Ranschaert always had Spalding

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By Mike Farner

HEBRON ESTATES – For North Bullitt senior Kayla Ranschaert, the decision on a college future was one she made in the summer before her final year of high school.

     Still, it wasn’t until this May that Ranschaert had her official ceremony to announce that she would be attending school and bowling at Spalding University in Louisville.

     As it turned out, Ranschaert and Lady Eagle teammate Courtney Donaldson shared a ceremony in the North Bullitt library to announce that they would both be heading to the Golden Eagle bowling program starting in the fall.

     “I contacted them first,” Ranschaert said following all the picture taking and congratulations from her teammates, family and coaches. “But, they already had stats on me since my freshman year.”

     Ranschaert also looked into the program at Bellarmine University, but decided that the school and athletic combination fit her needs at Spalding.

     “It was just that the atmosphere fit me better,” she said. “Some of the girls on the team (at Spalding) got me interested and we went bowling and it was fun.”

     At Spalding, Ranschaert plans to major in nursing. Her future goal is to become a nurse practitioner.

     The 18-year old daughter of Brenda and Tood Ranschaert, who has an older sister, Gabby Fortwengler, was in the North Bullitt bowling program for four years. She began bowling in the third grade at Derby Lanes, which just happens to be the home bowling lanes for the Lady Eagles.

     Ranschaert was a member of a North Bullitt team that went to the Kentucky State Bowling Tournament during her junior season after finishing as the runner-up in the regional tournament to arch-rival Pleasure Ridge Park. Ranschaert came up one position short of advancing to the state tournament as an individual, finishing just behind Donaldson.

     Her favorite memory of bowling for North Bullitt came late in her senior season. The team was set to play in the Louisville High School championships, but bad weather technically kept the green and gold out of the event. Well, the team members made it to the lanes anyway, winning the vent by beating PRP.

     While at North Bullitt Ranschaert also was a member of the cheerleading squad for four years.

     Spalding is an NCAA Division III program that does not offer athletic-based financial aide. Ranschaert had some grant 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, Ranschaert 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 Ranschaert 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 Kayla knows. They are at the same level. Her ability level is very compatible with what Spalding has.”