Onesti Evans to attend Shawnee State University


Onesti Evans was the leader on the Miami Trace bowling team for the 2023-24 season.

She was the only senior on a team that was able to finally unseat Hillsboro as champions of the Frontier Athletic Conference.

Evans, a soon-to-be graduate of Miami Trace High School, on Thursday, May 9 signed a letter of intent to attend Shawnee State University, in Portsmouth, Ohio, situated near the banks of the Ohio River, just across the way from the Bluegrass state of Kentucky.

She is a four-year varsity bowler for Miami Trace.

“She actually started bowling in the junior league when she was wee little,” her high school coach Diane Amore said. “She’s come a long way in her bowling. She’s learned leadership skills along the way. She was the only senior on the team this year; everybody else was a sophomore.”

Evans is the second soon-to-be graduate from Miami Trace who will continue their athletic career as a bowler in college.

Evans has been friends with classmate Jake Manbevers since they were both two years old.

“Our moms went to church together, so, we grew up in the church,” Evans said. Manbevers will bowl and continue his education at Ohio Northern.

Miami Trace made a breakthrough this past season, winning the Frontier Athletic Conference championship — both the regular season competition and the conference tournament — breaking a dominating string of wins by Hillsboro.

“Onesti was a major (part) of that,” Amore said. “As far as keeping the girls pumped — you know, ‘hey, we can do this.’ Hopefully that continues through her college career. At the college level, she’s going to learn so much. She has to just keep her mind open. It’s going to be a little bit different. If she puts forth the effort she did all through her bowling career in high school, she’ll be fine.”

“I was looking at Thomas More University and Rio Grande, as well,” Evans said. “The (Shawnee State) bowling coach came to one of my tournaments and we kind of just bonded. Having a good relationship with the coach is a (big) part of it.

“I visited the school and I loved the small campus,” Evans said. “Everything is together. They have apartment-style (living quarters), instead of dorms. One of my best friends from Hillsboro is going there. It just kind of all played in my favor.”

Evans said she is going to major in business sports management, with a minor in coaching.

Without hesitation, when asked what her favorite subject was in high school, Evans said math.

As far as a favorite teacher, Evans had two.

“One of them is Mrs. (Amy) Bush, she was my English teacher, sophomore year,” Evans said. “She helped me with the passing of my dad. She was a person I could go to about everything.

“And Ryan Barnard, he was my math teacher,” Evans said. “He really helped, too.”

Evans spoke about a favorite moment in her career.

“A favorite moment would probably be going to State my sophomore year,” Evans said. “Even though I didn’t make it back my junior or senior year. And, my team being FAC champs this year.”

What about what lies ahead in this next chapter?

“I’m definitely looking forward to meeting new people,” Evans said. “Leaving my high school in the past. I’m done with that part of my life and I’m ready to move forward. I think just moving out of Washington Court House, too, will be such a big thing.”

Thank yous

“I would obviously like to thank my parents,” Evans said. Evans is the daughter of Caren Mowery-Evans and the late Gerald Evans. “They helped me become the person that I am; taking all the time to take me to tournaments and put out all this money for them.

“Diane Amore and Ron (Amore) Sr. for helping me with the bowling part of life,” Evans said. “And my grandma, Sharon Evans, for coming and supporting me, even after the passing of my father and my grandfather (Roger Evans). She’s definitely been there for that.”

To be successful at the next level, Evans said she will have to improve her time management skills.

“I have not been good at that, at all,” Evans said. “I had bowling, then I went straight into softball and I had choirs and stuff. It’s been very stressful, I’d say, trying to get my school work done, but I’ve always found time to do it.

“Prioritizing my school work for college, that’s a big thing I have to work on,” Evans said. “I think I should be okay with it.”

Evans said that bowling is 95 percent mental.

“The motivation is a big thing,” Evans said. “Sometimes, you throw a bad ball and my confidence just drops. So, definitely, keeping (my confidence) high is something to work on.”

Evans was also a 2024 Clarence A. Christman Jr. Award nominee, as was her long-time friend, Jake Manbevers.

“Bowling is something she can do the rest of her life,” Amore said.

Bryan Sturgell is the bowling coach for the Shawnee State University Bears (both men and women).

“I’ve been there since the program started, so, this is my seventh year,” Sturgell said.

Sturgell said the Bears will have 16 men and 14 women in the program.

“It’s just like high school bowling in that we have a varsity and a j-v division,” Sturgell said. “It gives the young people an extra opportunity to compete. If they can’t make the varsity, they can compete on the j-v side.”

Sturgell met Evans a couple of years ago.

“I was recruiting a gentleman up this way and saw her,” Sturgell said. “I talked to her and got to know her. I love her personality. That’s what we look for in our athletes. It’s not about winning and losing for us. It’s about teamwork, good relationships, creating friendships. If you do all that, the results are going to come.

“I feel Onesti is going to jump right in and really help our program,” Sturgell said. “She’s coming in at a good time. We’re losing three of our best athletes (to graduation). There are going to be some spots there. With her work ethic and some of her results, I’ve seen a lot of great things from her, really from day one.”

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