WILTON – Last Saturday, Maine State High School Girls Individual Bowling Champion Brooke Gervais received a warm welcome at Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too after her win at Meadow Lanes.
Gervais, a high school junior at Edward Little High School in Auburn, bowls on a team called the Bayside High Rollers, a cooperative team through the Bayside Bowl in downtown Portland. This is her third year on the self-funded high-school level team, which often involves traveling around the state and New England for bowling tournaments such as the championship at Meadow Lanes.
“Bowling has given me the opportunity to compete, make friends from around the country and travel to new places,” Gervais said.
Gervais found her way to Franklin County for the individual state championships on February 18. She remembers having a tough time at first: she was intimidated by the bowlers she was up against and struggled finding a strike line. But eventually she found her groove and went on to win the championship.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous during the semi-finals and finals because the girls I was bowling against are very talented,” Gervais admitted. “I knew that I had to keep a positive mindset and that’s what I did.”
After winning the game, Gervais and her parents settled on the nearby restaurant Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too for their celebration dinner. Mary Beane, owner of Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too, recalled asking Gervais and her parents what brought them to the area since it was their first time. Once she found out about Gervais’ win, Beane announced it to the entire restaurant and insisted on commemorating the occasion with a picture.
“We were honored to have a state champ have lunch with us,” Beane said. “We were so pleased.”
“When my family and I walked into the restaurant all of the staff was very sweet and welcoming,” Gervais said. She noted how kind the staff were in congratulating her on her win, especially considering that it was her first time at the restaurant. She plans to return next time she’s in the area. “My dinner was fabulous and my dessert was even better!”
After winning the individual state championship, next for Gervais is the state high school team championship. Spectators are welcome to attend the event on March 4 at Family Fun Bowling Center in Bangor. In July, Gervais will be competing in Indianapolis, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan for Junior Gold and Teen Masters tournaments.
“While I know that those competitions aren’t going to be easy, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to bowl in them and see all of the talent that everyone across the country has to offer,” Gervais said. “Winning girls individual state championships for high school really helped me realize how much of a bowler I’ve grown to be over the years.”
Those interested in learning more about Gervais’ bowling career can visit her Facebook page.