Lorey, who had a perfect game earlier this month, wants a state title in her senior season
VANCOUVER — Reagan Lorey has one more shot to go on a magical roll.
A senior at Hudson’s Bay High School, Lorey has put together an impressive list of accomplishments in her high school bowling career. There was that third-place finish at the state tournament as a freshman. Then she took fifth place as a sophomore. A year ago, she was the runner-up, 14 pins off the Class 3A state championship.
Oh, and that champion last year? That would be Kerissa Anderson of Evergreen. They have known each other for years, competing against each other in junior leagues and tournaments.
“We’re friends,” Lorey said. “I don’t like to lose to friends.”
Especially during the high school season.
Evergreen also won the state team title last season. Lorey and the Hudson’s Bay Eagles had to settle for second place in that competition, too.
“When it comes to high school bowling, there are obviously some rivalries,” Lorey said. “Other than that, we get along really well.”
They will all be together this week at Allen’s Crosley Lanes in Vancouver. In fact, all area high school bowlers will be there. The Class 2A district championships will be held Thursday, with the 3A and 4A districts to take place Friday.
All are battling for spots at state, with their teams or as individuals.
The 3A battle will be tough with so many standouts. The defending state champion is back. Along with the runner-up. The Evergreen and Hudson’s Bay teams are stacked — they tied for the league title this season — and Prairie, Fort Vancouver, and Kelso could be in the mix, as well.
Lorey expects a lot of big things from her game and is hopeful for a return to state. Perhaps this year, she will be on top of the championship list.
At the same time, she also is trying to appreciate the journey.
“Whatever happens up there is perfectly fine,” she said of state, which is held in University Place. “I’d really like to win, though.”
If for nothing else, it would be fun to hear about a squid winning a state bowling championship. A what? More on her nickname later.
A year ago, Lorey rolled a 199 in the first of six individual games to determine the state title. Anderson got a 224 in that first game, leaving Lorey in catch-up mode all day.
Lorey recorded a 236 in the fourth game to get within 13 of the lead. Anderson, though, held off Lorey in the final two games.
This week, the goal is to earn a trip back to state. If that happens, Lorey wants to make a promise to herself to enjoy the experience.
She knows she gets upset at herself when she leaves herself an open frame. Sometimes too upset.
“I do put a lot of pressure on myself. When it comes down to it, putting pressure on myself is not helping,” she said. “It’s my senior year. I don’t want to be angry the whole time. I just have to have fun.”
Lorey has shown she can handle the pressure. Less than two weeks ago, at a juniors event in Oregon, she rolled her first perfect game.
With nine strikes in the first nine frames, she knew what was at stake.
“I was shaking so badly,” Lorey recalled. “The girl next to me kept bowling her 10th frame. That’s the only thing that kept me calm.”
Lorey was true on the next two rolls for strikes, leaving her one last attempt. This time, though, the other bowler had finished. The rest of the bowlers in the immediate area stopped, too.
“I was standing there all by myself,” Lorey said.
Just before she picked up her ball, she remembered a bit of advice from her father.
“Just get up and go. Otherwise, you’ll overthink it.”
Lorey made her approach, released the ball, and immediately figured she had just missed out on the perfect game.
“I’m not sure how it came back because I threw it way too far outside,” Lorey described. “But it came back and struck and I literally jumped in the air I was so excited.”
Perfection really is as sweet as it sounds.
“It didn’t feel real, to be honest. I had so much adrenaline in me. It was crazy,” Lorey said. “I hugged 30 people that day, half I didn’t even know. It was insane.”
It is the first of many perfect games she hopes to roll in what she hopes will be a long career. Lorey will be competing at Ottawa University in Kansas on a bowling scholarship and wants to become a professional bowler after college.
“My whole family bowls. I grew up in a bowling alley. I’ve met so many friends through bowling,” Lorey said. “I’ve watch a lot of the women’s tour. I want to be them some day.”
If she does make it to televised bowling, perhaps the commentators will get a chance to share Lorey’s nickname.
Her teammates don’t say “Let’s Go Reagan.” Instead, they say, “Let’s go Squid.”
It comes from the movie “Men in Black” when the baby is delivered. “Here’s your squid” was the line.
“That’s what my dad has called me since I was born,” Reagan said. “Then my teammates heard about it. I’m not mad about it. It’s just a weird story.”
A storybook ending to Lorey’s high school career would be an individual championship for Squid and a team title for the Eagles.