With one award already in her pocket, Emerald Ridge High bowler Amy Hanson is riding a wave of confidence heading into the second half of the season.
Hanson said it was something that just happened. She didn’t expect to hear that her start to the bowling season would lead to being summoned to Emerald Ridge Athletic Director Jesse Kase’s office.
“He said I was in trouble when I walked in,” Hanson recalled of the ruse. “Then he told me congratulations on being selected as an athlete of the week.”
Hanson was selected as one of 12 student-athletes of the week by the WIAA board during the week of Dec. 7-11. The honor is only the beginning of what Hanson can accomplish this season; the senior has rolled up a stellar 196 average since the beginning of December.
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“I’ve been really confident during my matches,” Hanson said. “It was different that last year, where I was still unsure of myself. This year’s different as I think I’ve gained that confidence I didn’t have last year.”
Bowlers ride the confidence wave. It’s the groove one sees many of them get in where the ball glides from their hands and down the lane, greeting the pins 8 to 10 at a time.
Hanson is in the middle of this groove.
From the start, she felt everything was different this year. It was her senior season and there wasn’t a whole lot of time left in her high school career. So the Jaguars’ start to the season is shaping her final year to be a memorable one.
“It’s a great feeling knowing I can play at this high level,” Hanson said.
She’s not just playing the game anymore. It’s become something more as every match — and every throw — has a purpose to what she now believes is possible: A second-half run that will lead her to a top-five finish at the state tournament.
“I’d like to get (to state) individuals and finish in the top 5 … I believe I can at least do that,” Hanson said.
The secondary note to what Hanson envisions for herself at state is selfless one: get the Emerald Ridge team and her teammates another taste of the state tournament.
“That’s my biggest goal right now, to enjoy state with my team,” Hanson said. “I think when you can share the experience of state together, it means more to me. It’s my senior year, and to finish with my team in state would be amazing.”
Getting there and improving on the Jaguars’ fourth-place finish in the team standings last year is also on Hanson’s mind.
“(We) definitely want to finish as high as we can as a team,” Hanson said.
There’s still a lot of time and plenty of matches between now and then. But with the way Hanson has been rolling it for Emerald Ridge, the second half looks to be a good one for the Jaguars.
“I want to keep this confidence going once we get back,” she said.