Dane Slenker didn't follow the typical pathway to become a bowling standout.
While it's fairly common for good bowlers to start the sport when they're young, Slenker didn't get his start until his father-in-law got him involved with a team in a church league nearly 40 years ago.
The late start didn't hamper Slenker, who is one of the most accomplished bowlers in the York-Adams area. Slenker has bowled 18 perfect games, including at least one in each of the last five decades. He also paired up with Don Smith, Charlie Earnst and Ken Strickler to capture the 2011 state seniors scratch team title.
We caught up with Slenker, who was recently inducted into the York-Adams United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, for this edition of Sports Q&A.
How did you get started in bowling?
"I went with my dad when I was very young to watch him bowl. When I was about 15 or 16 I asked to bowl on our church team with my late father-in-law and that's how it began."
What makes the sport of bowling so ap pealing to you?
"The people along with the challenge of the sport conditions and PBA conditions."
What is your fondest memory in your bowl ing career and what is one you wish you could make amends for, if any?
"My first 300 game in 1978 in an All-Star tournament at Lion Bowl and my first Pa. State Senior scratch title in 2011. As for one to make amends for, I wish I would have got my children involved when they were younger. But now maybe I have a second chance with my grandchildren."
Who do you enjoy bowling with regular ly?
"My buddies at East Lincoln. I have bowled in the same Wednesday night scratch league consecutively for over 30 years there. They are like family to me."
What does it take to be a successful bowler?
"Practice, good mental approach, good equipment and someone you trust to help you with your game. They can see what you can't see."
What are your future goals in the sport?
"I am one of a few people who has had a 300 game in five different decades around here. I would like to be the first to have the sixth. And become a better bowler in the PBA Senior Events, with more consistent cashes and a future title would be awesome."
Describe the emo tions you felt when you found out you were going to be inducted into the York-Adams Bowling Hall of Fame?
"Humbled, just a privilege to even be nominated, but totally honored to have been elected by my peers."
Finally, have your bowling peers treated you any differently now that you are a Hall of Famer?
"Some good ribbing about being an old-timer now and a Hall of Famer, but they seem to enjoy beating me now more than ever (laughs)."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.