SFA seniors Nicole Parkhurst, Whitney McCoy and Sierra Gibbons
April 15, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin gets set to close out its memorable 2013-14 season as the Ladyjacks are in Reno, Nev., competing in the 2014 USBC Championships. The four-day event gets underway Tuesday, April 15, before wrapping up on Friday, April 18.
The Ladyjacks qualified for the event by placing second at the USBC Regional in Fort Worth last month as SFA will look to build on its performance from 2012 when it advanced to the semifinals. Despite just missing out on qualifying for the NCAA tournament, the Ladyjacks have put together quite a memorable season, including top-five finishes in eight of their 10 tournaments and reaching as high as fourth in the NTCA media poll, the highest in school history.
Last week SFA also reached another program milestone as two players were named NTCA All-Americans for the 2013-14 season. Senior Nicole Parkhurst became the first two-time All-American as she was named a second team honoree (honorable mention in 2013) while sophomore Melanie Crawford was a third team selection.
Not only does the event this weekend cap a fantastic season for the SFA bowling team, it also marks the final event for three Ladyjacks who have helped build the program into what it is today. Seniors Sierra Gibbons, Whitney McCoy and Nicole Parkhurst have been integral parts of the rise of the Ladyjack bowling program as Gibbons and McCoy are both fifth-year players who have been with the program since day one.
“I can’t express what these three girls have meant to this program,” said head coach Amber Lemke. “They have done incredible things to help this program grow each season and develop into what it is today. The foundation they have set will help SFA bowling continue to grow and become a national contender, and I’m incredibly proud and thankful for everything they have done. They will all be very missed.”
We asked the three of them what it means to be a Ladyjack and what being a member of the SFA bowling program has meant to them:
Sierra Gibbons – Plano, Texas
“Being a Ladyjack the past five years has meant growing as both an athlete and a person. I was given an opportunity to represent my school doing the sport I love alongside a group of girls who will remain my lifelong friends. While it was not always easy maintaining a 4.0 and traveling across the country every other weekend, bowling for my school has left me with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I added to the success of SFA Athletics.”
Whitney McCoy – Houston, Texas
“Being a Ladyjack for the past five years has taught me that friendships are the most important things you can take away from college. After all the practices, workouts, tournaments, team dinners, and social events, at the end of the day, your teammates are your family. You go through more trials and tribulations than you could ever imagine. They are there through the ups and downs, the heartbreaks and the victories, you have a group of girls that have your back no matter what. Every year is a new group, but it's amazing how quickly everyone becomes family. Being a part of a Ladyjack family is something I would never give up.”
Nicole Parkhurst – Utica, N.Y.
“Being a Ladyjack for the past four years has taught me so much about myself. I have learned that focusing on the trivial matters does not lead to success, but putting all of your trust into your teammates will. I would not trade the hard work, dedication, and family that I have made for anything in the world. We’ve laughed, cried, and created a bond between each other that can never be broken. I will proudly call myself a Ladyjack, forever.”