KEOKUK'S QUIET DYNASTY: CHIEF BOWLERS SEEKING BACK TO BACK STATE TITLES
Some of you with really good memories may remember a younger Lakyn Boltz as a Finalist for the Elk's Hoop Shoot Free Throw National Championship who got to compete at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
If not, perhaps you may recall the epic Dare Duerr beatings she doled out to yours truly at the Charity Stripe as proof of her prowess.
Believe it or not, Miss Lakyn is now a high school aged guard at Keokuk...and not suprisingly a good one.
But that's not all....
Lakyn Boltz: "As a Sophomore now, I mean, I just wanted to help lead our team back to state. Winning state las tyear was so much fun and winning last year made me want to make it back this year just as much."
She may be more visible for her exploits on the basketball court, but it is hardwood of a different sort on which Lakyn Boltz has enjoyed her greatest sports success. You see, the Keokuk Sophomore isn't only the Chief's chief perimeter threat; she also moonlights in the winter as a lynchpin on Keokuk's "Quiet Dynasty" the defending state champion Bowling Squad.
Lakyn Boltz: "Actually, throughout this season, I've gotten a few comments here and there saying: "Wait...So you're a basketball player and a bowler? How do you do that?" Coach is great about letting me go to basketball practice. And if we have a game for basketball, of course I have to got to that but usually it doesn't conflict. We have meets on Saturdays and we don't have many basketball games on Saturday. So it's just been a lot of fun being able to do both."
Ryan Moore: "Between Lakyn playing basketball...and we've got other girls doing speech and other things outside of here who are also involved in school. It takes sacrifice and just the hard work they put in when we do them here for practice because we do share them with outerh activities. So they just have to put in extra hard effort when they are here at practice."
Judging from past results, that hasn't been an issue. Since 2009 Keokuk has won two state titles and posted four straight top four finishes; with this latest group of girls on the verge of adding to that trophy windfall on "The Big Stage" in March. Which begs the question....
Duerr: "Why are you guys so good? It seems like year to year this program is always so strong. What is it about Keokuk that gives rise to such great bowlers?"
Hannah Seyb: "We put a lot of effort into it. We practice a lot. We do leagues. And we take it serious. We don't mess around."
Brittany Benedict: "One thing about bowling on the Keokuk team is that we are such a good TEAM. I love to be part of it. Something that comes along with how we work is that: we succeed and then we're proud. We all build off each other."
??Hannah Seyb: "It (bowling) is a sport and we kick butt at it so...it's just really awesome."
Ryan Moore: "Their biggest thing is that it is recognized as a sport. Some people don't look at it that way but they put in as much effort as a basketball team or football team."