Anthony Sanders, of St. Rita
Updated: January 25, 2013 6:12AM
This week we shine the spotlight on Anthony Sanders, St. Rita bowling; Stephanie Garuckas, Andrew bowling; Alyssa Papan, Andrew cheerleading; and Dominic Senese, Stagg diving.
Sr., Bowling, St. Rita
Sanders is one of two returning starters from last season’s state qualifier.
“That was exciting because it was our first time going in history for our school,” Sanders said. “I was glad to be a part of that.”
Sanders began bowling when he was 8.
“My parents wanted me to get out of the house and get involved and not just be a couch potato,” he said. “My first time bowling I was nervous and threw a 125 and I was like ‘I actually like this sport.’ ”
Sr., Bowling, Andrew
Garuckas became a state champion when the Thunderbolts made their surprising team title run last season.
“It was very exciting,” she said. “When we won state, we felt like celebrities. We didn’t see it coming at all.”
Garuckas owes a friend for getting her into bowling.
“My friend was a bowler and I wanted to try something different,” she said. “I’ve liked it ever since then. I’ve been bowling since I was 9.”
Sr., Cheerleading, Andrew
It took a while for Papan to convince her mother, Gina, to let her participate in cheerleading even though Alyssa’s sister, Michele,did.
“My sister was a base and I’m a flyer,” Papan said. “My mom thought it was dangerous. But my sister is four years older than me and was a junior coach with the Orland Hills Wolves, so that helped. I’ve been injured but nothing big, so she’s getting used to it.”
Andrew qualified for state in the Illinois Cheerleaders Coaches Association qualifier Dec. 16 in Pontiac.
Sr., Diving, Stagg
Senese was a swimmer for seven years before he went to high school, switched to diving and “got really into it.’’
“It’s exciting to be up on the board while everybody is watching, the adrenaline rush, trying new things off the board,’’ he said.
Senese measures his improvement from year to year by “trying to increase the difficulty of the dives, trying to really perfect them. You can never get it right the first time. You’ve got to practice it over and over again.’’