PORTSMOUTH — Last season, the Shawnee State University women’s bowling program proved to obtain a major steal of a bowler from Illinois in Chloe Long.
With Skylar Lane, SSU women’s bowling coach Bryan Sturgell is banking on lightning striking twice.
Lane — a Chicago, Ill. native who spent her freshman season at Prairie View A&M in Prairie View, Texas — will be transferring to Shawnee State to begin her sophomore season.
She’ll add to a promising roster that returns Long and Hallie Nichols among others for the 2020-21 academic year.
For Lane, the opportunity to continue her bowling prowess is one that she considers to be a great honor.
“Bowling is something that I have been doing all of my life,” Lane said. “I started when I was two. The sport has gotten me through plenty of tough times. Being able to sign with Shawnee State is a blessing. I’m very happy that I can share my talent with others, and build close bonds with my soon to be teammates.”
Lane, who was born and raised in Chicago, transferred to Bishop Noll Institute High School in Hammond, Ind. — a half-hour drive from Metro Chicago.
At Bishop Noll, she, along with fellow teammates Alexis Gonzalez and Emily Rokos, helped the Warriors turn a major corner in their history as a bowling program.
“When I first came to Bishop Noll in my junior year, I was the new girl and all eyes were on me,” Lane said. “It was nerve-wracking and had to take some time to get used to. Competing was not bad for me. I simply tried to represent my school in the best way possible, because Bishop Noll had never seen a female bowler get past regular play.”
During each of her two seasons with Bishop Noll, Lane was named as an Honorable Mention Post-Tribune All-Area selection.
She posted, at one point, the seventh-highest two-game series of any high school bowler in the state of Indiana (423) during her junior year and, along with Gonzales and Rokos, become the first trio of female bowlers in school history to advance to sectionals, and later, regionals.
Lane finished fifth in sectional competition and followed that effort with a Bishop Noll best-among-females 14th-place showing, bowling a 522 series.
“When a few of my teammates and myself made it to sectionals, the school was shocked. Some people didn’t even know that there was a bowling team. So it was certainly thrilling to see that after my senior year, plenty of people tried out for the bowling squad and made others aware that there was a team.”
Based on her own studious research, Lane was attracted to not only Shawnee State’s regional proximity to Chicago — six-and-a-half hours as opposed to the 16-hour drive from Texas — but, among other qualities, SSU’s nursing program and its friendly student-to-faculty ratio.
“Academically, I want to have a 3.0 GPA or higher and obtain straight As and Bs,” Lane said. “I want to be able to make the Dean’s List to make my parents happy and proud. Athletically, I want to become a better bowler than I already am and learn more about the sport that I love.”
Then, there’s learning under the direction of Sturgell — who is quickly building a strong reputation past the immediate area.
“I’ve heard good things about him from a few of my coaches,” Lane said. “I believe that he will help make me a better and stronger bowler.”
For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club or for sponsorship of specific SSU players or events, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club and https://givetossu.com/sponsorthebears.