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Sarah holding her Elite Youth Tour January 2024 U15G champion trophy

Bowling Star Sarah Doughty Shines Bright at Sterling High

Keagan Hicks
Sarah Doughty, a sophomore at Sterling High School in the upcoming school year, has been putting up impressive bowling stats.

Sarah has a 4.100 GPA of 4.000, is enrolled in AP and accelerated classes, and partakes in other extracurricular activities such as the pep, marching, and concert bands, as well as the choir. Sarah volunteers at many events, including but not limited to, Food4Kids (filling Buddy Bags), United Way Let’s Feed Our Children (filling lunch bags), Community VBS (serving meals and helping with crafts), Sauk Valley Unite (painting houses), and many other events with her church.

Elite Youth Tour – March 2024 champion jersey – presented by Diandra Asbaty, PWBA professional bowler

Sarah has been bowling for 11 years, starting when she was only four years old. Sarah got involved in bowling because her mother (who was on the team that placed 2nd in 1987 and the team that placed 6th in 1988), grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and her brother (a member of the inaugural Sterling High School boys bowling team) had all bowled. Growing up in a family of bowlers, it was normal for Sarah to be around bowling all the time, and eventually, she joined the Saturday youth league at Paone’s Blackhawk Lanes in Sterling. 

When asked what made her interested in bowling, Sarah said, “My Uncle Tim [Sivits] and my mom pushed me really hard to be the best bowler I could, so my initial interest in the sport came from them. Over time, my interest grew because I wanted to be more than just a league bowler. Being in a local league doesn’t get your name out there very much, and you don’t get to meet new people very often. When you go to tournaments and events, you get to meet so many new people who have the same interests as you.”

SHS 23-24 season – turkey hat – worn after throwing three strikes in a row

Sarah then goes on to discuss what she loves most about the sport of bowling, stating “Generally, in small towns such as ours, sports like bowling get overlooked by other sports such as football or basketball. But when I go to these events, I feel like I fit in with the people around me; there my sport is actually seen as a sport. Another thing is just the general atmosphere of bowling. Everybody cheers each other on and the competition isn’t intense competition like some of the other sports.”

Western Big Six Girls MVP 2024

Sarah has competed in the Illinois Pepsi tournament for the last four years, competing in the U12G division in 2021, and the U15G division in 2022-2024. In 2021, Sarah took home 1st place at the zone level, and 2nd place at the state level. In 2022, she took home 1st place at the zone level, and 22nd place at the state level. In 2023, she took home 4th place at the zone level and 15th place at the state level. In 2024, Sarah finished in 1st place at both the zone and state level. 

Sarah competed in the IESA (Illinois Elementary School Association) State competition in both 2022 and 2023, placing 5th in 2022 and 1st in 2023. Sarah holds the IESA state record for a 4-game series, scoring 940, and tied the IESA state record for a high game with a score of 279. Sarah also placed 3rd in the U18G division for the PBA Jr National Regional Qualifier.

In Sarah’s freshman year of high school, the 2023-24 season for Sterling High School Girls Bowling, she was awarded the Western Big 6 conference MVP, and had a first-place finish in three different invites: the Oregon Invite, the United Township Panthers Invite, and the Geneseo Invite. Sarah set 5 school records for Sterling High School in her first year: the season average (205.89), season 700 series (4), career 700 series (4), regional 3-game series (688), and regional 6-game series (1369). Sarah finished 26th place in sectionals to conclude her freshman year. 

Elite Youth Tour – Battle Royale major champion jersey (U15G) – presented by Diandra Asbaty, PWBA professional bowler

Congratulations to Sarah Doughty on all her bowling accomplishments and good luck to her in future seasons.

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