Jim Nance has spent 19 seasons as Bishp Carroll football’s defensive coordinator, and he’s seen plenty of outstanding athletes.
Include Carroll senior bowler Holly Johansen to his list.
“She’s one of those rare competitors,” said Nance, Carroll’s coach. “Even though it’s bowling and some people look at it as not really a sport sometimes, she’s more of a competitor than some of the football players I coach.
“It’s her want to win. The time she puts in practicing outside of our practice. After our practice, she’ll go back that night and practice some more. It’s relentless, her tweaking of the game. It’s so precise. She’s such a perfectionist, such a competitor.”
Johansen will compete in the Class 5-1A tournament at 2 p.m. Friday at Northrock Lanes. Class 6A boys and girls compete Thursday, while the 5-1A boys compete Friday morning.
Johansen, who plans to bowl at Wichita State, won the Class 5-1A individual title as a freshman (756 series) and sophomore (692 series). As a freshman, she won the City League tournament, regional tournament and 5-1A.
She has also helped Carroll to two straight second-place team finishes.
She badly wants that team title.
“I want my teammates to experience that,” said Johansen, who has a 221 average. “Most of our team is full of younger kids, and I want them to know what it’s like. I want them to have the motivation to do it again.”
Johansen is something of a perfectionist when it comes to bowling.
She was raised on the sport. Her great-grandfather, Woody Jensen, built Rose Bowl East and Rose Bowl West. Her mom, Tina (Wichita State) and her uncles, Jeff and Craig, have had impressive careers.
“My freshman year, going to practice with the team was the only time I practiced,” she said. “Now that I’m getting older, I understand how important it is to practice by myself or with my mom and my dad to correct the itty-bitty things. When I go to college, I know I’ll be nit-picked.”
Her experience on the lanes has resulted in an ability to adjust immediately to changing conditions.
“First game, third game, whatever, she makes adjustments on the fly,” Nance said. “The ball can hit just a hair high. ‘OK, the ball hit a little high, maybe I need to back up or move up by three inches so the ball’s not so high.’
“She does that automatically. She does it in her head. She makes the adjustment on the lane, her approach, where she delivers the ball.”
Johansen wants to close out her high school career with another individual title, too.
She finished seventh as a junior and didn’t bowl as well as she wanted.
“Sometimes other people do a lot better than you,” she said. “You can’t shoot 300 every game, just like you can’t win every tournament.
“ I really, really, really, really would love to win another title individually. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I have two state titles. I can’t be disappointed in that.”