Local bowler making name for herself in pro women’s circuit

Natalie Goodman

Goodman (right) poses with fellow pro Blanche Elise Bolton at a recent PWBA event (Submitted Photo)

For most, bowling is a fun activity constituting rolling a heavy, colorful ball down a lane to knock down ten oddly-shaped wooden pins to try and collect the higher score. To others, like 2011 OTHS Grad Natalie Goodman, the sport is much more.

Goodman spent much of her childhood perfecting her craft at the Stars and Strikes Bowling Center on Scott Air Force Base with her brother Billy. This translated to a dominant high school career, which culminated with her 2011 IHSA Individual State Championship.

Goodman’s illustrious high school career led her to Nashville, Tennessee and Vanderbilt University, where she spent four years leading the Commodores at the alleys. Then, in early May 2016, the professional opportunity she had been working towards for most of her life had come to fruition.

Natalie Goodman

Goodman warms up on the lanes before a recent PWBA event. (Submitted Photo)

Natalie has started touring with the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, and within a matter of weeks, she was making the cut at the highly-competitive events. Goodman, a lefty, hopes to keep improving by learning all she can from the seasoned veterans she meets on tour, as well as by keeping in touch with former coaches.

“I’ve been making a lot of great connections and friends these past couple of months, but I really appreciate all of the support I have been getting from my friends and family, as well as from the community. It really helps get through the grind of being on tour,” Goodman said.

Goodman is currently in Florida for the 2016 Teen Masters Tournament, one of the many events for high schoolers that put her on the map during her prep career. Goodman tok home fifth in the Teen Masters when she participated in 2010 and seventh in 2009.

During her time at OTHS Goodman was named the Illinois state high school champion in 2011. Additionally, she was named Southwestern Illinois Bowler of the Year in 2009 and 2011.

Goodman is the daughter of Bill and Lydia Goodman.