Determination. Dedication. Success. Tradition. Legacy. Excellence.

These are a few words that come to mind when thinking about the bowling community in Wichita, Kansas. Home to bowlers known around the world and collegiate bowling programs that have developed bowlers who have won on every level.

The Storm Youth Championships invited athletes and their families to travel to Wichita to experience the tradition of excellence in this community. A sold-out field filled Northrock Lanes making new friends and knocking down as many pins as they could throughout the weekend. Northrock Lanes is the largest bowling center in the state of Kansas and their staff have hosted a variety of PBA, PWBA, and youth events throughout the years. The DeSocio Family, General Manager, Brent Bowers, and the entire team helped to create a welcoming environment for all the participants and their families. Their support of the SYC made our event run efficiently from start to finish.

The SYC athletes competed in three rounds on three challenging lane conditions designed by KEGEL. Each round consisted of five games and the tournament is composed of six different divisions determined by gender and age (U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Boys, U12 Girls).The top three bowlers in each round were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal. After both rounds were complete, the tournament champions in each division based on their total pinfall were awarded the SYC Shield Trophy, a banner, and a gold medal. In addition, the SYC awarded $13,025 in scholarships to the youth bowlers.

L to R: Northrock Lanes Owner Cathy DeSocio, Morgan Nunn, Spencer Robarge, Braden McDonough, Katelyn Abigania, Lucas Hersrud, GM Brent Bowers

The talent at the SYC in every age division is impressive but watching the bowlers in the U12 Division compete with solid fundamentals and a true love for the game is pretty inspiring. These young athletes build friendships on the lanes all weekend that travel beyond the end of the tournament. Braden McDonough averaged 198 for the weekend to capture the top award in the U12 division, his first SYC title. This young man bowled exceptional throughout the weekend but truly excelled on the medium pattern where he bowled games of 266, 225, 207, 236, and 226. Did we mention he is just 11 years old? Blaine Canfield and Bradyn Brogan joined McDonough on the podium for the silver and bronze overall medals.

As these athletes continue to grow and progress, they are eager to learn as much as they can. The athletes in the U15 division illustrate this. The boy’s division was a close race for the overall medals. Lucas Hersrud had a strong showing on the short pattern and stayed consistent through the next two rounds to earn his first SYC title and banner. Bud Sicard earned the silver and Joshua Abigania earned the bronze medal. In the girl’s division, Katelyn Abigania picked up her second SYC title, leading her division by 110 pins. Rachel Moore earned the silver and Jenna Hedgepath joined them on the podium to earn the bronze.

The athletes in the U20 division continue to collect knowledge and experience every time they step on the lanes. In the boy’s division, Spencer Robarge launched the event by rolling games of 247, 269, and 289 for an 805 series. He maintained his lead throughout the weekend and earned his sixth SYC title finishing 267 pins ahead of the sliver medalist, Brandon Bonta. Casen Stickler joined these two young men on the podium earning the bronze medal.

Honor Scores: Morgan Nunn was the only SYC bowler to throw a 300 game and Spencer Robarge bowled an 805 series.

In the girl’s division, Morgan Nunn created some excitement in game two of round three when she delivered 12 perfect strikes to bowl the only 300 game of the event. This was her first perfect game and propelled her to the top of the standings in her division. She kept her nerves under control and finished the block with a 225 average to earn her first SYC title. Raina Davis earned the silver and Melanie Katen earned the bronze in the U20 girl’s division.

In addition to the tournament, bowlers were truly treated to a full program of optional activities on Friday. USBC OC Champion and PBA Champion Matt McNiel hosted a seminar about how technology affects the sport of bowling. He joined 27-time PWBA Champion, Leanne Hulsenberg and 20-time PWBA Champion, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard for a Q&A Segment where youth bowlers and their families could ask questions and learn more about the life of a professional bowler.

Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm Super Son!Q and had the option to have their new ball drilled at Wichita Bowling Supply with Billy Murphy and his staff. Many bowlers took advantage of this option to add this ball to their bags in time for the practice session where all three KEGEL patterns were made available.

L to R: Harley Shene, Blake Martin, David Jepsen, Brooklyn Gagnon

We truly try to feature bowlers throughout the weekend in as many ways possible. Past champions are recognized throughout the weekend and award winners are celebrated. One SYC Bowler, Madi Phillips, volunteered to sing the National Anthem prior to the start of competition. The SYC bowlers were also invited to submit a name for each KEGEL oil pattern prior to the start of competition and were announced at the event. The winners were Harley Shene who named the short pattern Carolyn’s Castle, Blake Martin and David Jepsen who named the medium pattern Keeper of the Plains and Brooklyn Gagnon who named the long pattern, Shockwave.

Our SYC Apparel partners, Logo Infusion, have created the Dan Keegan Scholarship for youth bowlers to earn scholarship to use towards their education throughout the year. The Logo Infusion Team were on site with SYC Gear and awarded two scholarships to SYC athletes based on their sportsmanship throughout the weekend. The winners were Amani Moore and Samuel Calderon.

The SYC Families were also invited to join the coaches from Wichita State University and Newman University for a seminar and Q&A about college bowling. They shared an inside look at the world of college bowling and youth bowlers had the opportunity to ask any questions they could think of. The students of Wichita State University hosted an optional party for the SYC bowlers to attend later that evening. The WSU Team provided games for the SYC bowlers, the bowlers could explore campus and the team set up a booth where the athletes could learn more about college life.

This tournament would not be possible without the generous donation from all of our sponsors, Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Ballard’s Bowling Academy and Bowlers Journal International. Families were able to learn more about all of our sponsors throughout the event. Storm and the Ballard’s Bowling Academy partnered to host a BBA Surface Maintenance Center in the player’s room so that the athletes could clean and prepare their bowling balls for competition.

We choose to align our SYC tournament with a charity close to the Storm family. The SYC event supported BVBC also known as Ballard vs. the Big “C.” BVBC raises funds for continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck, and throat cancer through the sport of bowling. The president of BVBC, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard joined us for the event. SYC families contributed to the cause through raffles and a silent auction in addition to the $10 donation that is contributed directly to BVBC from every entry.

Friends and family can come to cheer on their favorite youth athlete in person or virtually through the Storm Facebook Channel. Every game of the event was livestreamed on Facebook. Storm Team Members share insights about the event and youth bowlers through commentary.

For final results of all rounds of competition visit this page.

For more information on the SYC visit the Storm SYC page at www.stormbowling.com/SYC.