For the past 10 years, Adam Baer, Stephanie Whipple Miller and Jen Sparks have enjoyed enormous success on the local bowling lanes
Their efforts have certainly garnered the attention of the York County Bowling Proprietors Association, which has named Baer its Male Bowler of Decade and Whipple Miller and Sparks as its Female Co-Bowlers of the Decade.
"Excelling over a long period of time is one of the marks of a great bowler," said Dave Zegler, president of the proprietors' association. "These three bowlers have certainly done that, and we are proud to recognize them for their efforts."
The Bowler of the Decade awards were presented at the York-Adams United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday.
Adam Baer: Baer has displayed his talent in the highly competitive BowlerMaxx York County Match Play Championships.
He won the title four times (2010, 2011, 2014, 2017) during the decade. He is the only bowler to win back-to-back titles in the tournament's 24-year history. Only one other bowler won the tournament more than once (Greg Bruff, 2012, 2015) during the decade.
In addition to his four titles, Baer also finished second on two occasions, third once and fourth once.
Baer is one of just three county bowlers to average 250 or higher (250 in 2018-19) for a season. He averaged 240 or higher six times in the decade.
He also won PBA East Region titles in 2010 and 2012.
Baer achieved the rare distinction of 100 perfect games in the fall of 2019. He also has registered more than 75 800 series.
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On the female side, the proprietors couldn't separate Whipple Miller and Sparks.
"It's the first time we have had co-winners," said Zelger. "But, it's rare to have two bowlers so highly qualified. We thought both bowlers were very deserving of the award. It would have been a shame not to recognize both of them."
Stephanie Whipple Miller: In 2015, Whipple-Miller became only the second York County woman inducted into the Pennsylvania Women's Hall of Fame for her bowling ability.
She also is one of three county women to average 230 or better. Her 231 average for the 2010-11 season was the highest in the state. The following season, she posted a 232 average, her career high. She led county women in high average six times during the past decade.
In 2017, Whipple-Miller was a member of the scratch team that won the Pennsylvania State Women's Bowling Association state tournament championship. She won the Pennsylvania women's scratch title in 2014.
Whipple-Miller won numerous tournaments during the past decade. Among them are the Quad City, four times; Berks County Ladies Open, twice; Pennsylvania Women's 600 Club scratch doubles and singles, three times; and the 800 Series Mega Jackpot.
She was a member of a three-man, two-woman team that rolled the nation's high team series and high team game in the 2018-19 season.
Over her career, she has tallied 15 perfect games and a dozen 800 series, including a high of 835.
Jen Sparks: When the decade started, Sparks was an outstanding junior bowler.
She captured five Pennsylvania Junior Bowlers Tournaments in the 2009-2010 season and added eight more titles in 2010-2011. She was named PJBT Bowler of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
She is one of three county women to average 230 or better. She posted the highest average for women in the state for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with marks of 231 and 233.
Sparks has finished among the top five averages for York County women since 2011-12. She has led the county for four of the past five years.
The right-hander set house records at Hanover Bowling Centre (815), ABC North in Harrisburg (826) and Strike Zone Alleys in Pottsville (835). She also held the house record at Lincolnway Lanes (868).
In 2012, Sparks won the Greater Schuykill USBC Open singles title and was a member of the winning team at the Pennsylvania Women's Tournament. She and her husband, Travis, won the 2019 Pennsylvania Mixed Doubles title.
In 2019, she was a member of York Team Challenge championship squad.
Sparks has registered five perfect games and five 800 series.
Reach Barry Sparks at email@example.com.
PAST BOWLERS OF THE DECADE
1980-1989: Jeannie Fry and Tim Zelger.
1990-1999: Laura Wolfgang Jameson and Tony Lewis.
2000-2009: Lindy Decker and Dave Zelger.
2010-2019: Stephanie Whipple Miller, Jen Sparks and Adam Baer.