Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 14, 2009

BSC Professor Owensby bowls his way into hall of fame

BLUEFIELD — Nearly 50 years ago, Roger Owensby Jr. picked up a bowling ball for the first time. Since then, there haven’t been many occasions when he hasn’t had a bowling ball far from his hands.

In a quiet, understated way, Owensby has enjoyed sustained excellence on the lanes while finding time to teach and direct the Mining Engineering Technology program at Bluefield State College.

Recently, he received confirmation that he will be inducted into the West Virginia Bowling Hall of Fame. The honor encompasses his love and skill in the sport and his experience as an amateur and professional bowler.

“It’s really not something I consciously set out to achieve,” he said recently during a pause between classes at BSC.

“I have always been excited about the opportunity to bowl and I’ve made some great friends and memories while bowling.”

He has rolled six sanctioned perfect games and two three-game series in excess of 800. One of his 300s was part of an 804 series that led his team to a West Virginia Mixed Team Doubles Tournament championship in 2000.

He and daughter Wendy have won the West Virginia AVCO Family Bowling Tournament, and he’s now a card-carrying member of the Professional Bowlers Association’s Senior Division, competing in a handful of regional PBA Seniors events each year.

He began bowling in downtown Bluefield, then moved to Mountain-eer Bowling Lanes on Cumberland Road in the city during the 1960s. “My father was an avid bowler and he got me started, and I’ve never stopped bowling since,” he commented.

After achieving several local, regional, and state honors, Owensby decided to try out the PBA Seniors tour in 2000.

“I had just turned 52 and I wanted to measure my game against the best,” he recounted. “There were some regional tournaments within driving distance, so I gave it a try.”

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