Hall High School’s Kaitlyn Padgett and St. Bede Academy’s Devin Forbes are very tough on themselves and especially their bowling careers despite getting high praise from their high school coaches.
“Kaitlyn had a great season,” said Hall coach Monica Hrovat of her senior captain, a repeat BCR Girls Bowler of the Year. “She practices all year round and it showed during the season.”
St. Bede coach Buck Emmerling was quick to respond that Forbes, the 2014 BCR Boys Bowler of the Year, will be hard to replace.
“Devin has worked a lot of hours on his game since his freshmen year. The last two years he has really come around. At the end of the year, he seemed to elevate his mental game. When he did that his scores went up, and he was able to make a nice run into the postseason. He’s been a good team leader, and I have used him as an example many times during practice,” said Emmerling.
Picking up the game at a very young age for both of the BCR Bowlers of the Year has helped in their development. Padgett picked up the game at the age of 7 and Forbes a few years later at age 12.
“My dad, Jim, had put my brother Tony, in a Saturday youth bowling league at Ladd Lanes,” Padgett said. “I always tagged along, and when I was old enough my dad entered me as well.”
Forbes picked up the game of bowling at his future high school bowling home as well.
“I started doing a Saturday league at the Super Bowl because a friend said he was also doing the league,” said Forbes, a McNabb resident.
The early exposure to the game has helped both of the bowlers to understand and value the commitment and dedication to the game.
“Dedicated,” said Forbes of what his teammates would describe him as regarding his bowling career. “I just wanted to be the best bowler I could possibly be,” he said.
“Dedicated,” said Padgett. “The reason for that is that I took time in the postseason to get lessons and work on sport shots in Rockford. As well as sport shots, I went on my own time to just practice and work on specific things. I want myself to be as prepared as I can be when it comes to bowling in college.”
Padgett’s dedication also involved being a member of the Hall High School Devilettes Dance team along with teaching at The Dance Center in Peru where she has taken lessons since she was a young child.
Both of the bowlers advanced to sectionals of the IHSA state bowling tournament.
Forbes said making it to sectionals and almost going to state was a highlight for his season. He had a high score of 268 and averaged 192 on his senior season.
Padgett was excited to have a 700 series and medaled at several of Hall’s bowling tournaments.
She led her team including first place individual at the Cavalier Classic, first place at the Lady Red Devil Invite, ninth place at Matt Clark Invite in Sycamore, second place at Oregon Hawk Invite and placed third individually at LaSalle-Peru regional and helped the team advance to the Moline Sectional.
Padgett advanced to the IHSA state tournament as a junior and had an average of 208 with a high game of 279 and high series of 748.
With their high school bowling careers over, Padgett and Forbes are both looking towards their futures and where bowling may fall into those plans.
Padgett, who is considering majoring in special education/elementary education, has been looking into college bowling programs including Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Lindenwood, Valparaiso and Sam Houston State-Huntsville, Texas.
Computer science will be the major of choice for 2014 St. Bede graduate Forbes and he is looking for potential scholarships for bowling.
Despite where their futures may lead Padgett and Forbes, their dedication to the game of bowling in the high school ranks in Bureau County will be seen for numerous years.