GIRARD - In 2008, Girard's Casie Cupan attended the state bowling tournament in Columbus to watch her brother, Clay, bowl during his freshman season.
Five years later, it's the little sister's turn to shine on high school bowling's biggest stage.
"He was screaming and cheering for me when I made it," Casie said. "He's like a second coach for me. He'll let me know when I'm doing something wrong, the way I'm throwing the ball, if I'm leaning forward too much, those kind of things."
Cupan earned her way to the state tournament after bowling both her lifetime best series and game - a 598 set with a 230 game - at the district tournament at Crest Lanes last Friday.
She began her day with a 179 game. A good score, but she knew it wasn't good enough if she wanted to advance. So then she came out in her second game and threw the best of her career - a 230. She followed it up with a 189, which was enough to make her the second highest individual qualifier out of the northeast district.
"After the first game, I knew I wasn't probably going to make it if I didn't bowl higher," Cupan said. "I was trying to pull a 220 and I got a 230."
While Cupan has been bowling her entire life, as her whole family has bowled for numerous years, the past few months have been very good for the Girard senior. She attributes much of her success to the new ball she has been throwing since January.
"She was really due for a great day," Girard coach Todd Reinhart said after the district tournament. "She's been bowling really well this past month since she got this new ball."
And because of her turnaround, her senior season is lasting one more week. Cupan couldn't hide her excitement when talking about getting the chance to bowl at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl on Friday.
"I was so excited," Cupan said. "I was just hugging my grandma and my whole family. Everybody was crying, we were so excited."
While she went on to say that this was the perfect way to end her senior year, she said her biggest goal this weekend will be to bowl at least a 620 series for her three games. If she were to do that, she could beat her brother, who bowled a 596 when he advanced to state in 2008.
"It's going to be so overwhelming when I walk in there," Cupan said. "But I'm just going to go out, have fun and leave it all out there."