Sophia Winklepleck teams up with her father to win the Dave Husted Pro-Am no-tap bowling tournament

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie 10-year-old Sophia Winklepleck says she loves bowling and animals. Her passion for the sport of bowling gained her acclaim in mid-August when she won first place in the Junior Division of the Dave Husted Pro-Am.Thursday, August 14, was a big day for Sophia Winklepleck.

The Milwaukie 10-year-old was bowling in Milwaukie Bowl’s Dave Husted Pro-Am — with her dad Marcus Winklepleck and Vancouver professional Ernie Schlegel — and they won first place in the Junior Division of the tournament.

The tournament featured a no-tap format, where a nine-pin count on the first ball counted as a strike. Sophia, who carries a 127 average in league, had no-tap games of 270, 266 and 134, for a 670 series and a 223 average.

Sophia, who will be entering the fifth grade at Seth Lewelling Elementary this fall, has had a high game of 193 and a high series of 470 in league play at Milwaukie Bowl. But this is the first time she has won a tournament.

“I actually didn’t know it was a tournament,” Sophia said. “I didn’t even know I won it until the papers came out and my dad told me we won. It feels really good.”

Sophia says she had 11 strikes when she rolled the 270 game in the Dave Husted Pro-Am. She came close to beating her father, who works as a UPS driver and is in his first season on the PBA Northwest Regional pro circuit.

“I tied my dad in the first game and lost to my dad by eight pins in the second game,” Sophia said.

Success in bowling is no accident for Sophia. Her great grandparents, Jim and Elma Winklepleck, were owner/operators at Gladstone Lanes for years. Marcus’ father Jim Jr. was head mechanic at Gladstone Lanes, and it was a home away from home for Marcus while he was growing up. Marcus helps coach in the Junior Bowling program at Milwaukie Bowl today.

Marcus says that Sophia first rolled a bowling ball when she was just 13 months old. She’s bowled in the Spare Me’s league at Milwaukie Bowl on Saturdays since she was four years of age, and she’ll move up to the more advanced High Fives league at Milwaukie this fall.

“I started learning a hook last fall and I’ve been getting better scores [with a hook],” Sophia says.

Asked what she likes about bowling, Sophia said, “It’s really fun. You get to work with a team, and you get to learn more and more stuff. It’s just really cool.”

As to the future, Sophia says, “I think I would like to become a great bowler, like Dave [Husted], like my dad and like my grandfather. I’m trying to get better and better every day....

“When I grow up I’d like to bowl and train animals. I’d like to help people with animals, like dogs, cats and guinea pigs, become more connected with their pets. People would contact me and say, ‘I have this problem,’ and I would try my best to help them with their problem.”

“I have two dogs, three fish, three water snails, one turtle, a guinea pig, and I’m trying to get another dog,” Sophia said. “I love animals.”

Sophia, whose favorite subject is math, says she’s looking forward to going back to school. She’s also looking forward to Junior League Bowling, which starts up again on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Weninger second

in PBA Open

Blaine Weninger of Happy Valley finished second only to Daniel Jackson Jr. of Portland in the Dave Husted PBA Northwest Open, contested at Milwaukie Bowl Aug. 15-17.

Weninger averaged 236 for 20 games; Jackson Jr. averaged 245. Fifty-three bowlers participated.

Weninger received $1,300 in prize money for his high finish; Jackson Jr. received $2,000.

Zach Hemming of Woodenville, Washington, won the adult division of the pro-am with no-tap games of 300, 244 and 278, for an 846 series.

Bob Stanford of Gresham won the senior division, with no-tap games of 268, 251 and 236, for a 755 series.

Earl Jones of Columbia City won the “super senior” division, with no-tap games of 218, 191 and 277, for a 686 series.

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