Student Spotlight: Hoffman Estates High School Senior, Bowler JR Meagher
Many students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities. Many hope it will help make them stand out on a college application or make it easier to apply or earn scholarship money. Then there are some who participate simply because they love the sport or activity, regardless if it’s recognized by the school or not.
That is exactly what Hoffman Estates High School senior JR Meagher is doing outside of the classroom with bowling.
JR started bowling when he was five years old. He has progressed so far that he recently bowled a 300 game and an 800 series. A 300 game means he bowled a perfect game and an 800 series means he bowled three games and averaged a score of 267 or better in each. This is difficult to accomplish, especially at his age, and several bowlers spend their bowling career trying to achieve it.
“As soon as I could hold a ball, I was bowling,” JR said. “I have been bowling ever since.”
For most student athletes, these types of accomplishments would go recognized through the school. However, although Illinois High School Association (IHSA) recognizes bowling as a sport, it is not recognized with District 211. For JR, the love of the game and mental strength required for the sport is what keeps him going back each day.
In recognition for his accomplishments, which happened in December, JR was given two rings to represent his 300 game and 800 series games from the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). This wasn’t the first time he bowled a 300 game, but it was the first time it had happened outside of practice during his Saturday morning league. Additionally, it was the first time he bowled an 800 series.
JR said he’s participated in competitive bowling for 13 years. His father, who is the manager of Elk Grove Bowl in Elk Grove, Ill., would bring JR to the lanes during his work shift. That is where he practiced and started perfecting his game. At times he felt challenged and wanted to quit due to set backs or injury, but something always kept him practicing. He continues to bowl in leagues today.
Although one would argue that JR is just at the start of a solid bowling career, he said he isn’t focusing on trying to make it to a professional team. He knows that he is talented and will continue bowling, but not a professional level. He will attend University of Wisconsin Whitewater next fall where he can study graphic design and bowl on a nationally ranked club team.
“I always loved that even though my dad was a bowler, he never pressured me to keep with the sport but always supported me, and I just did it because I loved it,” JR said. “Now, I would like to connect my love for bowling and graphic design together and do advertising for different bowling venues or something in the field.”
If any student has received an award or recognition and would like an opportunity for a short feature in the D211 Post, please forward all information to . Not all submissions may be posted due to editorial scheduling.