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HEBRON ESTATES – North Bullitt senior Courtney Donaldson says that she always knew what she was going to do after graduating from high school.
That dream is still alive as Donaldson will join the bowling program at Spalding University in Louisville starting in the fall.
“I have always said I would go to Spalding,” she said following a ceremony in the North Bullitt library late in the school year in which her decision was made official in front of family, teammates and coaches. “It’s just always been a dream school for me.
“I was at one of my friend’s volleyball games and I ran into the athletic director (Roger Burkeman) and one of the parents said I was a bowler. He then got me all the information I needed.”
The 17-year old daughter of Brent and Terri Donaldson plans to major in Occupational Therapy at Spalding.
Donaldson will be joined on the Spalding bowling team by North Bullitt teammate Kayla Ranschaert.
Donaldson began bowling when she was 6-years old when she would go bowling with her father and uncle. They just happened to be bowling at Derby Lanes which is North Bullitt’s home lanes.
Joining the North Bullitt program was a step that Donaldson took when she was still in the eighth-grade at Hebron Middle School. Her cousin, Katie Schott, was on the Lady Eagle bowling team and she got Donaldson to join the team.
At North Bullitt, Donaldson helped the Lady Eagles reach the Kentucky State Bowling Tournament during her junior season. She also reached the state tournament that year as an individual. While she does not have a 300 game on her resume, she has bowled a 268.
While bowling was her first love, Donaldson was a member of the North Bullitt volleyball team for four years. Three former North Bullitt teammates now play volleyball at Spalding and they tried to talk her into also playing volleyball for the Golden Eagles but Donaldson thinks that will just be too difficult with the school thrown in.
While getting to the Kentucky State Bowling Tournament was certainly a major accomplishment for Donaldson during her junior season, she, like Ranschaert both mentioned that a favorite memory of bowling for the Lady Eagles was knocking arch-rival Pleasure Ridge Park out of this year’s Louisville City Tournament, an event the North Bullitt program was not supposed to enter because of bad weather that weekend.
Donaldson, who is bowling one night a week this spring in a league at Fern Valley Strikes and Spares, singled out the help she got from former assistant coach Sherri Klosterman for helping improve her game. Klosterman was able to make it to North Bullitt for Donaldson’s announcement ceremony.
Spalding is an NCAA Division III program that does not offer athletic-based financial aide. Donaldson has some academic money lined up, but she also has money available that she has won in youth bowling events. The ‘Smart Fund’ is set up with the tourney winnings going into a fund that the bowler can only use for college costs.
At Spalding, Donaldson will join the program that is under the direction of head coach Barb Schwiermann. Her assistant coach is husband Don Schwiermann.
The Golden Eagle program had five bowlers on the roster last season with four of those being freshmen.
North Bullitt bowling coach Thomas Druen feels that Donaldson will fit in just fine with Spalding.
“I know the coaches at Spalding and they are in outstanding staff,” Druen said. “Spalding has a lot of bowlers from the Louisville area that Courtney knows. They are at the same level. Her ability level is very compatible with what Spalding has.”