It’s been a big week for student-athletes at Corbin High School.
First came the news that Lady Hound basketball and soccer player Kami Garland had achieved a perfect score on her ACT (story available now online and in print), and now we have learned that Lady Hound bowler Taylor Petrey has received Midway University/KHSAA Student-Athlete of the Year honors.
Petrey, a senior at CHS, was not aware that she had been nominated for the award, and was shocked to receive the news Thursday afternoon. “My phone started going crazy with texts telling me congratulations,” she said. “I didn’t know what it was about, and then I saw the Twitter post from the KHSAA. I’m just in shock, honestly.”
Petrey said that she had been feeling a bit down after not being able to meet her own expectations at the lanes recently. “This season hasn’t been the best,” she explained. “But this was really a boost. It just shows that hard work does pay off, even when you don’t have a local bowling alley to go to.”
The entire Corbin Rollin’ Redhounds team has had to put in a lot of extra time on the road in recent years after their former home, Forest Lanes Bowling Alley, closed its doors and left everyone wondering if a bowling program would still even be feasible.
Not only did the Hounds continue to bowl, however, but they have continued to excel, with several student-athletes, including Petrey, playing their way into KHSAA state championship tournament appearances as individuals, and as members of a team.
“You know, if you’re going to be a bowler here you have to spend a lot of time driving,” said CHS Athletic Director Andrew Roark. “To be able to balance that and excel like she has, you just don’t find many kids willing to work that hard anymore.”
This achievement is made even more impressive by the fact that Petrey is an accomplished singer and stage performer at Corbin, in addition to her successes in the classroom and at the lanes.
Pat Venable, who received statewide recognition herself in 2018 as a bowling coach, said of Petrey, “Taylor exhibits a high level of commitment in whatever she decides to be involved in. She lives and breathes bowling, and has served as an anchor for us since her freshman year. Of course, this year she is our captain. She leads with poise, and truly is an all-around complete student-athlete. It has been an honor to be her coach.”
Petrey has also been coached over the years by her father, Mike. When asked about what it has been like to see his daughter succeed at such a high level, he said, “This is a real honor as a dad. As much as she is into, and as super-busy as she is, for her to get something like this just makes me really proud.”
Petrey is not done competing in her senior season. She still has meets left on the schedule, and is hoping for one more shot at a KHSAA state championship title before her time as a Lady Hound comes to an end. She will be attending a banquet this spring at Midway University to receive her Student-Athlete of the Year Award, and will then shift all of her focus onto college.
While nothing is set in stone at this time, it’s a safe bet that Petrey will be bowling collegiately, and she could be continuing her on-stage training as well. As for what she is planning to study, she said that she wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
“Everything I have put into this is finally paying off,” Petrey said of her statewide recognition. “To be able to accomplish what I have, it’s just such an honor.”