Pardue credits family to success at Aquinas

Jessica Dubeau

College Frosh. Kailey Pardue stares intensely at the head pin, clearing her mind before approaching her lane to throw her next ball, which will determine whether or not the Aquinas Women’s bowling team will go to sectionals. Everything right now is on the line. “I was the anchor bowler for the day, meaning I was the last person to bowl on the team. That’s where my coach usually puts our higher scoring bowlers. My team was doing very well, almost all of them were scoring high games. I had to get a strike and a spare to be able to get us up in the 1000’s for our first time ever. I went up and threw my shot. I was so nervous because it wasn’t a good shot, so I left a few pins. I knew I had to pick this spare up to be able to get a strike for our 1000 game. I knew my team was getting just as nervous as I was. Before I threw my next shot, the girls on my team told me just to bowl. Don’t think about it, just bowl. So I went up and threw my next shot. It wasn’t my best, but it got to the pocket and struck, leaving us with a 1001 for our first 1000 of the season. My passion continues to grow for bowling now that I’m doing it in college and I also continue on bowling for my grandpa because I know he was one of the people that supported me a lot to continue the sport.”

  Pardue admits she would not have gotten to this point in her career without the support and coaching from her family. “My parents are definitely my coaches. My mom is my number one cheerleader at my tournaments, and knows how to make me feel better if I’m doing bad. My dad knows exactly what to say and what to do to help me when I’m struggling. I’m definitely thankful to have such supportive parents in my life. Not a lot of people have that gift.”

  She also credits her late Grandfather to her success. “After I bowled one of my highest games, a 279, I called him and he told me how proud of me he was. Less than two weeks later he died of cancer. I continue to bowl in spirit of my grandpa because he loved bowling, too. This sport has just always been something that I’ve enjoyed doing and I can’t see myself ever stopping.”

  Pardue says her favorite part of college athletics is the whole aspect of being part of a team. “What I like about college bowling is being able to work with a team and having a good time together. There wasn’t a bowling team at West Ottawa, so I wasn’t able to experience that type of bowling until I came to Aquinas College. It’s nice to have a team where we root for each other and pick each other up when we’re not doing our best. It’s not all about winning for us, we just want to make the best out of our college experience.”

  The Aquinas Women’s bowling team’s school record this year is 1090. Pardue continues to work close with her family and coach in the offseason while trying improve this season’s average of 173.08.