John “Claw” Holtzclaw, Capt. USN (Ret), has bowled in the Nation’s Capital Area since 2002. At 85 years young, he bowls in two full-time leagues and subs regularly in a third. He has served with distinction as president of the Falls Church Commercial League since the 2014-2015 season and was captain of the oldest team (average combined age of team members was 71 years old) to win that league championship in the 2016-2017 season. John also has won other league championships, including the Falls Church Navy Guardian League, which is the oldest NCAUSBCA league.

At the young age of 80-plus, John has carried a 200-plus average, rolled a 300 game, bowled in PBA regional tournaments, including the Battle of Little Creek with partner PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, bowls each year in the World-Wide Military Bowling Championship in Las Vegas, and has participated in the USBC Open Championships Tournament for the past 12 years. He competes annually in the NCAUSBCA Open Championship Tournament.

John is very active in the bowling community, where he sponsors an annual team in the Langley Bowl-A-Thon (a charity for challenged adults) and the annual Rotary International Tournament (an event between local clubs). But what sets John apart from many others is his commitment to help others. For instance, as a practicing attorney, he has helped over 40 bowlers with legal assistance and representation and has assisted several Hall of Famers with legal issues.

Upon learning of the death of fellow league member Reggie Rich from a traffic accident on May 8, 2017, John, at a season-ending league payoff meeting two days later, led the way in establishing the “Reggie Rich Tribute Fund” that supports youth programs at Bowl America Falls Church—something that was dear to Reggie. This fund pays the lineage fees for area youths who could not otherwise afford to bowl each week in a league. In addition to allowing for the purchase of several bowling balls and bags, the fund also pays the entry fees for youths who bowl in tournaments such as the NCAUSBCA Youth Championship and the Invitational Scratch Singles, and it sponsors two teams in the Bowl America Travel League. Thus far, the area bowling community has contributed over $18,500 to support the kids, largely due to John’s leadership.

Basically, whenever John is in the center, he is open for conversation, will listen to your issues, and is always willing to take the time to help. He will even help by giving bowling tips that he has learned from many of his PBA friends.

John is one of those exceptional individuals who enjoys giving and helping others more than receiving—a true gentleman and a credit to our bowling community. He is always positive, fun to be around, possesses a great mental outlook, and enjoys interacting with his fellow bowlers.

In recognition of his bowling achievements and his contributions to our bowling community, John “Claw” Holtzclaw has been granted an honored position in the NCAUSBCA Hall of Fame.

PHOTO: J.Russell Photography

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