Willie Jelks has been active in all aspects of bowling since he was introduced to the sport while in the Marine Corps. His enthusiasm for the game is non-stop.
Willie came to the Washington, D.C. area in 1971 from Buffalo, New York, where he obtained many titles and achievements. He carried a 200 average in the Courier-Express Traveling league after only five years of bowling in leagues. In 1969, he captured the BPAA title and represented western New York at the finals in Chicago.
When Willie relocated to Virginia in 1972, he immediately started bowling at Tenpin Coliseum and has competed in different area centers and leagues ever since.
A few of Willie’s accomplishments include:
- A 200-plus average for the last eight years.
- A 190-plus average since coming to the area in 1972.
- Recorded the area’s first 300 game of the 1975-76 season at Bowl America Shirley, and he appeared on the cover of BOWL Magazine.
- Scored two 300 games each at Alexandria Bowling Center and Annandale Bowling Center, with one from each center bowled in the same season.
- Bowled two 299 games at Alexandria Bowling Center.
- 1st place, team event in BOWL Magazine Tournament.
- 1st place, Bowl America Summer Tour with partner Lee Brosius.
- 1st place, team event in Virginia State Tournament.
- 1st place, Syd Jones Tournament.
- 1st place, All Stars Tournament.
- 1st place, 45 and Over Tournament.
- 2nd place, Virginia BPAA Senior U.S. Open Qualifier at Bowl America Bull Run.
- Numerous league titles, 290 games, and series of 790-plus.
Many people who know Willie will ask what adjustments they need to make to improve their games. He always takes the time to help anyone who asks for advice.
Willie Jelks’s achievements in the sport he loves has earned him a coveted spot in the NCABA Hall of Fame.
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