North Carolina A&T bowling program announced the signing of five talented
bowlers to join the Aggies for the 2012-13 season.
"All in all,
the coaching staff is really excited about this year, really excited about what
[the recruits are] bringing to the table, and knowing that this is the first
step in returning A&T back to winning MEAC championships, which is what we
used to do quite often," said A&T head coach James Williams, referring to
the Aggies previous four MEAC titles, the last one occurring during the 2003-04
Aggies this fall are freshmen Najah
Owens (Sanderson, Knightdale, N.C.), Briana
Jackson (Davie County, Winston-Salem, N.C.), Emily Strombeck (Kestrel Heights School, Durham, N.C.) and Khadijah Clark (West Johnston, Garner,
N.C.) and junior college transfer Courtney
Crook (GTCC, Jamestown, N.C.)
Three of the
recruits-Owens, Strombeck, and Crook-have qualified for the 2012 North Pointe
Junior Gold Championships, a national tournament for the top youth bowlers in
the country which was held July 14-21 in Indiana. Youth bowlers have an opportunity to earn a
spot on the USA Junior Team at the tournament as well.
coming season, we were looking for spare consistency, we were looking at
approach consistency as far as if you are able to reproduce the same thing over
and over again, and just basically overall talent with the releasing of the
ball, generating revolutions and just making sure that you are able to make a
quality shot and leave yourself a makeable spare," Williams said. "We were able to get that with each one of
the girls. But each one also brings her
own special piece to those things."
Each of the
ladies has competed in state youth leagues and travel leagues because of the
lack of organized high school bowling in North Carolina, Williams said. He added that his recruits have run across
each other in these tournaments as opponents.
Now they will join forces in an effort to lead the Aggies back to MEAC
plenty of accolades in competition over the last two years. She earned a top-10 finish in the 2012 N.C.
State High School Bowling Championship in individual play for Sanderson High
School. She also helped her league team
garner a first-place team finish in the All-Stars Interstate Tournament, and as
an individual she earned first place in the High Game at the Sectional Pepsi
Tournament, a third place finish in the 2012 State Pepsi Tournament, and a second
place finish in the 2012 N.C. State Youth Championship Tournament with a 2,010
score. She also earned a first-place finish in the 2011 Premier Junior Gold
Tournament, which allowed her to compete in the Nationals and North Point
Tournament in Las Vegas in July 2011.
She also had a strong high school career in varsity golf as well.
she has a quiet assassin-type demeanor.
She's very focused, very raw in talent and just has a tremendous
upside," Williams said, adding that she'll be a major asset in bakers play with
also excited about Strombeck's accuracy. She took first place in the 2012 N.C.
United States Bowling Congress Association Pepsi Youth Championship Finals, and
finished fifth in the 2011 N.C. USBC Pepsi Youth Championship Finals. She also finished ninth in the 2012 N.C.
USBCA Youth Championship Tournament with a 1,786 score. At home, she has a collection of rings that
the North Carolina State Association of the USBC gave her commemorating her 300
game performances. She also played women's basketball in high school.