Eilenberger set to enter state HOF

For nearly 40 years Chuck Eilenberger has painted a bowling resumé worth appreciating.

Now that masterpiece will hang for all to see.

Eilenberger will be inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Oregon State Hall of Fame today at a banquet in Prineville.

He was informed of the honor just over a month ago.

"Speechless," said Eilenberger, 65, of his reaction to the news. "I was definitely surprised. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought I'd be in the state Hall."

The honor is quite deserving.

The Central Point resident has put up impressive numbers throughout his lengthy career.

Eilenberger's achievements include: rolling 23 300 games, six 299 games and seven 800 series; becoming the first person to bowl a 300 at Roxy Ann Lanes; and teaming with his son, Matt, to form the first father-son combo in Oregon to bowl an 800 series in the same year.

In 1962, as a ninth-grader, Eilenberger set a junior bowling record with a 622 series. Later, while serving in the United States Navy, he broke high-game and high-series records in the South China Athletic Association in Hong Kong.

Eilenberger also helped form the Southern Oregon All-Stars — now called Southern Oregon Bowling Association — with Roy Rider, Jim Brockbank and his late wife, Cheryl.

In 1998, he took home $3,000 for his win in the Southern Oregon All-Stars Grand Finals, a series for the region's top scratch bowlers.

The next year, Eilenberger added to his accolades when he was inducted into the Rogue Valley Bowling Association Hall of Fame, becoming the fourth member of his family to earn such an honor. Others in the RVBA HOF include his mother Dottie Villa, his sister Joan Konopasek and Cheryl, who died in 1990.

"Those were the biggest things to happen to me in bowling," said Eilenberger. "Until now."

And those are just some of the highlights. The list goes on and on.

"I know I've accomplished a lot," said Eilenberger, "but I didn't realize someone was paying attention."

"What's cool about it," he added, "is I've been bowling a long time and I have a lot of friends in the state Hall. I'll be in there with them, so that's quite an honor."

Villa keeps a list, which seems to keep growing, of her son's accomplishments.

"(Bowling) has been a family thing," said Villa. "I am proud of that.

"I like to keep track of everything they do."

"She's my PR," said Eilenberger with a laugh.

Eilenberger, who has two children and "a lot" of grandchildren, manages to maintain a busy bowling schedule.

He competes in two senior leagues at Lava Lanes during the winter months and teams with his wife, Karen, in a league at Roxy Ann.

In the summer he likes to keep his schedule more open.

Except today. He'll be a little busy.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 541-776-4483, or email kgoff@mailtribune.com

Share This Story