Bowling: Cherpeski earns Hall of Fame nod

Tony Cherpeski
Tony Cherpeski

Tony Cherpeski has rolled more than 100 combined 300 games and 800 series, earned all-city honors and won multiple tournament titles, but his proudest moments on the lanes rarely have to do with him throwing a ball.

“For me, it’s more about watching someone I have coached succeed,” Cherpeski said. “If I can help someone tweak something in their game and it works, I have more pride in that than in any of my honor scores.”

The longtime Silver level coach will, however, be recognized for his success on the lanes as Cherpeski will be inducted into the Greater Dayton United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame for Superior Performance this summer.

“I am truly honored,” he said. “I never really pictured myself as being part of that group.”

Bowling has been a part of Cherpeski’s life for more than four decades as the now 45-year-old was just 4 years old when he started in his first youth league. And there were no bumpers for this bowler.

“It was all about tough love,” he said, smiling. “If you couldn’t handle getting it in the gutter back then, you had better try something else.”

Cherpeski’s ball, however, rarely found its way into the gutter. He was averaging 200 when he was just 11 years old.

“I had a little direction from my dad, but it was really more like grab the ball, chuck it down the lane and try to figure it out,” he said. “I was able to spin the ball and hook the ball at an early age, so that helped a lot.”

He started winning tournament titles as a youth bowler and hasn’t stopped yet as Cherpeski won the GDUSBC Officers Tournament as recently as 2017. Along the way, he amassed a 238 high average and an 865 high series. He has 76 perfect games to his credit – most recently in March.

When injury could have sidelined the longtime bowler a decade ago, the left-hander started bowling right-handed. He has since returned to being a lefty, but not before he managed to post 200 averages as both a right and left-hander.

While Cherpeski is being recognized for his bowling, he takes great pride in his coaching. The Ohio Youth Bowling Coach of the Year, for the 2014-15 season, is a fixture at Bowl 10 Fairborn where he coaches the Saturday morning youth bowlers and holds a weekly clinic for all ages. He also manages to bowl four to five times a week during the bowling season.

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