As someone who once spent a Halloween dressed as Elsa from the Disney film “Frozen,” Madison Perry naturally developed a knack for keeping cool.
Over her 4-year varsity bowling career, the Hawthorne senior also honed the ability to “let it go” — with respect to both the release of her ball and the mental obstacles of the game.
She led all North Jersey girls with a 195.6 overall average this winter, won her first Passaic County title and recorded the top finish by a Bergen or Passaic girl at the state individual finals.
For her efforts, Perry is The Record Girls Bowler of the Year.
The aura of Elsa began following the even-tempered, 5-foot-11 right-hander with long, blond locks during her sophomore year.
The notion of “letting go” was a recurring theme for girls bowling on coed teams in the Passaic tournament up until this season.
Before that, Perry had to bowl separately from her team to try to win girls high series — which she did as a sophomore and placed sixth — or stick with the Bears and be ineligible for the award. She tried the latter as a freshman and junior and both times shot the highest score by a girl in the tournament.
“I’ve noticed a trend that I’ve always done better with my team than alone,” said Perry, 17. “Having the team behind you, having my brother [Hunter, a sophomore on the Bears] there, it just helps to have that support.”
Due in part to her situation, Passaic County coaches altered tournament rules to make girls on coed squads eligible for the girls individual title. Perry became the first to capitalize, winning high game (238) and high series (636) at the Jan. 20 event.
“That’s probably one of my best memories,” she said. “That and going to states, both with the team and individually.”
In order to advance to the state individual finals for the second year in a row, Perry had to fly solo at the North sectional. There, she enjoyed support from older brother Kyle Jacobsen, a former Bears bowler. The 2008 Hawthorne graduate recently moved back to North Jersey from out of state.
“He was here along with his wife, Tori, and their daughter, Ellie,” Perry said. “It was nice to turn around and see him cheering me on … and, of course, my parents are always there.”
The family watched Perry notch a career-best sectional finish of fifth. She went on to place 13th in the state and almost replicated her junior-year effort exactly. Her six-game total of 1,210 was four pins off of her 13th-place 1,206 in 2016.
She plans to continue bowling at Caldwell University and wants to study biology. Her hope is to put a “freeze,” of sorts, on genetic disorders that have affected people in her life.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Perry said. “If there’s a way I can figure out how to stop [genetic disorders] from being inherited from person to person, maybe there will be a way to stop them someday.”