The Florida A&M University Lady Rattlers’ bowling team plans to dedicate this season to fallen member, Nina Gilbert, as the team heads to its first tournament of the season in North Carolina on Saturday.
Nina Gilbert passed over the summer in an automobile accident on I-10 near Lake City.
Gilbert, a broadcast journalism student from Chicago, was entering her senior year.
“[The passing of Gilbert] hit us hard, but we are dedicating this season to her as she is our inspiration going into the season,” said team captain, Gina Davis.
Assistant coach Paul Williams, agrees with Davis.
“[The team] hopes to carry her on in memory as we head into the season,” Williams said.
The Lady Rattlers have set high goals for the team, with plans to achieve a winning season, win the MEAC Championship and receive a bid to compete in the NCAA Championship, which is held in Detroit.
Davis, a sophomore chemistry student from Hampton, Va., set personal goals of being a “great leader” for her team as she works at achieving a 200 score average.
However, accomplishing these will not be an easy task, noted the players and coaches alike.
Williams said the key to capturing these goals would be “practice, practice, and more practice.”
Head coach, Novella Franklin also said “practice, being ready to bowl, and working as a team because there is no I in team,” are some goals for the team this year.
Franklin also hopes that her team will live up to the team motto of “the three P’s; practice, plan, performance.”
Davis said the team must work together in order to achieve victory.
“We have to gel as a team because no one person can carry the team to victory. We have to stay focused and do it together,” Davis said,
Co-captain, Lynetta Russell, a junior English student from Chicago, agrees.
“We must work together as a team and be true to the team motto,” Russell said.
Davis said the players have increased their team chemistry by unifying in sisterhood.
Though, there is an emphasis on the team, Davis and Franklin said players to look out for are Samantha Mighty and Marisa Moffett.
Davis said Mighty is a true freshman who demonstrates a “go-getter” attitude and has great ability with still so much more to learn.
Franklin said Mighty is bowling with scores in the 180s and “carries an infectious positive attitude of confidence in her game.”
Moffett is a returning player who averages scores in the 200s. However, she does not plan to compete until the spring semester.
Franklin said she expects great things from this team this year.
“They are all really super athletes,” Franklin said.
Davis hopes the players feed off of each other and get into the right mind set as they prepare for Saturday’s tournament against the Southern division of the MEAC, which include: Bethune-Cookman University, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State University, Norfolk State Unive”’trsity and Winston-Salem University.
Results for the match-up can be found on www.famu.edu, Saturday night.