Lola Knox bowled a little when she was younger, competing in a Saturday morning league at City Limits.
But ultimately she decided to step away and compete in other sports.
Knox found her way back to the lanes last season, deciding to give bowling another shot.
And her presence and rapid progress after several years away has been big for the Holt girls bowling program.
Knox, a sophomore, played a key role last weekend as the Rams completed their season by claiming a Division 1 state championship.
Knox delivered in the championship match with her best game of the day to vault Holt to its first state title since 2010. She rolled a team-high score of 214 in a 1,197-1,076 championship match win over Traverse City West.
“I knew I had to shoot high for that game,” said Knox, who was voted the LSJ high school athlete of the week winner. “Being able to focus and concentrate and being able to shoot my game over 200 was amazing in that championship match. I’m just grateful I was able to do that.”
First-year Holt coach Sandy Teague said Knox had a knack for stepping up in key situations this season.
“When we needed that big game, when we needed one of the bowlers to really step up and shine that last game, she was there and she did it again,” Teague said. “She did what she had to do to get us over that breaking point and actually take quite a sizable lead by the fifth or sixth frame.”
Knox also was a Division 1 individual state finals qualifier and finished 17th with a six-game series of 1,118. That capped another season of growth on the lanes for Knox, who has seen her game continue to improve while emerging as one of Holt’s key bowlers.
“I just think it’s crazy with how far I’ve come in just such a short period of time,” Knox said. “I’m very excited for what my future holds with bowling. I’m ready to put in the work and really take this into my future. I’m really excited for the next step.”
Teague is also excited about what the future holds for Knox and her program. Knox is among several key bowlers the Rams expect to have back next season as they attempt to win a second straight state championship.
“With the team that we’ve got and her leadership abilities, I see us going back to the state (finals) fighting again next year and for the next two years,” Teague said. “I have no doubt the talent on this team will be there, but I expect (Knox) to step up even bigger. She just improves every week and every day and I expect to see more improvement for next year.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: State champion Holt girls bowling got big boost from Lola Knox