach Ron Damon to last weekend’s recruitment tournament in which she ended up winning.

“I loved it. I got to meet all the girls on the bowling team and I met all the coaches,” Larson said. “I just fell in love with it and I ended up signing the day of the tournament.”

For the win, she earned $1,500 a year in scholarship funds.

Larson said her decision came down to Pikeville and McKendree (Ill.) University, where her sister Chelsie currently attends.

“(Chelsie) decided that she’s not going to back there because she’s not happy,” Larson said. “So that was a big factor in me deciding.”

Larson capped off a dominant career with the Lady Jacks this season, leading NT to its second straight NFL title, and also led her squad to a Class A championship, individually punching her ticket to states with a Class A high set of 1,174.

She is a three-time state qualifier and took home a bronze medal at the NYSHSAA Bowling Championships during her junior season.

Her high series (774) and high game (280) topped the NFL this season as well.

Taking first place in the recruitment tourney already has players and coaches at Pikeville taking notice.

“I’m really excited because I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from the coach and the girls on the team,” Larson said. “(Damon) told me that as soon as I signed that I made the team much better. That gave me a lot of confidence to go in and bowl.”

Her coach also told her that if she works hard in the offseason that she will have a shot to bowl her way into the top five on her team.

“I was really surprised when he said that because I knew there are really good players on the team. It gives me a lot of confidence and now I shouldn’t be as nervous.”

Larson added that her career at NT under head coach Bill Rohring helped prepare her for the next level.

“Bowling in high school gave me a chance to get my name out there and when the bowling season comes around, I’m bowling five, six days a week,” she said. “I got a lot of practice and experience bowling in match play and in competitions. It really helped me.”

Contact sports editor Brandon Koch at 693-1000, ext. 117.


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