McReynolds, Smith humbled by Midland USBC Hall inductions

Kathy McReynolds and Debi Smith are as humble of ladies as they come.

Both have dedicated a large part of their lives to the local bowling scene, but neither thinks they are hall of fame worthy.

The board for the Midland United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame sure thought they are worthy as both will be the latest inductees into the Midland USBC Hall of Fame in a ceremony taking place at noon Saturday.

“It’s an honor for them to consider me because there are so many who should be elected also,” Smith said.

McReynolds got emotional thinking about it. Last year she was battling lung cancer when she got the call. She said many of the bowlers were there for her and her husband of 49 years, James, when she was going through a tough time.

“I don’t think I can say what this means to me,” said McReynolds as she tried her best to hold back tears. “They did so much for me. I can’t tell you what it meant for what they’ve done for me. It’s a family.”

McReynolds said she’s doing well and has to go back to the doctors in July before she can get clean reports.

It’s no surprise why McReynolds and Smith were both selected for this honor as they have both done a lot during their time participating and being active in the Midland bowling community.

McReynolds has been in 35 straight Texas State USBC Women’s Championship Tournaments, was the 2018 City Tournament champion, served as secretary of the Northern Natural Gas League from 1978 to 1982, she is current secretary of the Midland Park Ladies League; has been secretary of the senior league since 2004; has been a delegate to the Texas State USBC annual meeting for nine years and has served on the credential committee; she’s been association manager of Midland USBC since 2011 and director since 2021; has participated in USBC Women’s Championship Tournaments for 14 years; and was part of the ladies travel league from 2006 to 2017.

Smith has held every office on the Midland USBC board and its committees and was its president from 2009-2019; she has bowled in the state tournament for 33 straight years and 13 years at nationals; she was a delegate to the state convention for 16 years, had the honor to serve as the state teller for conventions held in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Dallas; was a recipient of the 2007 MWBA ​​Merit Award; she is a member of the Texas USBC Writers Club; and she has served in various committees for local leagues and state conventions.

Both ladies said a big reason why they got into bowling was because of their respective husbands.

McReynolds, who has been bowling since 1977, said she got a call to take a bowling class. She wasn’t working at the time so she told her husband about it and he said that could be something they could do together.

“Well, he created this monster,” she quipped. “He quit and I didn’t.”

As for what keeps her going, she said she’s not a competitive person so it’s the people around her.

“That’s what I do. I’m a bowler,” she said. “I love it and I love bowling in the ladies’ league and in the seniors.

“We bowl and have a good time. I’ve been in 35 state competitions and I’ve hardly gotten any money back, but it’s been lots of fun.”

For Smith, who has been bowling for 47 years, said the company her husband, Rick, worked for had a bowling league and that’s what got her into the sport.

“We started at Air Park (Lane) in 1974 at 18 years old and I had a newborn,” she said. “I figured that’s what I wanted to do. Years later, I decided I wanted to make a difference on the board. Back then, it was very hard to get on the board. We had anywhere from 800 to 1,000 women bowling. The main reason to be on the board was to meet people. I lived out in Greenwood and it was a small school at the time and being on the board would get me to where I could meet people and hopefully add to it.”

Like McReynolds, being around the people in bowling is what keeps her involved.

“Bowlers are a different breed,” she said. “They are like the sweetest of all. Sometimes they can be rough, but if you ever need a bowler, bowlers come to your need. And we’ve seen it time after time after time.”

McReynolds would certainly attest to that.

Follow Oscar on Twitter: @OLeRoy_MRT

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