The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 4, 2014

Bowling: Sunbury Hall of Fame inducts latest member

NORTHUMBERLAND — As a child, James E. Lewis II had a front-row seat watching a who’s-who list of bowlers that have been inducted into the Sunbury Area Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame.

Now Lewis, at age 47, has joined that distinguished group.

Lewis recently became the 78th member of the SABA’s Hall of Fame when he was inducted during the association’s annual awards banquet that was held Saturday at Northumberland Legion Post 44.

“It means a lot (to be inducted). There are days I don’t feel like I belong with some of these guys, but they recognized what I’ve done and what I strive to do,” said Lewis, who joins his father, James Lewis Sr. as members of the SABA’s Hall of Fame.

Lewis Sr. garnered his spot into the hall in 2009.

“It’s kind of special to be beside my father in something like this, and he’s the one who is going to induct me (Saturday),” said Lewis II. “I don’t think it has actually sunk in yet. To be a part of this group and to be honored by your peers is pretty impressive.”

The people that Lewis II credited to planting the seed of bowling during his adolescent years — Tim Sulouff, Tom Badman, Barry Badman, Paul Vanatta — are all fellow hall of fame members.

Sulouff was actually the person who nominated Lewis II for hall of fame consideration.

“All of those guys I’ve watched bowl growing up because my dad bowled with those guys, so I hung out at the bowling alley watching my dad bowl with those guys, so there’s a lot of honor and respect there,” said Lewis II. “I look at some of the guys I’m going to be inducted with, and it’s impressive to see myself at age 47 standing beside them. I am kind of in awe.”

Despite not having a perfect game or an 800 series to his credit like some of the other hall of fame members do, Lewis made his mark behind the scenes being on the SABA’s board of directors and most recently serving as its President.

“I’m the out-going President of the SABA, and I see the day-to-day operation of what the SABA does and the good things we’re trying to do,” said Lewis II, whose numbers include four games of rolling 11 strikes in a row, a 766 high series and 10 seasons of carrying a 200-plus average. “I hope that’s something that snowballs and gets better for the association and for the local bowling establishments.”

Also honored on Saturday were the Shikellamy High School Male and Female Bowlers of the Year, which went to junior Noah Thomas and senior Justice Heller.

Thomas, the son of Mike and Lisa Thomas, of Sunbury, led the Heartland Athletic Conference with a 221 average.

Heller, the daughter of Susan Heller, was the only senior bowler for the Braves’ girls team this past season. She led Shikellamy with a 173.25 average.

The day’s other honorees included Ernie Lahr, who received the Steve Paul Vanatta Memorial Senior Bowler Award, as well as the SABA Tournament winners: Scott Wenrick Sr., 780 (singles); Matt Botts-Kevin Woodruff, 1,441 (doubles); Chris Mullany, 2,120 (all events); and team winner the Sanbaggers, 3,548.

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