Recent AHS graduate Linda Himes looks forward to continuing her education while finding ways to perfect her bowling game
Linda Himes played the saxophone in the marching band at Arkansas High. She made the All-Region band playing the alto saxophone in the concert band, and she even played in the jazz band, too. She has a part-time job, saving money for college and living expenses over the summer. She is what most would consider a responsible young woman. But none of that is what makes Linda a spectacular young person. Her success in band, the classroom and in life is what makes Linda well-rounded, but her bowling talent is what makes her exceptional.
Linda Himes is headed to Salina, Kansas, in the fall, where she will continue an already impressive bowling career, this time on a bowling scholarship paired with an academic scholarship. According to Linda’s dad, Larry, this opportunity has been many years in the making. “Lane 20 made a great babysitter,” Larry joked. “Linda grew up in a bowling alley, and when she wasn’t practicing, she was watching other ladies perfect their game. Now it’s her turn.”
Bowling has always been a part of Linda’s family dynamic. Linda’s mom and dad moved the family to Texarkana in 2006 from Ohio and settled on the Arkansas side. She grew up at the alley, watching, helping, playing, practicing and sometimes even sleeping at the lanes.
Linda began bowling at the early age of 3, and bowled her first perfect game in 2015 at the age of 13. She has a 205 average. In February, at the Arkansas State High School Tournament she set a state record high of a 756 series and made the All-American High School team. She’s been earning scholarship money for the past few years, winning tournaments on the road and is constantly finding ways to perfect her game. She’s nothing short of incredible, and humble, at that.
“No one wins every time,” she said. “Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. I’ve just been working on getting everything in my game right and making sure my mental game is perfect. At the end of August, I’ll move to Kansas and start practicing with the team. I’m looking forward to learning everything I can from a great coach and solid teammates.”
Linda has been working with a local trainer, Daniel Allen, to make sure she is physically in the best shape possible. She’s also travelling to tournaments over the summer, most recently competing at the High School National Finals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Her dad, Larry, who is the manager of Holiday Entertainment Center, could not be more proud of his daughter. “When she was younger and didn’t win, she’d get very upset,” he said. “As she grew mentally and physically, she got better and better, and she’s always wanted to bowl with the lady pros. Now she’s getting the chance to learn from a really good coach who can help her get to the next level.”
Linda’s goal is to attain her bachelor’s degree in Business with a minor in Marketing while at Kansas Wesleyan and then earn an MBA while she’s a graduate assistant. Her ultimate dream is to bowl professionally and then work for one of the major bowling sponsor companies in their marketing department. Her dedication and hard work will give her the opportunity to pursue that dream, due in no small part to a supportive family and high school team.
Linda’s sister, Tricia, is also on the Arkansas High bowling team. Now, Linda is looking forward to living with a teammate and getting to know the rest of the girls she will bowl with for the next six years. “Salina is eight hours away,” Linda’s dad said. “She’ll have to do her own laundry.”
Linda will share an apartment on campus with an older teammate, meaning she will not have to live in the freshman dorms on campus and will have a private bathroom rather than sharing. She and her dad spent time with the Kansas Wesleyan team last season, becoming familiar with the coach and players.
Larry said he is comfortable with the coach and leaving Linda at Kansas Wesleyan, a 132-year-old school of less than 800 students. “They’re really on top of things there,” Larry said. “They make sure their student athletes make the grades first and focus on their game next.”
Linda said she is excited, but nervous at the same time, to strike out on her own. “It’s a little nerve-wracking to be away from my family and friends,” she said. “But, I’m also ready to gain some independence and be my own person.”
Linda, with all her talent and dedication and impressive qualities, is not much different from a typical 18-year-old ready to set off to college for the first time. She plays Xbox, frequents the movie theatre, hangs out with friends, and for fun, she bowls.