HUBBARD - When the Hubbard girls' bowling team walks into a tournament any where in the state, people know who they are. The girls' team has built quite a reputation about them.
"When we went to the district tournament, we could hear moms talking about us," senior Lauren Miller said. "Things like, 'Oh Hubbard's in second,' or one of the mom's said, 'Well Hubbard always beats us.' I definitely feel like we have a target on our back."
The Hubbard Eagles should be recognizable by now on the bowling circuit as this team has been to the state tournament the past three years, and are about to make their fourth appearance today at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
"It's just another tournament by now for us," senior Brittany Ferrara said. "When we first went it to it, it was very nerve wracking because it's not like what you expect any other tournament to be. There's a lot more going on, there's people going around taking pictures."
While the Eagles are well known at the state tournament, they are not satisfied with how people know them. In 2010, they finished third, losing to eventual state champion Boardman. In 2011, the Eagles thought it was going to be their year as they defeated perenial power Westerville Central in the semifinals. However, they finished in second to first-time state attendees St. Mary's Memorial. Then in 2012, the Eagles found themselves in the championship again, but again were runners up as they lost to Coldwater.
"People are going to be watching out for us," Ferrara said. "And it's because we have been strong the last three years. We've finished third, second and second, which proves we can do it. Now we just need to do it."
Needless to say, it's state title or bust for the Eagles in 2013 - especially for the five graduating seniors that have all been so close to a state title.
"For four years now, this is what we've all looked forward to," Miller said.
For Hubbard, they know what they need to do - make their spares. Because for the five seniors on the squad, this is the last shot to finally be the bride as they've been the bridesmaids for three straight years.
"We need to focus on picking up our spares, and baker games," Ferrara said. "They are so important. After the three individual games, it's all bakers from there on out. That's what it comes down to."