LETTS — Another year, another state championship for the Louisa-Muscatine High School girls’ bowling team.
It never gets old for Falcons head coach Al Jordan, who keeps producing one great bowler after another.
The latest is junior Jersey Lessenger, who has taken on the role of team leader.
Lessenger helped Louisa-Muscatine win her sixth straight Class 1A state tag team title, and she also qualified for the state as an individual.
For Lessenger, teamwork really makes the dream work.
“It’s really nice to be part of a team that bonds so well and all the success we’ve had,” said Lessenger, The Hawk Eye’s female bowler of the year. “Everyone on our team has bowled before and we’ve all done very well. Being a state champion is what everyone on the team wants to aim for.”
Lessenger qualified for the state as an individual, rolling games of 201, 186 and 197 for a streak of 584, placing her sixth after the preliminary round. In the final, she lost a match 247-204 to Lauren Fink of Tripoli in the quarter-finals.
But it was the team event that Lessenger was most focused on. She helped the Falcons to 2,767 points in the preliminary round, giving them the third seed going into the final. There the Falcons overtook Forest City, took a 3-2 win over Camanche, then shut out Clarinda, 3-0, to win the state tag team title.
With the new in-state format heavily emphasizing Baker games, Lessenger said the Falcons spent a lot of practice time working on that aspect of their game.
“I was really excited to qualify as an individual. My goal was to qualify as an individual. It’s so hard to do. I was so honored to do it,” Lessenger said. “The Baker game was a big change. We worked a lot on our Baker games because it was a big part of the state this year. I like it because it shows more of the team aspect sport. It’s more a team thing because you really have to rely on your teammates.”
Lessenger, whose father is the Falcons’ assistant coach, started at a young age. It’s a sport she hopes to continue playing at the college level.
I think I was five years old when I started bowling. I started to learn from my father, then Al helped me too. He’s such a great coach. He always helps us improve,” Lessenger said. “I would love to bowl in college if I get the chance. But the main plan is always to keep winning.”
Matt Levins is a sports reporter for the USA TODAY Network in Burlington, Iowa, which has covered local sports for 31 years. Contact him at [email protected]