Stearns to be inducted into SDUSBC Hall of Fame in June

ADELYNE STEARNS holds the bowling pin that was autographed by all of the bowlers during the first weekend of the Women's State Bowling Tournament in Yankton last weekend. Stearns will be inducted into the S.D. USBC Association Hall of Fame at Rapid City in June.

Longtime Madison bowler Adelyne Stearns will be the first area bowler to be inducted into the South Dakota USBC Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

Stearns started bowling in 1936 and after 85 years on the lanes, she will be inducted this year as a Pioneer of Bowling. The ceremony will be held in Rapid City June 4-5.

During the Women's State Bowling Tournament last weekend in Yankton, Stearns was presented with a bowling pin that was signed by all of the bowlers there.

Stearns, who will turn 96 next month, will get her official Hall of Fame plaque at the ceremony in Rapid City.

"She bowled nine games back to back (doubles, singles and team)," said S.D. USBC Association Manager Kristy Jones.

"My mother and father were bowlers," Stearns said. "My mother bowled until she was 70." Stearns was just following in her parents' footsteps.

Stearns enjoys bowling as a sport but most of all she enjoys it for the people.

"I enjoy the socializing that we have," she said. "My team does not care about the winning and losing end."

Stearns admits she needs more help now than in her earlier years as her eyesight has started to fail.

"My eyes are not the best, and my teammates will tell me what pins I have standing."

During her 85 years in bowling, Stearns has witnessed just minor changes with most of those changes on the lanes. The lanes now have arrows on them where bowlers can throw their ball, the pins are set automatically and the score is kept automatically.

Stearns started out with a 15-pound ball and now she is down to an 11- or 12-pound ball. She believes her highest game was a 256, and she used to have an average of 150.

A few years ago, Stearns was inducted into the Madison Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

Kenn Skluzacek of the Madison USBC Association nominated Stearns for the state award.

"He submitted her biography to the Hall of Fame committee," Jones said. "It was a unanimous decision by the board to induct Stearns into the Hall of Fame."

"It is not my bowling; the longevity I have had in bowling is the reason why I am getting this award," she said.

"Her longevity was a key for her award, but she has also promoted the sport of bowling in a positive way," Jones said.

"Adelyne is the first Madison bowler to be inducted into the S.D. USBC Bowling Association Hall of Fame," Skluzacek said.

Six other local women have been inducted into the S.D. Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame: Carol Brown (2003), Dee Balogh (1999), Lyn Jorgenson (1997), Dorothy Prostrollo (1993) and Imogene Ellis and Jenean Sample (1990).

Jack Wulff (1990) was inducted into the former S.D. Bowling Hall of Fame.