Girls Bowling: Lincoln-Way North’s Ronnie Villasenor strumming right along
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media January 26, 2014 6:00PM
Ronnie Villasenor, of Lincoln-Way North | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2014 6:19AM
Battling ligament problems in her fingers, Lincoln-Way North senior Ronnie Villasenor fights through the pain to help boost the Phoenix.
“I have a stretched ligament, and when I throw the ball it makes it hurt more,” she said. “I went to the doctor and he gave me a brace. You just have to kind of throw through the pain. Do what you have to do.”
The injuries actually have had a benefit. They’ve forced Villasenor to add variety to her game, as she’s tried out multiple grips and throwing styles to try to limit the pain.
“Sometimes I think, ‘Oh, God, this hurts,’ ” she said. “I have to think on the go and figure out that I’m going to throw it this way or that way to make it hurt less. So I do think it makes me a more versatile bowler.”
The injuries haven’t stopped Villasenor from thriving on the lanes. One of North’s top bowlers, she averaged nearly 165 last season and has increased that by almost 10 pins this year.
On Dec. 21, she helped the Phoenix earn district bragging rights as the team captured the Lincoln-Way Cup, Villasenor tossing a 199 to aid the cause.
She bowled a 239 in the Oak Forest Invitational and a 225 in a dual meet with Lockport. Her career best is a 245.
She also provides plenty in the leadership department.
“She’s not only a great bowler, but also a team leader,” North coach Ryan Stapinski said. “She fights through her injuries and has used that experience to help other members of the team with their form. She’s a well-rounded individual that’s highly successful in a multitude of different ways.”
Bowling is just one item on the laundry list of Villasenor’s activities.
“I’m in bowling, band, jazz band, I play the trumpet and piano, I’m an instrumentalist in Madrigals, I take piano lessons every Wednesday, I’m in the pep band, I’m joining choir next year, I’m in Acabellaz (North’s girls choir), I’m trying out for a musical and my dad plays in a band and I occasionally sit in with him,” she said.
Bowling and music are her two loves.
“My dad’s been doing music since he was a kid,” she said. “I grew up around that environment. The only things I know how to do are bowling and music. I started music when I was in fifth grade. I started bowling when I was 8. I’ve been around it my whole life.”
Villasenor said she can apply similar skills to music and bowling.
“Everyone thinks music is just playing an instrument but you have to think about everything you do, how you sound, what you’re playing,” she said. “Bowling, you have to think about how you let go of the ball, focus on what you’re going to hit. It’s pretty much the same thing.”
With a few weeks left in her high school bowling career, Villasenor hopes to go out with a bang.
“I’d like to beat my 245 personal best,” she said. “I’d like to do better at sectionals. I’d just like to go out and top some of my personal accomplishments.”