The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 22, 2013

Brian Holtzapple's high school bowling column: Success rolling over into college

Lately I've been writing a lot about the Valley's large and successful group of high school and junior bowlers.

And the point I'm building to is, for anyone serious about the sport, there is a life for them in competitive bowling that goes beyond high school.

A few years ago, Lewisburg High School graduate Heather Shoemaker made a big splash by becoming a member of the women's bowling team at Kutztown University. She was a key contributor during the Golden Bears' infancy period as a new Division I program.

And of course you have Shikellamy product Shelby Derr, who has just completed an outstanding freshman season at Saint Francis (Pa.) University, itself a fairly recent addition to the Division I ranks.

In 2012-13 Derr was named to the Northeast Conference All-Rookie Team, as well as to the NEC All-Tournament team after she led the Red Flash to the NEC Tournament finals.

Through recruiting research, Saint Francis coach Tom Falbo discovered Derr's talents at a young age.

"I saw her scoring ability as far back as her freshman year," he said. "It was at the end of her junior year when I saw her compete for the first time.

"Seeing how she threw it -- her ball motion and striking power -- it was clear the ability she possessed."

Obviously, being the daughter of an owner of a bowling alley Derr has grown up around the lanes, and she has gotten some of the best coaching and instruction available. So whenever she's on the lanes, Derr no doubt knows what she's doing.

And it has all served Derr well during her transition into becoming a Division I college bowler.

Derr bowled in a total of 42 games this season for Saint Francis and posted an average of 199.61. During baker play, she bowled 459 complete frames with an 18.67 frame average.

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