Split Personality

October 10, 2018

What Alyssa Foster achieved on the lanes in last year’s high school bowling postseason was quite memorable.

She picked up the challenging 4-9 split in the 10th frame to win the Lakeshore Sectional singles title.

The following week in Kokomo, she became the first La Porte bowler to win an individual regional title by picking up and even tougher split, the 6-7-10, and advance to semistate for a second straight year.

But in the La Porte High School hallways, Foster may be remembered just as much for something she did related to her career choice about her favorite sport.

As a sophomore, Foster penned a strong editorial in the school newspaper about how bowling doesn’t get its just due in Indiana as a club sport and lacks respect from schools and the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), which isn’t budging from some rules that prevent bowling from being a sanctioned sport without hurting the kids and bowling centers.

It’s easily one of Foster’s best memories when it comes to bowling.

“It is still my favorite piece I’ve ever written,” the senior said. “I still feel like bowling needs a lot more recognition than it’s given. We put a lot of effort in and we abide by the same rules as other athletes, so it’s difficult for us to be overlooked.”

Area bowling followers can’t overlook what Foster did last season. It wasn’t just about picking up two extremely difficult splits at the most opportune times to earn the “clutch gene.” Foster had an impressive regular season, too, by averaging 202 in the Lakeshore Conference, one pin behind Michigan City’s Hannah Baltzell.

She’s looking for bigger and better things this year, and not just for her individually.

“I’m expecting a lot from our girls team,” she said. “I’m really proud of the way we’ve started coming together as a team during (preseason) practices and I hope we carry that into the season.”

Foster added that her goals are to average higher, which would put her in prime position to be tops in the conference, and to make it one step further in the postseason (state finals).

And La Porte’s head coach, Dave Foster (no relation … believe it or not), has no doubt she can accomplish those goals and even more.

“Alyssa is truly a dedicated young athlete who thrives on competition,” he said. “Her work ethic compares to no other. I found it no surprise she had such a great 2017-18 season. Her desire and ambition to succeed will drive her again this year.”

That desire and ambition isn’t relegated to just bowling. Her plans after this season campaign may include bowling, but they’re more about that editorial from sophomore year.

“I’m just looking at schools that offer journalism, but that also have a bowling team,” she said. “I definitely plan to continue bowling, but I won’t let a good bowling scholarship convince me to go to a school that doesn’t have the major I’m interested in.”

Maybe her first story for college journalism can be a compelling recap of a magical senior season.

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