Autumn Day knows she won't be perfect, but she'd sure like to be close. The Dixon senior captain is already the owner of a perfect game. Well, sort of.
"Last year we were practicing and all the sudden I got in the zone and got my first 300," Day said. "It was the highlight of my career, but it didn't count because it was in practice."
An avid hunter, Day will be hunting one goal – a return to state. She and the Duchesses went her freshman and sophomore seasons before narrowly missing last season.
Thus far, Day has come up empty as a hunter.
"I like to go shotgun hunting for deer," she said. "I've gone pheasant hunting too. But, I haven't gotten anything. I've gone shotgun hunting with my grandpa the past 4 years. This year I got to carry a gun. That was exciting.
"We've gotten two or three, but I've never been that lucky. This year I got a shot at one, but shot it in the leg and didn't get it. It ran away. It's not as exciting as it is relaxing."
She's been much more successful taking down opponents on the lanes.
For those that do not consider bowling a sport, Day begs to differ.
"I highly disagree," she said. "I believe bowling is a sport and bowlers are athletes. It's not easy to throw a 15 or 16-pound ball for three to six games."
Day is also a volleyball player, which she feels helps her bowling.
"Coming out of volleyball season into bowling, my stamina is already built up," she said. "I'm prepared for the long tournaments, because they're really tiring. I'm more consistent with my arm swing, and the jumping helps me because in bowling all my weight is on one leg when I push off."
Coach Larry LaCoursiere also sees the benefits of Day being a multi-sport athlete.
"You need leg strength and flexibility in bowling," LaCoursiere said. "People that can get low do a better job. Being an athlete makes a big difference. I find that multi-sport athletes don't have as much trouble."
Day is not a lifelong bowler.
"I didn't start bowling until fifth or sixth grade," she said. "It was difficult because there was so much to learn, but I love to learn new things. It was a challenge, but over time I fell in love with it."
Day's stepmother and father made it a challenge from the get-go.
"I wasn't allowed to use bumpers, so I threw a lot in the gutter," she said. "They told me if I wanted to learn something, I needed to do it right. Then, when I was 11 I was going to state. I didn't even notice I was getting better."
FYI: Went to state with Duchesses as freshman and sophomore. ... also plays volleyball. ... avid hunter. ... bowled a 300 in practice last season.