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Sparks posts high average but is still chasing ultimate goal

Barry Sparks
For The York Dispatch

Although Jen Sparks led York County women with a 231 average for 136 games at Colony Park Lanes North last season, she fell short of her goal of a 237 average, which would break Lindy Decker's 236 mark set in 2008-09.

"Having the high average in the county never gets old," said the 34-year-old right-hander.  "It's a significant accomplishment, particularly considering how many talented bowlers there are."

Sparks made it clear, however, that she won't be satisfied until she owns the county record for high average for women bowlers.  "That's my No. 1 goal," she stressed.

Bowler Jen Sparks

She fell a pin shy of the record in 2019-20 when she averaged 235. The season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. She was confident she could have broken the record if she had another six weeks.

Last season, Sparks averaged 228 as she bowled most of the season pregnant with twins.  Her season was abbreviated as she stopped bowling in early April.

Limited opportunity: Sparks' pursuit of the record is more impressive considering she only bowls one night a week.  She admits it's difficult to stay sharp with limited action.

"I definitely think I could average three to five pins higher if I bowled more than one night a week," she said. 

This may be the season Sparks achieves her goal.  She is bowling in two leagues and plans to compete in a number of tournaments.

"The more I bowl, the better," she said.

Poff enjoys fun year while posting county's high average

Although the record is important to her, Sparks isn't going to take any shortcuts.  She won't halt her season when, or if, she reaches the 237 mark.

Sparks is encouraged that 16 county women averaged 200 or higher last season.

"It's good for our youth bowlers to see so many talented women.  It gives them role models and motivation."

Sparks hopes to provide a new record for the younger generation to shoot for.

YORK COUNTY WOMEN

Top averages for 2021-22

(Minimum of 66 games)

Bowler                                    Avg.                Games             Center

Jennifer Sparks                       231                  136                  Colony Park North

Stephanie Whipple-Miller      224                    87                  Suburban

Brooke Meszaros                    220                    69                  Laser Alleys

Beth Kostjal                            218                    78                  Suburban

Julie Carson                            217                  128                  Colony Park North

Chelsea Poff                            214                    93                  Colony Park North

Dee Brown                              213                    69                  Colony Park North

Christina Hartl                        211                  105                  Laser Alleys

Jennifer Schaffer                     208                    96                  Suburban

Brandy Waltersdorff               207                    88                  Colony Park North

Kristyn Wernig                       207                    96                  Suburban

Melissa Pickett                       205                    90                  Hanover

Becky Daigle                          204                    75                  Colony Park North

Brittany Ilgenfritz                   204                    81                  Suburban

Khrystyna Liske                      204                    99                  Laser Alleys

Kristen Gessner                      200                    81                  Hanover

Samantha Schnur                    199                    69                  East Lincoln

Brenda Danfelt                       196                  120                  Colony Park North

Sherry Keller                          196                    96                  Suburban

Erin O'Dell                              195                    96                  Colony Park North

Chyanne Shoff                        194                    75                  Suburban

Kaitlyn Nicewonger               194                    93                  Suburban

Catherine Kreider                   193                    94                  Laser Alleys

Rae Ogden                              191                  102                  Colony Park North

Deann Michener                     190                    84                  East Lincoln