In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic senior Danielle Galarza.
I was really proud of how everyone performed during the County Championships. Everyone was in the zone, throwing strike after strike. We were just doing what we know, and putting our best good forward. We couldn’t have done without every team member, and of course our amazing coach.
How about the individual county tournament, Danielle? Tell me about that third game when you bowled a 191 to advance to the championship round. You needed a big game to advance, and you came through in the clutch?
The first two games I had a lot of nerves, and it was throwing me off a little. Once the third game came around I knew I had to step it up. I took a little to calm down, and before I knew it I was the third seed.
What does it mean to you to finish third in the county? I know you were second as a sophomore and fifth last year. It must be very satisfying to finish your career as one of the best bowlers in the county over your entire career.
It means a lot to me being able to say I’m one of the best in the county. I started bowling when I was nine. I’ve put a lot of my time into this sport and it’s paying off.
What did you love the most about being a member of the bowling team at UC?
The thing I love most about being a member of the UC bowling team is that we’re like a family. No matter what, we always find way to keep the game light and fun. There is never a dull moment.
I know you rolled a 232 this season, which was the top score for a girl in the conference. What does that mean to you, Danielle, and what are your career highs for a game, and for a series?
I feel very accomplished knowing that I did so well this season, especially since it's my senior year. I wish I could say that was my career high game, but my highest game ever was a 289. I’m hoping to reach 300 soon. My career high series is around a 650.
How and when did you first get involved in bowling, and what do you love the most about it?
I first started bowling competitively around the age of nine. There is this league at Jersey Lanes, which I still participate in, and one of my childhood friends would go every Saturday. I started to tag along and I got really into it and started playing better than he did.
Can you explain how the balance between academics, and extracurricular activities has helped you become a better student, and how important it is to be involved in different things?
Keeping a balance between academics and extracurriculars can be a little stressful, but 100% worth it. Planning ahead is crucial. Being involved in different things is important because you get to meet new and different people, who can really become huge parts of your life.
What do you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
I love being a student at UC because everyone is so kind and caring. Everyone wants to help you succeed, and they’ll help you get there.
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
Before coming to UC, I knew a few alumni, and they convinced me from the second they started talking about it. I knew it was the place I wanted to be. It just seemed like everyone genuinely cared and enjoyed their years at UC.
What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
Younger students thinking about attending UC should know this is a place where are going to grow and meet new people from all over. It’ll be some of the best years of your life, and it’ll fly by. Before you know it you’ll be graduating, and saying goodbye to all your teachers and peers.
What specifically can you point to as the things that you’ve benefited from the most from your experience as a student at UC?
I would say what benefited me the most from my years at UC are the friends I met along the way. They’re my number one supporters, and they’ve been my clutch throughout these four years.
How about the future, Danielle? What schools are you looking at right now to continue your academic career? Are you planning to bowl in college?
I’m hoping there are a lot of things coming to me in the future. I’ve been accepted into Kean University, Montclair State University, and Rutgers University. I’m still waiting to hear back from a few schools. I don’t think I will be bowling for whichever school I decide on, but you will definitely still catch me playing games at Jersey Lanes.
What would you like to major in? What type of career would you like to pursue?
I will be majoring in finance. I plan on becoming a Financial Analyst.
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know? Maybe a hidden talent or hobby?
A hobby of mine is skateboarding.
Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
My favorite way to spend my free time is hanging out with the people that I love.
Favorite UC bowling moment?
My favorite bowling moment was a few years ago when Mrs. Raite was still one of our coaches. She brought in a stuffed turkey so whoever had gotten three strikes in a row, also known as a turkey, they would get the turkey. We ended up naming the turkey Luka. I’m not sure where Luka went.
Favorite UC non-bowling moment?
My favorite UC moments are learning with my friends, and actually going to school and seeing people. I would really do anything to go back to those days.
Favorite UC Event?
My favorite UC event is the Honor Roll Breakfast because we get to celebrate each other and the work we put in every day, as well as the teachers who make it possible.
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
My favorite UC core value is Compassion. During these times everyone needs a little more. We really have no idea what is going on in others lives.
When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.
One word to describe your experience at UC?
Share one tip for members of the Class of 2024?
Life moves on. Make sure to live in the moment, make memories that you won’t forget, and make the best out of every situation.