PROSPER — Senior volleyball standout Hope Gramly is a powerhouse player on the court. Though her second year of varsity play began back in August, she has already recorded 79 blocks and 143 kills in the first month of competition according to MaxPreps and has well established herself over the past two years as a crucial member of the Lady Eagle roster. Coach Erin Kauffman says the senior is athletic and versatile and is probably the reason she has seen so much success in her volleyball career.
Like many seniors, Gramly is considering the next phase of her life after graduation: college. She says she wants to be a chiropractor when she grows up, and is looking into schools that have the best programs in chiropractic care. And while some might wonder if she’s going to continue her volleyball career in college, she’d have an interesting, and maybe unexpected, response.
She wants to bowl.
Yes, bowl. Gramly is a bowling champion, and one of the nation’s top recruits for her class. In her seven years of bowling, she has racked up countless accolades, including two 300 games, multiple Teen Bowlers Circuit Championships, a first, third and sixth place finish at the Texas Pepsi State Tournament and appearances in the Junior Gold Olympic Championships to name a few. She has also been named the Teen Bowlers Circuit Bowler of the Year twice, and recently participated in the 2017 Team USA Trials, where a pool of 109 youth, amateur, college and Pro bowlers compete for a spot on the Team USA bowling squad. Gramly bowled six games a day for five days and averaged a 200 score during the trial. Of the 109 participants, she placed 35th overall, and was the top non-collegiate bowler at the trials.
Gramly said she was first introduced to the sport back in 2010, when her family decided to take a trip to the local bowling alley. After several trips, Gramly’s father gifted her with her first bowling ball, and has now built up her artillery to 10 different balls, each with a different oil pattern to allow her to hit different shots.
“I don’t ever get bored,” Gramly said about her passion for the sport. “There’s always something new that needs to done or that I need to learn when it comes to bowling, so I’m able to keep myself on my toes.”
Though there is a high school bowling team at Prosper High, Gramly chooses to focus her attention on Sport Shot bowling outside of school, which is the standard style of bowling that colleges and professionals use during competition. The decision has paid off, as she is getting a lot of attention for her skill at the sport. She has narrowed her college selection down to three of the top bowling schools in the nation: The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, McKendree University, and Vanderbilt University. McKendree won the National Championship title for bowling in 2016, while the University of Nebraska at Lincoln holds 8 of the last 15 titles. All three schools have shown tremendous interest in Gramly, and she has even been told by two that she is their top recruit. Gramly also plans to continue her bowling career professionally after college, which is not impossible given that her scoring average is higher than many college bowlers who are ranked.
To stay on top of her bowling skills, Gramly says she participates in weekly bowling leagues that she uses as practice to prepare for tournaments. Last weekend, Gramly competed in the Lone Star Invitational Youth Classic in Plano, where she placed second overall. She chooses to participate in individual tournaments rather than doubles so she can focus more on herself.
“If I make a mistake, it’s my fault,” she said.
With her bowling career just beginning, Gramly’s parents couldn’t be more proud of all her accomplishments. Her mother, Robyn, says she brings so much pride to the family, despite how difficult it can be as a parent to watch her play.
“I love to watch her succeed in anything she does,” Robyn said. “It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking regardless of whether it is a close match in a volleyball game, or a close game in a bowling tournament, I always get a little amped up.”
Kauffman believes the senior definitely has a bright future ahead of her in anything she chooses, and she just wants to see Gramly succeed.
“I want (her) to compete in and pursue anything that makes her happy, and if bowling is just that, then I am going to support her and help her reach her goals… Hope is going to get to bowl at a top academic school on scholarship, what more could you ask for?” said Kauffman.
Hope said her college choice is still up in the air, but is excited for the opportunity to compete for a National Championship. Bowling has not only given her the opportunity to become a better athlete, but also has challenged her to be mentally strong and competitive in everything she does.
As her senior year continues, she’ll wrap up her final season with the Lady Eagles volleyball program, but it won’t be last time we see Hope Gramly’s name in headlines. Her family and friends in Prosper look forward to watching Gramly’s future unfold, as a chiropractor, a scholar and a championship bowler.