DeSoto Central senior Alyssa Zombirt has become the school’s first-ever student-athlete to sign a college scholarship offer in bowling, as she signed with Kentucky Wesleyan College on Wednesday afternoon.
Zombirt, one of the state’s top bowlers at the high school level, has been a target of coach Scott Thompson ever since he started the Kentucky Wesleyan program in June 2017. Next season will be the first year of competitive bowling for the Owensboro, Ky.-based school.
The five-year varsity bowler for DeSoto Central will enter a sanctioned program at the NCAA Division II school. Men’s bowling at Kentucky Wesleyan is a club sport.
“I started bowling when I was nine,” Zombirt related about beginning to play the sport. “I used to play soccer and I decided to quit that. I went to a bowling alley and saw people bowl and I wanted to do that. I joined a league and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
High on the list for Alyssa playing at Kentucky Wesleyan is also the fact the school offers her major, which will be zoology with an emphasis in marine biology.
Zombirt said she’s had a 789 series in four games at state and her highest game has been 289 for the Lady Jags. She did roll a state series-best 797 to finish first in Class II at the state meet with a 190 average as a junior.
“Staying calm is so important,” Zombirt said. “Don’t get mad at yourself, just try to pick up everything you can and get all of those spares. Get all of the strikes that you can but make sure to get all of those spares so you can pick up everything.”
Steve Biffle took over coaching DeSoto Central this year and has coached Zombirt the past couple of years with his connection to Strike Zone Lanes in Southaven, where the Jaguars bowl.
“We’ve worked at least two days every single week, sometimes more when there was a tournament,” Biffle said. “Now, two years later, she averages around 210, in that range. I’m glad to see she put in the time and the work to get here and I expect great things out of her when she goes on to college.”
It was pointed out at Zombirt’s signing that 235 colleges now offer bowling programs, between junior colleges to NAIA and NCAA schools. Many provide it as a sanctioned sport for women to help satisfy Title IX requirements.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.