Lexington USBC adding three to its bowling Hall of Fame

Special to the Herald-LeaderJuly 20, 2014 

The Greater Lexington USBC added three new members to its Hall of Fame this past week: Melinda Craig, Dixie Mattingly and Joe Wilson. The trio brought the hall's membership to 60 since its inception in 1980.

Craig has been a dominant force in local women's bowling for the past 20 years. She has led the local women in scoring average 19 of the past 20 seasons. She posted the record high average for a local woman of 230 during the 2004-05 season.

Craig has rolled the high series in the association a record 10 times out of the last 20 years, including the local record for a woman of 879. During this run she has rolled seven perfect games.

Craig was a collegiate All-American while at Morehead State and was MVP of the 1994 Collegiate National Championships.

She has won the Women's Kentucky Open four times — 1993, 2003, 2004 and 2010.

Craig was elected to the Kentucky State Women's Bowling Hall of Fame in 2005. Her election to the local hall made her the first daughter of a Hall of Famer to get in. Her late father, Randall Johnson, was elected in 1987.

Mattingly served for 29 years as the association secretary and manager of the Lexington Women's Bowling Association. She was also an accomplished bowler, posting a high average of 181, a high series of 700 and a high game of 277. Mattingly bowled in the old WIBC Tournament (now the USBC Women's Championships) for more than 30 years.

She was a member of the 1983 national championship team Production Plating.

Mattingly won the 1973 singles and all events in the women's state tournament in Ashland. She also captured the 1983 singles and all events in the old Lexington Women's Bowling association tournament and the 1984 team event scratch and the 1990 team event, both scratch and handicapped.

Mattingly was inducted into the Kentucky State Women's Bowling Hall of Fame in 1999.

Wilson served as the manager of Collins Bowling Centers-Eastland for 31 years and for three years as general manager of Collins Bowling Centers, both at Eastland and Southland.

Wilson is the man behind the Bradley Open Tournament. This premier event has brought several touring pros and USBC and PBA Hall of Fame members to Lexington.

Wilson was the manager of every Bradley from the first in 1979 through 2009.

Wilson also played a large role in bringing the PBA and PWBA to Lexington. The PBA came to Eastland for the 1994 Greater Kentucky Open and the winner was PBA and USBC Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli.

The women competed here in 1997 and in 1999. The Ebonite Lady Kentucky Classic was held at Eastland in 1997 with Kim Adler winning and in 1999 with Leanne Barrett taking the crown

Wilson also spent many years working with Special Olympics and managed the annual tournament at Eastland.

He was a driving force behind the high school bowling program and helped to get it off the ground as a club sport. Wilson's efforts, along with many dedicated volunteers, helped the program grow until it became a KHSAA varsity program.

Wilson also was an accomplished bowler, rolling eight perfect games and three 800 series. Wilson averaged over 200 for 20 years with a high average of 211.

The trio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at noon Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Ramada Inn on North Broadway. Tickets are $20 and are available from any Greater Lexington USBC officer or director.

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