It’s not often a freshman advances to a state tournament as an individual. It’s even less likely for that freshman to achieve a top-10 finish at said state tournament, but Daviess County’s Maddie Phelps did both during her first season as a high school student.
Phelps was the only local bowler on the girls side to advance to the KHSAA State Bowling Championship this season but she didn’t stop there, as she just missed the step-ladder finals and ended up 10th in the state tournament.
Because of her performance on the lanes this season, Phelps is the Owensboro Times Female Bowler of the Year.
“It’s an absolute honor to be voted for bowler of the year by Owensboro’s surrounding coaches,” she said. “There are a lot of great bowlers around here and to be chosen as the girls No. 1 bowler of the year shows me that I have came along way from where I started.”
Phelps entered her first year of high school in the middle of a pandemic. Add a sport on top of that and it’s been a wild year for the Panther standout, and although she didn’t get as much practice time as she wanted, she was still able to be productive and get closer to the goals she set for herself.
For an athlete to get to a certain level, it takes many different people supporting them every step of the way.
Phelps said she’s had a lot of people in her corner.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for all he has done for me and continues to do for me,” she said. “Through him anything is possible. I also want to thank my parents, Shawn and Melanie Phelps. They are a huge part of my bowing life. They push me to be the best I can be and to always show good sportsmanship. All my coaches, Byron Johnson, Casey Carroll and Jimmy Carroll, who have also been a huge impact in my life. They have taught me great techniques which has tremendously helped me improve. I also want to thank Jim Hagan who got me started three years ago and has encouraged me every step of the way. I don’t know what I would do without all these people.”
With still three seasons to go in her high school career, Phelps said she’s already looking forward to next year and being a leader for the Lady Panthers.
She said they all have a bright future and she’s ready to get DC back in contention for a title.
“I have learned to stay focused, work hard, stay persistent and have fun,” she said. “Throughout my years at Daviess County, I will continue to work hard and improve. My ultimate goal is to lead my team back to state for hopefully a state championship.”