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Wade Johnson
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2012 Individual Award Winner


 

For some, bowling is a hobby.

For Centralian Wade Johnson, it has been a passion.

While back problems forced Johnson to retire from the game in 2000, he undoubtedly left his mark on the local bowling scene for parts of 5 different decades.

Johnson began his bowling career at the age of eight, at Centralia's Club 300 (located where Wendy's is now located on Centralia's west side).  In high school, Johnson had the opportunity to be a member of the CHS track and field team, but elected instead to bowl in men's leagues.

A 1973 graduate of CHS, Johnson began bowling in as many as four leagues a week in various houses around the area upon graduation.  He credits having to learn different shots for each venue in his ascent to becoming one of the area's best.

With all that Johnson accomplished, his admitted single-greatest highlight came as a teenager when he won the opportunity to bowl with the legendary Dick Weber at a pro-am event in St. Louis.  Weber, Johnson's favorite professional bowler, teamed with him for the first games of the pro-am.  Wade took great satisfaction in beating Weber on Weber's own lanes during those games by a score of 227 to 219.

Obviously accomplished as an individual, Johnson's talents were on display on teams that won numerous league titles in Centralia, Salem, Carlyle, Breese and Mt. Vernon.  He was a member of the Centralia Moose Lodge which won the Moose State Tournament in Moline in 1998.  One of the teams Johnson bowled with in Mt. Vernon claimed a state title in Peoria.

As great as Johnson was, throwing a sanctioned 300 game eluded him for much of his career.  But that changed in 1996 as Johnson found perfection while bowling in a league at Nu-Bowl Lanes in Mt. Vernon.

Two weeks later, Johnson did it again, this time at Banks Bowl in Centralia.  The 300 was only part of the most incredible night of his career, as Johnson rolled a 3-game series of 824 that included 32 strikes out of 36 games thrown.  In the 1996 season he finished with a 219 average, the best in Banks Bowl history.

In all, Johnson rolled seven 300 games, three which came in American Bowling Congress sanctioned league play.

In addition to his time spent on the lanes, Johnson is an avid Centralia Orphans basketball fan and season-ticket holder.  In addition, he ha been a radio sponsor of Orphan broadcasts through the Car Quest franchise he co-owns with with Mark Lambert.


 

 

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