Local bowling: Like father, like daughter

Jessica Hatcher (second from the right) joins her state champion teammates (l-r Andrea Behr, Rachael Delserone and Kari Graham) as a hall of fame bowler - Contributed

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Jessica Hatcher (second from the right) joins her state champion teammates (l-r Andrea Behr, Rachael Delserone and Kari Graham) as a hall of fame bowler - Contributed

Jessica Hatcher gets hall of fame nod

Jessica Hatcher vividly remembers attending a banquet 14 years ago and watching with pride as her father, Jeff Fleck, was inducted into the hall of fame. She was determined to do the same.

When Hatcher recently received the call, it was met with a rush of emotions.

“I cried because, for me, it meant so much to be in there with my dad,” she said. “And I bowl with hall of famers all the time and I wondered if I would ever be as good as they are and be able to join them.”

Hatcher now has her answer as the 37-year-old will be inducted into the Greater Dayton United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame for bowling achievement at the annual banquet in August. She will be joined by fellow inductee Linda Parr who will be recognized in the Ambassador Division.

“I felt like I had accomplished a lot in the city, but you never know if it’s enough or if it’s what they are looking for,” Hatcher said. “But I put my best foot forward.”

Hatcher started building her bowling resume more than two decades ago as a member of the Centerville High School state championship team. Fast forward a few years and she started making her mark in the adult ranks.

She won the first of 10 city titles during the 2007-08 season and never looked back. In the decade that followed, Hatcher added a city Queens title as well as championships in Louisville and Cincinnati and Dayton. She has won four state titles, most recently claiming the team title this year with Andrea Behr, Lindsey Furnas, Kari Graham and Rachael Delserone.

The hall of famer has rolled a dozen 300 games in nine different bowling centers and has posted a 227 high average. She has made 11 appearances on the All-City team, including winning Bowler of the Year in 2020.

One accomplishment, however, has eluded her.

“I’d love to shoot an 800,” she said. “It’s kind of like the monkey on my back.”

After three decades on the lanes, Hatcher has shifted gears a bit as both of her children, Lynnley, 9, and Jamesen, 6, are bowlers now as well. She will also join the Fairmont High School coaching staff in the fall as an assistant coach for the girls’ team.

“It’s very important to me to give back and coaching is a great way to do that,” Hatcher said.

That’s not to say, she doesn’t still have a few bowling bucket list items to check off, including that elusive 800 series.

“I’d also like to join my dad in the state hall of fame,” Hatcher said with a smile.

Jessica Hatcher HOF by the Numbers

· State titles: 4

· City titles: 10

· All-City Team appearances: 11, including Bowler of the Year (2019-20)

· 300 games: 12

· High average: 227

· High series: 787

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