Growing up in Seymour, Skyla Bowling’s mother wanted her to get involved in sports.
“I didn’t really know what kind of sports there were,” Bowling said. “She found a (soccer) paper that somebody handed to her, and they said I should probably join so I joined, and it was a lot of fun.”
Soccer stuck with Bowling, who just finished her fourth year with the program.
“When I joined the team I got to know everybody, and it just kind of opened me up to everything else around me, and I was like, ‘This is actually fun,’” Bowling said.
Bowling began playing soccer at 11 years old and played with the Seymour Cyclones travel team one year before playing at Seymour High School.
She played JV her freshman year, JV and varsity the next two seasons, and this fall was varsity all the way.
“This year I played a lot of outside wing, and occasionally defensive center mid and offensive center-mid,” Bowling said. “Basically, I was support, like if anybody needed me I was there. On the outside you usually make runs toward the goal. I liked playing offense.”
Bowling said she liked the physical part of the sport, and said she got hit “a lot” with the ball.
“You need to play hard all the way through,” she said. You can’t just go out at half-speed.
“The mental part of sports is very important. Sometimes our coach stressed that while we were practicing you had to shut up that little voice in your head that was telling us that we can’t do it, that we need to try our best.”
Bowling said she enjoyed playing on the turf the past two seasons.
“That was a very good experience,” she said. “I was really happy to get to play on the turf. The game is definitely faster on turf. The ball slides quicker. It’s kind of like being in the gym on the floor.
“There was barely any resistance, plus it’s harder to run on because of the cushioning of the field. You’re actually working a lot of muscles by running on that field. It’s kind of like running on a sandy beach, but not that bad. It’s more flexible.”
On the field, communication proved important for the Owls’ success.
“You’ve got tell everybody if you see something that somebody else doesn’t, you’ve got to tell them right away,” Bowling said. “Practice is really important. You can never get better without practice. You can’t just go out on the field.
“We watch clips, we watch things from last year because we need to learn from those things because we just can’t keep going out and playing the way that we do and not learn anything and not develop.”
Bowling said she liked the weekday matches better than the Saturday morning matches, and her favorite away field was Providence.
“I really enjoyed the bus rides,” she said. “They were fun. I liked it when you would be sitting on the bus staring out the window and then somebody would start singing and we’d all start singing along.”
Bowling said she has enjoyed attending Seymour.
“I got to know a lot more people, and there are nicer people here,” Bowling said. “I’m going to remember all the friends I’ve made.”
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Name: Skyla Bowling
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Jessica Takeda, Hitoshi Takeda
Siblings; Dalton, Justin
Sports: soccer 4 years
Athletic highlights; coaches award, academic award
Organizations: Schneck Medical Center junior volunteer
Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Favorite food: Gyoza
Favorite TV show: Lucifer
Favorite movie: Spirited Away
Favorite athlete: Lionel Messi