By Corey Picard
When hearing the news, junior Rachel Bamford ran across her house to her parents. Full of joy and pride, they celebrated. Despite the struggles and disappointments of a season cut short, her dedication had paid off.
On March 23, Bamford was named Northeast Conference (NEC) Bowler of the Year. She was also named to the All-NEC First team.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be receiving such an honor,” said Bamford.
Head coach Becky Kregling credits Bamford’s intensity and focus, as well as hard work, for her success. She reflected on how Bamford is always eager to practice, in and out of season.
Kregling is happy that Bamford’s dedication was recognized by other coaches.
“There is a difference between an award you win by score and one that is voted on,” said Kregling. “It is great to shoot a score, but it is an amazing compliment to have others let you know that you deserve the award.”
After a strong finish to the season, Sacred Heart’s bowling team became the NEC regular season champions. Bambord made her impact on the championship by leading the NEC in filled frames, makable spares and overall spares.
Bamford and Kregling were looking forward to the NEC tournament to prove they were the best team, as they did during last year’s tournament. Due to its cancellation, they find it hard to consider themselves overall champions.
“When I found out that we weren’t going to the NEC Championships, I cried,” said Bamford.
Despite the disappointment, Kregling and Bamford were happy that they proved they could win.
“We bowled our behinds off the last two NEC regular season meets to jump up to first at the end,” said Bamford. “I am very proud of all of us for that achievement.”
Bamford hopes the team can capitalize on the momentum they gained at the end of this season next year, during her senior year. Instead of putting added pressure on herself, she is looking forward to one last season with the team she loves.
“In 10 years, I’m not going to remember the wins and losses as much as I will remember the memories and opportunities I had to compete with my best friends,” said Bamford.
She plans to continue her grind in order to make the most of her senior year.
“For us to succeed going into next season, we just need to keep working hard and working together as a team,” said Bamford. “And practice, practice, practice!”