WYOMING, Mich. — It's been said that age is just a number.
So is how many pins you're able to knock down in the tenth frame when bowling.
A West Michigan bowler isn't letting becoming a centenarian interfere with his bowling average.
"I've been bowling on and off for fifty years," said John Sinke, who turns 100 on Sept. 28. "I used to have a 180 average but then I got older and, of course, everything's harder."
When Sinke arrived for his weekly bowling league Thursday at Park Center Lanes in Wyoming, he was greeted by dozens of people cheering for him, singing happy birthday and a giant birthday cake.
"I never expected this," added Sinke, who was overwhelmed by all of the attention.
After the cake was cut and everybody who wanted a piece got one, the lanes opened and Sinke began to bowl. His first roll happened to be a strike.
"That may be the only strike I have all day," Sinke said.
Sinke is very spry and is as sharp as a tack for his age. He needs no help moving around, and carries bowling form that would make PBA bowler Walter Ray Williams Jr. jealous.
"I throw a curveball but it doesn't curve too much," said Sinke. "I don't blame it on my age; I blame my score on my 10-pound ball because every time I throw the damn thing, I get a nine; the seven or 10 pin just sits there."
In April 2019, at age 99, Sinke rolled a 200 game during league play. He currently carries a 140 average and is one of the best bowlers in the league.
"I look at the obituaries once in a while and there are very few 100 year olds," said Sinke, who is a World War II veteran, arriving at Normandy one day after D-Day. "I feel like I'm pretty lucky."
Bowling isn't Sinke's only outlet to remain active. He says he regularly shoots pool and likes to go for long drives.
"I still have my driver's license and can drive pretty good," Sinke said. "I drive most weekends up to Mount Pleasant to see my daughter."
Not many bowlers have three digits in both their age and bowling average, but that's become John Sinke's new claim to fame.
"I still feel pretty good when I'm bowling," added Sinke."I think I'll be bowling next year, too."
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