By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Summer Jasmin is an extremely intelligent young woman. The Woodrow Wilson graduate has a degree in biomedical science from Marshall, putting her on the path to being a doctor.
She also is a good bowler. No, make that a great bowler — and even that might be selling her short.
Bowling a perfect game once could be called luck. Doing it four times in four months? That’s skill — and probably somebody trying to tell you something.
The stethoscope and long white coat will have to wait.
“The plans have kind of changed right now,” Jasmin said.
Jasmin doesn’t know where or how far bowling might take her, but she’s all in. Lessons and advice from perhaps the top bowler to ever come out of the region, fellow Woodrow Wilson graduate and 33-year professional Steve Lickliter, can only help her as she goes.
Lickliter raves about Jasmin, from her ability and potential to her work ethic.
“She is very dedicated and listens so well,” said Lickliter, a member of the Senior PBA Tour. “She never questions things. She is constantly trying to improve her game. She practices hard, and all the stuff that I have shown her, she works at it and is able to do it. She’s not scared to try any of it.
“A lot of bowlers or athletes get information and can’t pull the trigger. Whether it’s changing balls or changing speeds, the things you have to do when things aren’t going right, she has no problem understanding things you need to be a great bowler.”
Jasmin said the help she has received from Lickliter is immeasurable.
“He has helped me a lot, from improving my spare shooting to using different hand positions to get a different rotation,” she said. “There were so many things I didn’t know that he told me.”
The accolades started pouring in for Jasmin before she was even in high school.
Jasmin was the 1996 BPAA/YABA state champion and 2000 state prep team champion, second place 2002 state youth junior team, three-time West Virginia Pepsi Tournament girls scratch division champion in 2003, 2004 and 2006, 2005 state major team tournament champion, second place girls scratch 2005 West Virginia Pepsi Youth Tournament, 2005 state high school handicap mixed champion and 2006 high school scratch division state champion.
She graduated from Woodrow in May 2006, and five months later was named the West Virginia USBC Bowling Association Major/Senior Youth Bowler of the Year.
Jasmin is more than just good. In fact, on four different occasions, she has been perfect.
Her first 300 game came in September during a mixed league day at Leisure Lanes. She then had a November to remember with two perfect games.
On Nov. 1, during another mixed league game, Jasmin not only bowled a 300, but also shot an 800 series. Eleven days later, perfecto No. 3 came during a Pepsi Mixed League night.
Finally, on Jan. 21, the fourth 300 game of Jasmin’s career was bowled during another Pepsi Mixed League night.
“I was just as excited (each time),” Jasmin said. “I was really just in the moment. I didn’t think ahead and just focused on doing my job.”
Bowling is definitely a significant part of Jasmin’s life. Not only does she play, but she also serves as a league secretary and youth league director at Leisure Lanes.
Two of Jasmin’s charges, Abigail Humphrey and Johnie Clay, finished first in their divisions at a recent tournament in Weirton. Alexandria Humphrey took second and Micah Clay fourth.
Knowledge learned from Lickliter comes in handy on more than one level.
“I definitely pass it on to the youth bowlers,” Jasmin said.
Lickliter wants to see Jasmin go as far as she can. The PBA’s women’s tour recently dissolved, but Lickliter knows Jasmin can have as much success as anyone.
“I have fun working with her,” he said. “It’s not often that you find someone as dedicated and who works as hard as she does.
“There is no doubt in my mind that she is just scratching the surface.”
— E-mail: gfauber