Mike Kruse Sr. named to bowling hall of fame Since the South Dakota Bowling Hall of Fame was created in 1987, 96 bowlers have been selected to the Hall of Fame either in the category of Bowling Ability or the category of Meritorious Service. Among these 96, only seven South Dakotans have been selected to both categories � among these seven, inducted this July, is Vermillion�s Michael Kruse Sr.
The Bowling Hall of Fame requires for eligibility for either category that a bowler have a minimum of 20 years of sanctioned league competition and 10 years of membership in a local bowling association within the jurisdiction of The South Dakota Men�s Bowling Association. For Bowling Ability nominees, additional requirements include �demonstrated outstanding bowling ability� and seven years� participation in the South Dakota State Championship Bowling Tournament.
For Meritorious Service nominees, the additional requirement for selection is �outstanding contribution to bowling through administrative, organizational, or other manner deemed meritorious.�
In letters submitted in support of Kruse�s election to the Hall of Fame, and on the Hall of Fame participation list, Kruse�s 20-year, 200-plus average is often cited, as are his four 300 games, his three 299s and one 298 games, his several 11-in-a-row plaques, his 94 700s � the highest being a 799, eight other games in the 280s, 30-plus games in the 270s, and five-plus 1000 four-game series.
Kruse has competed in national tournaments such as in the High Roller Tournament in Las Vegas four times, in the Hoinke Classic, in the ABC Masters, and 17 times in the ABC Nationals. He has accumulated over 37 city titles and two state titles and has placed first in many other local tournaments.
Asked about his own favorite statistic, Mike cites his second 300 game because it was a part of a father/son 600 doubles game, his son being Michael Kruse Jr. of Vermillion, himself a remarkable young bowler.
Kruse Sr. has in fact helped many young bowlers over the years in his capacity as a long-time instructor in the ABC/YABA youth bowling activities, serving for four years as president of the local youth league. His further meritorious service includes 10 years as a City Association president and four years as its vice-president, 10 years as a League Officer president and eight as its vice-president, and uncounted days and years spent helping fellow bowlers.
In a letter to the Hall of Fame, Layne Stewart, the former manager of the Prairie Lanes in Vermillion, writes that �Mike is a man who will take the time to help others when asked, no matter the skill level of the individual. He has a unique way of presenting information through talking and demonstration that makes others understand the sport to a better degree.�
In another letter of support to the Hall of Fame written by Kevin Annis, the Vermillion Bowling Association�s vice president, Annis writes �I think that Mike is a great ambassador of the sport of bowling.� A letter written by the Vermillion Bowling Association�s Dennis Tomhave says that �For the 25 years I have known Mike, he has exhibited a great amount of dedicated service to the Vermillion Bowling Association.� And on a personal note, his son Michael Jr. says that �the countless hours ? he has given me is one of the greatest gifts a father can give a son. Everything that I have done and will do in my bowling career is all due to him.�
Kruse Sr. is a Vermillion native, the son of Deryl and Lela Kruse of Vermillion. Employed by the Clay Union Rural Electric Cooperative for 22 years, he is currently the line crew foreman. He has been married for 24 years to his wife Laurie, also a Vermillion native, and in addition to being the father of Michael, 23, is also a father to Megan, 21, a senior nursing student at South Dakota State University.
In yet another letter of support, Dr. Pat King of Yankton concludes that �while Mike is a very formidable opponent and fierce competitor, he is still a true gentleman on the lanes, well-liked and respected by his peers.�