When coaches speak of their student-athletes, there is often glowing praise.
Most of the times those coaches want their student-athletes to succeed in anything they do, whether it be in that specific sport or some other avenue of life.
Sturgis bowling coach Scott Spahr has high praise for recent graduate Maddison Bailey. She will be continuing her academic and bowling careers at Glen Oaks Community College, a young bowling program looking to cultivate local talent and grow as a collective unit. When asked about Bailey, Spahr spoke highly of her and her attributes both on and off the bowling lanes.
“She’s a leader, she will bring people along and she wants to be better at whatever she is doing,” he said. “She has no problem putting in the work and I think Glen Oaks is a good fit for her. They will be happy to have her and she will be a good fit for their program.”
Bailey is excited about her new opportunities as well. She is a firm believer in the definition of “student-athlete” and is all about being a student first.
A new graduate of Sturgis High School who was an honor roll student, Bailey said academics are high on her list of priorities.
“It’s definitely ‘student-athlete’ for me because the ‘student’ comes before the ‘athlete’ and that’s important,” she said. “Academics are a big thing for me.”
Bailey said she wants to pursue a career in the field of forensic sciences. While a student at SHS, she took a forensic science class with Mr. Goodlock and fell in love with it. From the beginning of the course, she said she was hooked and now plans to pursue where this route could take her.
But like most graduating high school students, there are some butterflies in the stomach as well when it comes to making the next step in life. Bailey said she’s a bit nervous about just going to college.
“I know it’s going to be just like high school where you have to work on your education,” she said. “But I feel it’s a big step in my education and there will be a lot more work involved.”
When it comes to bowling, Bailey said she got a little bit of a late start. It’s become her favorite sport to compete in and she decided to participate in it because it wasn’t considered a “mainstream” sport.
Spahr said she might not have a massive bowling history, but she is certainly willing to put in the work and continue to learn and get better.
“She is willing to learn and with the COVID situation, she has really only bowled a season and a half, so she has picked it up well,” Spahr said. “I think she is going to be fine.”
One of her friends even asked her to come help the team because of some low numbers on the squad, so Bailey followed that path and has never looked back.
“It just became a thing, I guess,” she said with a smile.
So for now, the plan is to bowl for Glen Oaks while continuing her education. Glen Oaks, as a community college, is obviously just a two-year school. Bailey said she has plans of finishing her two years at Glen Oaks, while bowling, and then transferring to a four-year school when the time comes.
Bailey said there is plenty to look forward to, as well.
“I’m exciting to join the team, I feel like I can help the team get better together,” she said. “I’m kind of a leader, I think, but I don’t want to show up and be bossy, either. I just want everyone to know that I am here for them and we can take the next step together.”