With a 2,281-1,695 victory Sept. 17 over Trinity Prep, the Ocoee girls bowling team improved to 4-0 on the young season. Helping to key the hot start for the Knights has been junior bowler Gabby Messersmith. Messersmith is a leader for the program and, in the big win over Trinity Prep, she rolled a 531 series for Ocoee — making her our Athlete of the Week.
How did you get involved in bowling?
I started out two years ago, when my stepdad got me into a youth league. I actually got invited out by the team, because I didn’t know (at first) we actually had one.
Do you play any other sports on campus?
I used to play softball, but, then, I started getting more and more into my bowling, so I kind of just stick with bowling now.
What do you like about the team element of bowling?
It’s not only your physical ability, it’s your mindset, as well. As a team, we hold each other to that — like, “I’m going to have your back and your going to have mine,” basically.
What’s the dynamic like for this particular team at Ocoee?
It’s really unique, because none of us is the same. … Social-wise it’s great.
What was your goal coming into the season?
I wanted to increase my average. I wanted to be able to say that I was doing what I need to do to help my teammates out.
What’s the hope for the team this season?
Last year, we did pretty good as far as our record, (so) this year, we came in, and we wanted to maybe improve on that. I think we went 13-4 last year.
Tell us about your bowling shirts you wear for matches?
We kind of make them unique, because we get our names printed on the back. … We try to make it as unique as possible so you’re like, ‘Oh, hey, there’s Ocoee.’
How do you handle a pressure situation in a match?
We like to think of it as it relies on the team — it’s not just you. … We like to think of it as a mindset, that if your team is back there cheering you on, you’re more likely to perform better.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
I like English and psychology.
What do you think you’d like to study in college?
I want to do psychiatry — child psychiatry.
Do you have a preferred college you’d like to attend?
Not necessarily, but I think I’ll be attending UCF.
When you’re not doing schoolwork or bowling, what do you like to do?
I hang out with my bowling friends, we go out together — movies, stuff like that.
What was your favorite memory from last week’s Homecoming festivities?
Actually, on “Black-and-Gold Day,” we went all out — it was great. It was kind of crazy, but it was fun.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from the east side of Orlando, and I moved here (to West Orange County) when I was 7.