Bowling, long relegated to birthday parties and recreational leagues, has been an integral part of the Terrill family life for generations. Senior Hannah Terrill began bowling as soon as she could pick up the ball. She has been competing for the past fourteen years and has recently qualified for nationals.
“It’s basically a family sport, so I was kind of born into it,” Hannah said.
Everyone in her family has been involved in bowling at one point or another, as Hannah is coached by her father, former collegiate bowler Trevor Terrill.
“We won bowling family of the year. My dad bowls, my mom used to bowl but has back problems,” Trevor said “My wife bowled for a while and my three kids bowl and I bowl. When they gave us the award it was pretty cool.”
Hannah’s passion for the sport is partially due to her father’s life long devotion to the game. As a freshman, Trevor made it on the A team at Saginaw Valley State University(SVSU), and played for them for a couple of years before taking time off.
“I decided I had other things to pursue and it wasn’t college at that time,” Trevor said. “So I left the A-team after two years. We traveled the nation and I averaged at about 205 composite in my college years.”
Trevor continued to pursue his passion even after leaving. The bowling team would have had trouble getting off the ground without support and leadership from Trevor, a seasoned coach and bowler.
“I’ve been a coach on junior leagues for about 12 years. I was a certified coach when I was 18 years old and I coached kids when I was younger,” Trevor said. “I stopped, but when my kids started bowling I started to coach junior league again. Now I’m the head coach here on Saturday mornings for the junior major senior league which is the older kids.”
Trevor has also been coaching the Midland All-Star team for the past three years, adding to his background experience that has helped him with the new teams at MHS.
Hannah currently intends to follow in her father’s footsteps by attending SVSU and bowling for them. She already has received scholarships to bowl at the colligate level.
“I actually already have a spot on the SVSU girl’s A team even though I haven’t really been accepted yet. I bowled with them all summer and the coaches helped me improve my game a lot, Hannah said. “It’s a great honor to have one of the top coaches in the United States help me.”
Up until this year, Hannah was unable to compete against other high schools in the SVL because Midland High was unable to implement a team.
“My dad contacted [Athletic Director Eric Albright] freshman year, but that’s when they took out all the middle school sports, so it really wasn’t smart to add another sport to the high school,” Hannah said. “But this year, Albright looked at the points for the high schools and noticed that we had zero so he decided to start one.”
To suffice, her father entered her in competitions all over the state of Michigan, mostly around Detroit.
“There’s all different kinds of competitions. I’ve never bowled high school before, obviously so that will be a new experience. But with my other ones, they’re very competitive because they have bowlers in the 190s or over 200. I’m actually at my 200 average point right now,” Hannah said. “It’s different from what I’m used to so it’s a good experience to have.”
This year the Midland Public School Board finally approved the creation of a bowling team. For the first time in years at Midland High we now offer bowling as a Saginaw Valley sport.
“We finally got the big O.K. from the school board and were allowed to start the program now so we’re running with it,” Trevor said. “I wanted to start it when my daughter Hannah was a freshman but at least she gets a year of it. I plan on building this program up. I have two sons and I hope to coach them too.”
Unable to wait for their next success in the game, the Terrill’s passion for bowling exudes from them the entire time they talk.
“I cringe when I can’t bowl,” Hannah said. “I’ve been doing it for fourteen years and I can’t get enough of it.”
By Aelish Shay, Noah Surbrook and Lexi Costley
As appears in December 19, 2014 issue of FOCUS