Signing day for Decatur High School senior Ruth Magana looked different than most.
Traditionally, a senior’s National Letter of Intent signing takes place in front of friends, family and staff during a special ceremony at the high school. The event marks the student-athlete’s commitment to play their sport at the collegiate level after graduation.
Last week, Ruth signed her NLI paperwork to bowl for Valparaiso University in Indiana surrounded by her parents and in the comfort of her own backyard.
“Bowling in college has been a dream of mine for a while now,” she said. “I’m really excited.”
The three-time captain has spent four years competing on the Decatur girls varsity bowling team. This past season, Ruth earned the title of the league’s Most Valuable Player, and became both the North Puget Sound League and West Central District champion. She also competes on additional bowling leagues outside of school and has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
“If Ruth said it, it was law,” said Decatur girls bowling head coach Mike David. Ruth was always eager to help new bowlers improve their skills or offer advice to veteran bowlers on the team. “Her words just carry so much weight because of the person she is.”
For as long as he has been head coach, Ruth has been a leader on the Gators’ team in average and in MVP type categories, David said.
“She is the quintessential great kid,” David said, adding that Ruth is universally respected and admired in the bowling community where the world of high school sports can be highly competitive. David also says he is convinced the world will one day see Ruth bowling on Sunday’s during the women’s professional bowling league in the future.
The girls bowling season ended on a high note in early February, just before the COVID-19 pandemic swept King County and the nation, when Decatur qualified as a team to compete at the WIAA state bowling tournament.
“For me, it’s a promise fulfilled,” David said, adding that years ago, he told Ruth the team would go to state during her high school career.
Due to the state-mandated closure of schools in March, Ruth will miss out on the remainder of her senior year and her final high school tennis season, but says she’ll always cherish the memories of competing with her bowling and tennis teammates.