Local Bowling feature Fun key to game for Soper – Sports – Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – Oklahoma News

Local Bowling feature Fun key to game for Soper – Sports – Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – Oklahoma News

By Mike Tupa

mtupa@examiner-enterprise.com

With 16 300 games and two 800 series scores to his credit, local bowler Josh Soper has refined his motive to pursue the sport to its simplest component.

“I bowl for fun,” he explained.

Not that Soper — who at age eight began haunting the Red Apple Center lanes — doesn’t go full bore during league action.

But, he’s not merely driven by the chase for more honors.

“I’d like to bowl some more tournaments,” Soper said. “But, I work in retail and it’s hard to get away on Saturday’s because we always have busy weekends.”

However, he is maintaining a tradition later this month to bowl at a competition in Springfield, Mo.

“It’s an every year thing,” he explained.

Soper comes naturally by his love for bowling — and it’s a family affair.

“My granddad was a bowler,” he said. “He was the South Dakota state champion.”

That’s why Soper — who grew up in Bartlesville — tried his hand as a young boy at bowling.

He found it to his liking.

During the following few years, he won the Young American Bowlers Association championship at Red Apple.

But then he outgrew the sport — or so he thought at the time.

“I quit bowling when I was 16,” he said, citing knee surgery as one of the reasons.

He also participated in basketball and football during his years in the Bartlesville Public Schools system.

Soper returned at age 19 to bowling when he joined the Merchants League.

“It kind of ballooned from there,” he explained.

At age 21, he snapped off the first of his 16 perfect (300) games.

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