St. John Vianney freshman Sydney Bohn has made a name for herself in the high school scene this year with a 211 average and 17 games where she bowled over 200. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Brogna
St. John Vianney freshman Sydney Bohn has made a name for herself in the high school scene this year with a 211 average and 17 games where she bowled over 200. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Brogna

Sydney Bohn has spent many birthdays in a bowling alley, which makes sense. After all, her actual birth was around one of the biggest Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) events on the annual tour.    

“Fun fact,” offered Bohn, one of the Shore Conference’s top bowlers as a St. John Vianney freshman this winter. “During the U.S. Open, I was born between one of the squads.”  

That’s what happens when you’re the daughter of two pro-bowlers. Her father is PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, who was bowling in the 2006 Open at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick. A squad is a group of bowlers who compete in a tournament before the next squad comes out.  

Her mother, Leslie, is a former bowler for the PWBA women’s tour and a member of Monmouth County’s USBC Bowling Hall of Fame. And Leslie Bohn’s brother-in-law is PBA Hall of Famer Doug Kent.

Thus, on Feb. 16, 2006, Sydney Bohn entered the world and would become yet another jewel in her family’s bowling crown.

Older brothers Brandon and Justin have been Jackson Liberty High School’s top bowlers over the last several years, so SJV coach Bill Kusch was well aware of the Bohn name.

“I knew we had a great kid coming just from the family background,” Kusch said.

Bohn took exactly one game and one set to serve notice of her ability. The Lancers Jan. 27 season-opener against Mater Dei produced a 210 in Sydney’s first high school game. That was followed by a 269 and 209 for a 688 set.

It was the start of something big. During SJV’s 8-2 campaign, Bohn bowled over 200 in 17 out of 27 games, and she rolled a 600-plus series in seven of nine matches. Her high set was 691 and high game was 278, both in the same match against Matawan. She finished with a sparkling 211 average, second among Shore Conference girls.

“She’s just so consistent,” Kusch said. “I think that’s so important. When she does have a bad game or two, she bounces back quickly. She’s able to let it go, refocus.” 

Bohn’s average seems even more impressive after she revealed she still had some weak spots in her game. 

“I was very happy with my average since it is my highest,” Bohn said. “But honestly, I feel like my spare shooting could have been better and that probably would have improved my overall performance even more. I am working on that for next year.”

As for bowling on a team for the first time, she added, “Since I watched my brothers bowl for the last two years, I had a sense of what high school bowling was going to be like. Bowling on a team is not my strong suit …. but being a part of SJV’s team gave me some fun memories.”

Bohn’s only bummer during the season was the Shore Conference individual tournament at Ocean Lanes in Lakewood, as she failed to make the cut for the final four bowlers.

She didn’t let that house stop her in the Shore Conference team tournament. Although SJV had a rough day overall, Bohn rolled a 649 series.

Her positive adjustment should be no surprise, since “bowling has been part of my life for as long as I remember.”

Bohn picked up her first bowl at age 4 and also did gymnastics. She was in a league until age 7 but dropped the sport to do dance.

“Bowling just wasn’t my thing when I was younger,” she said. “I was around it so much that I started to get tired of it. That’s why I did gymnastics and dance. Then I realized that dance just wasn’t for me anymore and I gave bowling another shot and fell in love with the sport.”

She returned to it in 2016 and actually bowls in a league named after her dad and another New Jersey legend – the Parker Bohn III/Johnny Petraglia Scholarship League at Howell Lanes.

Sydney averages a 191 at Howell’s challenging house. She has also won two Junior Bowler Tour tournaments and three Pennsylvania JBT titles, while finishing 23rd out of 360 girls in the Junior Gold Championships national competition.

Just recently, Bohn recorded her first 300 game.

“That was a really cool experience,” she said. “When I did it, it didn’t feel like it. I knew I had a lot of strikes, but didn’t know exactly how many. Then I looked up, and it was the tenth frame. The nerves didn’t hit me until I threw the 11th shot. For the 12th, I just stood up and threw my shot and tried not to overthink it before I went.”

It was another great moment in a career already filled with many. She has succeeded due to talent and determination – though it doesn’t hurt having a legend for a father.

“It is amazing to get advice from a PBA Hall of Famer,” Bohn said. “But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it because I still look at him as my dad, not a famous bowler.”