Sierra Reid is a serious bowler who also likes to make the sport a lot of fun.
The Ewing High School sophomore gets a lot of time on the lanes between bowling for the Blue Devils girls’ team and helping whenever she can with Ewing’s Unified bowling team.
She brings an upbeat personality to both teams, and she also is a leader in Ewing’s Unified Physical Education class that combines general education students with special needs students.
“Last year, I did it too,” Reid said. “We only had two freshmen last year. Me and my friend, because they knew how good we were with them. My one best friend, she’s special needs, and me and her get along really well.”
Reid enjoys those interactions, and she has also made a big impact on the EHS girls bowling team. Reid burst onto the scene last year.
“She came in as a freshman, but she didn’t perform as a freshman,” said Ewing head coach Dave Angebranndt. “She came in already fine-tuned, and just a couple things here and there you had to tweak every once in a while.”
Reid shares her sarcasm and humor with teammates and can keep things light, but knows how to buckle down for practice and competition. She’s part of a group that is looking to bring Ewing back to the top. The Blue Devils won their first four matches of the year, all 4-0, including a shutout of Pemberton.
“That’s a really big accomplishment,” Reid said. “Last year, we didn’t beat them.”
This year, it’s the Blue Devils who are full of talent. Reid is back after bowling one year of high school, Jazmyn Willis returns for her junior year after missing all of last year due to injury, and Olivia Ross is back for her senior year and fourth season.
Adding into the mix are two impactful bowlers. Mia Siminitus, who’s part of the reason that Reid is so good, has come in as a freshman and posted the team’s best scores. And Marian Ordonez has been a vital addition as a new bowler. The Blue Devils didn’t have the minimum five bowlers for team scoring until the junior joined the squad.
The strong start has the Blue Devils thinking about winning the Burlington County Scholastic League Tournament and contending in the South Jersey Group II tournament.
Reid is feeling good about Ewing’s chances this year. They have one strong bowler in each class, which makes them a blend of talent and ages that could help the Blue Devils rekindle their glory days.
“We’re up there,” Reid said. “We have a good team. Our boys are good, but we’re pretty good too. Jazmyn was hurt last year so she couldn’t bowl. Her coming back will help put us back up there.”
The make-up of the team is special and the Blue Devils are hoping to make the most of their collection this year.
Reid’s return and the fact that she still has two years is important. She started out playing softball, but at 10-years-old, she found a new sport. Reid still plays softball, but now considers bowling her top sport.
“I feel like it’s better for me,” Reid said. “I feel like I could go somewhere with that. With softball, I feel like a lot of people can do it, and a lot of colleges just look for somebody to sit on the bench. Bowling, it doesn’t come to everybody. If you’re good at it, you have potential. You can learn bowling, but if you have something there, you really have something.”
Reid saw potential early. She started off with Siminitus and they grew together.
“We were going to bowl for fun at Curtis, and her dad saw that they had a league on Saturdays,” Reid recalled. “We started doing that. Once I got to the high school, they had the bowling team so I started doing that. And now I still do leagues on Saturdays and I still work on myself and she does it too. I started when I was 10 and she started when she was 9.”
Reid liked bowling immediately. It crossed over with her softball somewhat, and the similar motions seemed to aid her. “It took time to work on it, but it kind of came easily,” Reid said.
She now focuses on taking the smaller steps to becoming a better bowler. She studies the lanes more to find the patterns for where to throw her ball just right. And she has a year of high-school bowling under her belt, which helps in knowing what keys there are to having a good day.
“If you start off with a bad energy, the rest of your team is going to get that energy,” she said. “If you start off with a good vibe, everyone else is going to get that vibe. You try to start off with happy energy and keep it throughout the three games and everybody else will hopefully keep that energy.”
The bus rides are a great chance to build energy. The bowling team is inclusive between the boys and the girls and between classes. Reid’s energy is a plus.
“I think she brings out the best in the rest of the team,” Angebranndt said. “I think the chemistry that the girls have this year is unlike others that we’ve had in the past.”
Angebranndt likes Reid’s consistency in matches and her competitiveness. She bowled a career-high 240 in tryouts this year and prides herself on being able to pick up the ever-important spares. Having seen all of the different bowling venues used last year takes away some of the anxiety of matches.
“Bowling in high school, as many people don’t think, is challenging because they think bowling is cheese fries and sodas,” Angebranndt said. “It’s competitive and having a year under her belt and seeing what the competition is like, she’s come in this year and she’s ready to go and ready to advance this team into a spot that they haven’t been in a while.”