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DCC’s Melia Mitskavich Selected for Prestigious Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow Award by U.S. Bowling Congress

Melia Mitskavich accepts the Albeta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow Award in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of the Mitskavich Family
   

DUBOIS, Pa. – When you are a high-level athlete, even at the high school level, awards are part of the games.

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But not all awards are created equally.

Melia Mitskavich, a senior at DuBois Central Catholic and a member of the volleyball and softball teams at the school, recently found that out when she was selected as the Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow award by the United States Bowling Congress.

The national award – there is only one winner per year and it has been given out since 1961 (see a complete list here) – is awarded annually to recognize star qualities in a female high school senior or college student who competes in the sport of bowling.

According to the award’s criteria, star qualifies include distinguished bowling performance on the local, regional, state, and national levels, academic achievement, and extracurricular and civic involvement.

                  
            

“I was actually very surprised when I got the call,” Mitskavich, who bowls independently as DCC doesn’t have the sport,” said. “I applied for it in the fall, and they called in March, I kind of forgot about it. I was really surprised, but really happy to hear I had won it. I knew how big this award is, and it felt really good to get the news.”

Mitskavich with the banner of her being the Crowe Start of Tomorrow Award winner. Photo courtesy of the Mitskavich family

Mitskavich, who will bowl collegiately at national champion Jacksonville State, came into the sport naturally as her mom, Jackie Sellers Mitskvaich, was a sensational professional bowler who was inducted into the Pennsylvania USBC Hall of Fame in 2020.

Jackie was a three-time All-American at Penn State (1987-89) who went on to win three National Professional Women’s Bowling Association titles, a Women’s World Team Challenge title, and World Team Challenge Women’s Grand Championship title. She also won a gold medal in the team event at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival.

Watch a clip of Jackie Sellers Mitskavich winning the LPBT1992 Blue Ribbon Classic

                          

If that wasn’t enough, the Mitskaviches own DuBois Lanes in DuBois.

But despite growing up around the sport, Mitskavich said there was never any pressure put on her my her mom or her dad, Tom, to become a high-level bowler.

“They never put pressure on it,” Mitskavich said. “They just let me do what I always wanted to do. I have played a lot of other sports. They never forced me to do anything. I really enjoy bowling and will continue that in college, but they have never put any pressure on me like that.”

Instead, Mitskavich fell in love with the sport because it is something she can do forever.

               

“It’s a different sport,” Mitskavich said. “It’s a sport you can do for a lifetime. That’s what has drawn me to it.”

Even though her parents haven’t put any pressure on her to bowl, they have been beyond supportive, and she credits her mom for making her the bowler she is.

“She’s helped me so much,” Mitskavich said. “She taught me what I know and helped me out with everything.”

Photo courtesy of the Mitskavich family

While bowling is a lifetime sport and one Mitskavich has excelled in – heck she was on her way home from winning a tournament in Pittsburgh on Sunday, April 28, when this interview was conducted – it isn’t the only one she is good at.

                        

Going into Monday’s game at Marion Center, Mitskavich is the second-leading hitter for the 9-2 Lady Cardinals, who are gunning for their fifth straight D9 Class 1A title, hitting a robust .444 with a team-leading six doubles. She is also tied for the team lead in RBIs with 12.

In addition, Mitskavich is also the No. 2 pitcher for DCC and was 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA.

Photo courtesy of DCC Softball

Balancing softball, which is really a year-round sport at DCC, with bowling isn’t always easy.

            

“It is definitely difficult,” Mitskavich said. “During the (softball) season I do try to focus on softball. I plan around it. For example, we had an off day for softball today (Sunday, April 28), and I decided, at the last minute, to go to this bowling tournament. During the offseason for softball is when I get to bowl more. But during the softball season, I really try to work around practice because I hate to miss it and really shouldn’t miss it.”

         

School sometimes gets missed as well – maybe even more than Mitskavich would like – because of bowling. But she credits her teachers and their support for her ability to maintain good grades.

“My teachers are very good with me,” Mitskavich said. “I have missed more school than I would have liked to, but they have been very good in helping me. Also, every time I come back they ask how I did. They have been really supportive like that.”

Mitskavich believes bowling has helped her in softball, especially when it comes to facing the more pressure-packed moments.

“I definitely think bowling helps me a lot, especially when I pitch,” Mitskavich said. “In bowling, everything is all on you. When I step on the softball field, that takes the pressure off. I know I have a whole team of girls around me. Bowling’s not quite the same.”

Photo courtesy of the Mitskavich family

Bowling will have more of that team feel next year at Jacksonville State, which is located in Alabama.

“When I go to college, it will be in a team setting,” Mitskavich said. “I am excited to see how that will be.”

Mitskavich said she chose Jacksonville State – she will study pre-health biology with a plan to become an optometrist – mainly because of the coaches.

“The bowling coaches were a huge reason I decided to go there,” Mitskavich said. “They were ranked No. 1 and just won the national title. The coaches, when I went on a visit, were super nice. I think they can help take my bowling to the next level if after college I want to continue on the pro women’s tour.”

Mitskavich said she realizes bowling has afforded her opportunities not everyone gets.

“I have gotten to travel all over the country,” Mitskavich said. “I have a lot of friends from all over the country. Bowling has allowed me to do that. It has been a great opportunity. Even going to Jacksonville State, I already know some of my roommates through bowling.”

                       

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