Bowling

Rhoda named IHSB 'Female Bowler of the Year'

2014-03-03T22:00:00Z 2014-03-04T00:54:05Z Rhoda named IHSB 'Female Bowler of the Year'John Burbridge john.burbridge@nwi.com, (219) 933-3371 nwitimes.com

HIGHLAND | Though the follow-through has no impact on a ball already released, the late, great Carmen Salvino often claimed, "If you do everything correctly, it's impossible not to have a good follow-through."

Jackie Rhoda has no idea who Salvino is. Neither is she familiar with some other Pro Bowlers Association and United States Bowling Congress hall of famers such as Walter Ray Williams Jr., Mark Roth and Earl Anthony.

Heck, even "The Big Lebowski" may be beyond her time.

"If they're not bowling on TV today, I probably don't know them," said Rhoda, whose favorite pro bowler is 2012-2013 PBA Bowler of the Year Jason Belmonte.

Rhoda may not know the names of all the legends, but has embraced their "approach" to the game. One is making sure her follow-through is polished to perfection.

"It has made a big difference," the right-handed Rhoda said of an adjustment she learned over the summer at a bowling camp. "Before, when I would slide, my right leg would end up directly behind my (sliding) left leg. Instead of having my right foot at six o'clock to my left, they told me to have it more at nine o'clock."

Rhoda credits that, as well as some other adjustments, for her average breaching 200 for the first time in her 11-year career.

On Feb. 21, the Portage junior was named "Female Bowler of the Year" by Indiana High School Bowling.

"I knew I was in the running going into the state championships," said Rhoda, who qualified as an individual and placed seventh at state.

Rhoda was the semi-state and sectional individual champion, and placed seventh at regionals.

"They took into account how well you bowled during the regular season, and how well you placed during the post-season," said Rhoda, who was named to the IHSB All-State First Team, and posted personal-best scores in series (757) and game (298) this past season.

Whenever Rhoda enters a bowling "house," she brings with her a substantial arsenal.

"I have five balls, and I usually use all of them," said Rhoda, whose No. 1 choice is a Storm "IQ".

Though Rhoda may switch balls repeatedly during a typical series, her mark is always the same.

"The second arrow," she said. "I'll move right or left depending on the conditions, but I stay locked on the second arrow."

To note, Rhoda is not entirely unfamiliar with PBA champions of yesteryear.

Her grandfather, Gene Rhoda, won four pro tournaments during the mid-1960s and placed runner-up in two others. One of the guys he finished second to was PBA and USBC hall of famer Glenn Allison, who has the distinction of bowling the first 900 series in sanctioned league play only to have the USBC (then named the American Bowling Congress) delegitimize it due to alleged improper lane conditions.

"I never got a chance to know him that well before he died," Rhoda said of her grandfather. "I did learn a lot from my father and mother, who are both excellent bowlers."

With a 205 average in high school play, Rhoda has a little ways to go before catching her mother, Gina Pritchett, who is one of the finest rollers in the region with a 222 league average.

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