The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Ryan Luecker: First State Bowler in Niles West History

Ryan Luecker, junior, looking down the alley after rolling his turn

The bowling team has made Niles West history by sending their first player to the state championship this year: junior and captain Ryan Luecker who qualified at O’Fallon High School after narrowly missing state qualification last year. He made it his goal to qualify this year and looks to build on this momentum next season.

Luecker got into bowling at a young age. It’s not always likely that people continue with activities they joined as kids, but that wasn’t the case for Luecker. He got into bowling at the age of six because he received a bowling ball for his birthday.

Luecker had many people in his corner, cheering him on. After being so close to such a big achievement, he turned to his teammates for support to help him move forward.

“I think what helped me the most were my friends and everybody that supported me through the season. But my mental game was a huge negative factor,” Luecker said.

Luecker recaps the two-day state experience. He practiced the first day to prepare for the finals the second day, however the team faced setbacks along the way.

“I had a good experience there, but a lot of kids got the stomach flu. On Friday, I bowled and finished in 32 place out of around 150 bowlers,” Luecker said.

As the team captain and leader of this season, many of his teammates are very pleased with his leadership abilities and feel he brings the team together.

“Being a teammate with Ryan was and still is certainly an experience. He was the team captain, able to support the team nobody else could. Ryan knew everything to do with bowling. Struggling? Ryan’s there! No matter what was happening Ryan will always try to help you become better,” sophomore David Osborne said.

Since this is the first time a bowler went to the state championship in Niles West history, the experience in itself was exciting.
“Going to state with Ryan was a great experience. Being in that atmosphere with so many good bowlers and fans was electric. Ryan did a great job with the games he bowled. There were some rough patches but some amazing games as well. He had [scored] a 264 and a 249 in two of them,” boys bowling coach and math teacher James Krzeminski said.
For those who aren’t aware of scoring in bowling, this means he rolled a game of 10 strikes with a perfect score being 300 and rolled nine strikes in a row.
Ryan looks to build off of this momentum and bowl even better next year. He also plans to bowl in college, and state is merely a step in the right direction.
“I would say state went as well as I hoped,” Luecker said.
Congratulations Ryan!
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    Lori GoettscheFeb 22, 2024 at 4:55 PM

    What a great article Ryan!. So proud of you and your continued, determined efforts to carry the bowling legacy through the generations of our family.