The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Spencer Baumruk: Renaissance Man

Blair Abington
Baumruk, one of the top bowlers in the county, made it to to the sectional meet during the 2015/2016 season.

Spencer Baumruk.  Maybe you recognize his name from Briant Kelly’s emails about the LHS athletes of the week.  Perhaps you’ve seen him in one of Libertyville’s theatrical performances.  Or you may share a certain honors or AP class with him.  

Between his bowling connoisseurship, his theatrical talent, and his academic excellence, Baumruk, an LHS junior, is someone we should all be acquainted with.


Bowling Prodigy

Baumruk’s bowling career began at the young age of 4.  According to Baumruk, his father had been a bowler since high school, so it was one of the first sports that both Spencer and his brother, Jack, played during their childhood.

“We tried basketball, soccer, baseball, gymnastics, but bowling was the one we stuck with the most — probably because it was the least physical,” he joked.

This season was Baumruk’s best one yet.  Both he and teammate Jason Giza made it to the sectional meet after helping their team finish in sixth place at regionals.  Unfortunately, neither of the two bowlers made it past the sectional meet, but Baumruk still thought of it as a great experience.

“Sectionals was probably my most fond bowling memory,” Baumruk stated.  “We had a hotel room, and we got to ride down in the Driver’s Ed van with the coaches and Jason.  I still had a great time even though I performed poorly.”

In addition to the accomplishment of making it to the sectional meet, Baumruk also rolled his highest score ever during the season. He rolled a 279 in the third game of a meet at Stevenson, needing only one more strike for a perfect game of 300.

“My rival is on that team; he’s a guy who I really wanted to beat,” stated Baumruk.  “I was actually pretty nervous so I was throwing the ball poorly, but I got lucky a lot.”

In addition to being a talented bowler, Baumruk is dedicated and coachable as well.  Libertyville head bowling coach, Mr. Robert Sweno, is complimentary of Baumruk’s work ethic.

“He is a student of the game and is always looking to learn, improve, and grow,” Mr. Sweno remarked.  “At practice, he puts a solid effort forward no matter what the activity, drill, or contest may be.”

As for next year, Baumruk hopes to carry his team all the way to state.

“Jason Giza and I gave sectionals our all, but unfortunately the momentum didn’t carry. We’re really looking forward to going to state next year and showing what the Wildcats can do.”


Baumruk on Broadway

In addition to his love of bowling, Baumruk also has a passion for theatre.  After his first performance as one of the lead roles in the eighth grade play at Oak Grove School, Baumruk enjoyed it thoroughly.  In the summer following the eighth grade play, Baumruk performed in a play for Encore Theatre, and he was hooked.

During his first semester at LHS, Baumruk auditioned and made it onto the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof.”  Even though he was just a freshman who was not very familiar with theatrical performances, LHS theatre instructor, Mr. Christopher Thomas, was very complimentary of his performance.  

“Spencer created an iconic representation of the Rabbi in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ that we wanted to bring it back for ‘Spamalot,’” Mr. Thomas noted.  “It became such a humorous and fun memory for all of us involved on the cast.”

Baumruk’s favorite performance was the recent LHS production of “Starlight Express.”  He especially enjoyed that the entire play was performed on roller skates.

“It was a great experience not only to act and dance and sing, but to also roller skate,” Baumruk stated.

Baumruk does not just love theatre for the performances; he has formed a great group of friends with others involved in theatre.

“When I auditioned and made it onto ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ I found the coolest group of people,” Baumruk explained.  His most fond memory of theatre came from a tradition called “Guys Girls Night,” a night in which the male and female students involved with the school play have prank wars involving water guns, shaving cream, and more.  

“The cops actually showed up at one point and thought we had assault rifles so they told us to put our hands up.  One of us had to explain to them what was going on,” Baumruk said.

“Spencer is a kid you would want on any cast,” Mr. Thomas stated.  “He is talented, reflective, and actor who makes good decisions.  He knows how to use his skills on stage both vocally and physically. All around he’s a great guy, a leader among his peers, enjoyable, and very unique.”


Academic Excellence

Another aspect of Baumruk’s life that sets him apart from the crowd is his academic excellence.  All throughout elementary and middle school, Baumruk was regarded as being one of the most intelligent students in the Class of 2017.  Many Oak Grove teachers would actually come to Baumruk when they were having technical difficulties or needed help with a computer function.

This year, Baumruk is enrolled in three AP classes and one honors class.  He is taking AP Physics, AP Language, AP U.S. History, and precalculus honors, in addition to taking choir and Dance III.  And although he has a difficult schedule, Spencer is enjoying the challenge.

“I’ve been doing well in pretty much all of my classes, and I almost got straight A’s last semester,” Baumruk explained.  “The classwork is challenging but not too challenging.”

Baumruk has yet to decide where he will attend college, but he has a few options in mind.

“I’ve been looking at Vanderbilt in Nashville.  Nashville has a really cool vibe so that’s probably my first choice,” Baumruk stated.  “I’ve also been looking at the University of Dayton in Ohio.  It seems like a really nice, small college town, and [CRC counselor] Ms. Belstra thinks I can get a lot of money if I go there.”

Along with his difficult academic schedule, Baumruk finds time to run a website design business out of his home.  According to Baumruk, he has been interested in coding since the third grade, and he recently got the opportunity to utilize his talent.

“This summer, my neighbor invited me to do some computer work at his accounting firm.  I then realized that I could use my skills to make some extra money, and I’ve been designing websites for small businesses ever since,” Baumruk explained.  “It gets stressful, especially during the musical season, but it’s really rewarding to use my skills in the real world.”


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Spencer Baumruk: Renaissance Man