Rhino Page Wins PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Classic

It was an all Storm final at the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, OH. In the championship match Rhino Page defeated Chris Via 190-173. The players were tested with challenging lane conditions throughout the weekend.  Players who were able to control the pocket and make their spares were more likely to survive each cut. Team Storm member, Via, was the tournament leader after 17 games of qualifying for the finals with a score of 3,660. Page, qualified for the stepladder in second with a score of 3,520.

This was the 10th Annual Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Coldwater, OH. For 9 years it's been a well-attended regional event but this season Coldwater, OH hosted it's first national PBA Tour event. It was also the final event of the Xtra Frame Storm Cup series. Rick Hartings, the owner of Pla-Mor Lanes, puts together a weekend full of events for the players and fans to participate in which includes two Pro-Ams, a golf outing, and more. 96 bowlers traveled to Coldwater to compete for the $10,000 first-place prize as well as a share of $50,000 in bonus prize money from the seven-tournament XF Storm Cup Series. There were also 86 local sponsors who contributed money to the event this year.

We were able to talk to Rhino after the event was over. Read the interview below:

How much does this win mean to you? 

Of course, every win means a great deal but this one is very, very special to me. I've come here, to Coldwater, for 6 years now and it's just the greatest place on earth. It's the toughest building I've ever bowled in. The fans are just phenomenal. It's so much fun outside of just the bowling. It's not just a bowling tournament it's an event.

To be here with so many near and dear friends after these last 6 years and be able to bring home the win, I couldn't be more grateful.

What balls did you use?

Before I came here, I pondered over and over and over what balls to bring. I even called my buddy Cody who lives here. It seems like defensive balls have always been the right play for me. This week I threw the Storm Ride. It doesn't seem like much of a ball but it's awesome and kept me in play. I managed the pocket. I didn't bowl more than 228 but I only had 3 games under 200. When you do the math of can I do 260 140 or 200 200 I chose to go the steady eddy route. Had that ball not worked or as you saw in the final match I had to go to a Dare Devil Trick. That is still one of my favorite balls ever.

What's next on the schedule for you?

I get a couple of weeks off. Go home and work on the game a little bit more and then go to the Korea Cup followed by the Storm Fair. Konnichiwa to all of you in Japan! I can't wait to be there!


Danielle McEwan Wins Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open

It all came down to the 10th frame at the 2017 Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open. In the end, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, defeated Shannon Pluhowsky 226-224 to win her third PWBA title. The win earned McEwan $10,000 and a spot in the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond, Virginia. We caught up with Danielle between her travels to ask her some questions about her most recent win.

It means a lot that I was not only able to compete but able to walk away with a title from an event in my own state.

CBS Sports aired the Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open where you earned your third PWBA title this week? What did it mean to you to take home that title for a tournament that was hosted in your home state?

It was awesome to have a PWBA stop in New York, my home state. Even though Rochester isn't very close to where I live, I grew up bowling high school and other state tournaments all over the state. Therefore, I found myself constantly bumping into people that started conversations with phrases such as "I haven't seen you since high school" at this tournament.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

All of them!! The patterns we bowled on this summer were so drastically different from weekend to weekend, having multiple options to choose from allowed me to be consistent each week. Some of my favorites that stand out are the Sure Lock, Phaze II and Code Red.

What have you been up to during the off-weeks of the PWBA Tour on the road to the PWBA Tour Championships?

They may have been off weeks for the PWBA tour, but they haven't been off weeks for me by any means. I just got home from traveling to Sweden for the World Bowling Tour event. I now will have 3 days to get back on this time zone, get some good quality practice days on the lanes and in the gym and then it's off to Richmond!

What do you plan to do on the off-season?

Over the last few years, I've competed on the PWBA tour, the PBA tour, the World Bowling Tour, as well as represent Team USA in multiple international competitions. Therefore, there is really no off season for me. As soon as the PWBA Tour Championship wraps up, I will be training with Team USA and will then go right into another World Bowling Tour event in Thailand. The rest of the year will then be spent competing against the guys!

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

The advice I always give people who ask how to get to this point is to plan out your stepping stone path. For me, my path started with high school bowling, which led to college bowling, which led to Jr. Team USA then Team USA, and then out to competing on tour. For others that might mean competing in local tournaments, to regional events, to national events.

If your goal is to compete on the highest level on either tour - set a game plan on how to get there and work hard every day for it.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I love flying and I love airports. It's just recently become a new obsession- 100% related to my travel schedule over the last few years. In addition to constantly booking flights, I find myself doing research and reading tons of articles and blogs on different planes, airports and everything that has to do with travel. If you ever have any questions about seats on different aircrafts, fare classes, upgrades, the best places to eat in any given airport or the best way to argue with airline representatives, I can definitely help you out!


Zach Trevino

Meet Zach Trevino

Storm prides itself in providing the best customer service in the industry. One of Bill Chrisman's highest priorities, is ensuring that whenever you call Storm you speak to a person and not an answering machine.

Technical support is a vital position that has been held by many notable individuals within the ranks of Storm, and we have one more to add to that list.

Zach Trevino hails from Georgetown, Texas under the supervision of Del Ballard at Ballard's Bowling Supply. Zach is more than capable to handle any inquiry regarding balls, bags, accessories, or any technical question you can throw at him. Zach will also be involved in product development and design, videos, and creating technical documents for the marketing department. We asked Zach some personal questions to get to know him better.

  • Hometown: Georgetown, Texas
  • Job title at Storm: Technical Customer Service Representative
  • What college did you attend: West Texas A&M University - GO BUFFS!
  • What was you major: Mass Communication - Broadcasting
  • How old were you when you started bowling: 6
  • What is your favorite bowling memory: Shooting 300 in league with my dad on his birthday in 2015
  • As you begin your job at Storm, what are you most excited about: The opportunity to gain an incredible amount of knowledge from the great minds within the company and in turn help fellow bowlers contribute in growing the sport as a whole.
  • Favorite thing to do outside of bowling: Perform on stage (guitar)
  • Favorite sports teams: Houston Astros (MLB) Team Penske (NASCAR) San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
  • Favorite quote to live by: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca the Younger
  • Favorite Storm ball of all time: Reign of Power!

Storm gladly accepts all calls Monday-Friday 8am-5pm Mountain Standard Time at (800) 369-4402.


Marvel Pearl Rookie Club

You spoke, we listened. We went into the vault and brought back something that was undeniably one of the greatest creations Storm has produced to date. There's been lots of buzz about the limited-release of the legendary Marvel Pearl. Fans of this bowling ball jumped for joy at the chance to throw it down the lanes again. #StormNation was buzzing with memories of achievements that came with this fan favorite. We've read your stories and shared your excitement as you threw your first shots down the lane with your new Marvel Pearl.

As we traveled to Bowl Expo, Junior Gold, trade shows, and tournaments over the summer we heard reviews on the Marvel Pearl from bowlers in every state. We also realized that there was a community of bowlers who were experiencing the magic of the Marvel Pearl for the first time. We loved hearing these stories and realized that there were probably more out there! That's when we created the #MPRookieClub. This "club" is for all those bowlers who didn't drill up a Marvel Pearl the first time it was in circulation but got their hands on one this time. These rookies have been sharing stories on social media for the last few weeks and we wanted to share a few of their reviews with #StormNation.

 Some bowlers just can't get over the ball motion.

"Love my new Marvel Pearl! Smooth roll right into the pocket. Great forgiveness. Does not disappoint. I can tell that I'll be rolling this one for a long time to come. Thanks Storm Bowling!" -Joyce K.

“I have a MARVEL PEARL and it is my most reliable ball for my game.” – Gord Emoff

Some bowlers are taking it to tournaments to try it out. 

Some bowlers just can't argue with the scores. 

Some bowlers are annoyed they waited so long.

“I just picked up this ball the other day from my pro shop and I'm blown away. I've never thrown a ball with so much control. This ball is so crazy smooth down lane it's a perfect fit in my bag for the medium patterns! I can't wait to use it competition! This ball feels like it was made for me, I wish I would've gotten an original. #MPRookieClub” - Noah G

Some bowlers just couldn't put it into words.

Are you drilling up a Marvel Pearl for the first time to start off your season? It's not too late to join the club and we want to hear from you! Post your a photo or video on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram describing your experience with the Marvel Pearl. Don't forget to post it with the #MPRookieClub so we can see it too!

One lucky fan will win a new Storm Spotlight Polo to wear on the lanes. Let's see those stories! Winner will be chosen September 8.

 


Storm Collegiate Signs Wichita State University Shockers

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Bowling Products is excited to announce an addition to an already strong Storm Collegiate lineup for the 2017-2018 collegiate season.

The most successful program in collegiate bowling, Wichita State University has officially signed on as a Storm-sponsored college.

“We are beyond excited to embark on this journey with Storm Products,” Wichita State head coach Gordon Vadakin said. “We know this partnership will certainly help move our program forward, and we are always looking to do that."

The Wichita State Shockers have proven their strength in the collegiate ranks.

With 20 total national championships, nine singles national championships, 18 Academic All-Americans, 140 All-Americans and 11 National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Bowlers of the Year, the Shocker program show no signs of stopping.

Storm Collegiate is a Storm Products initiative focused on giving collegiate teams the extra boost they need to succeed on the lanes.

Initiated in 2007, the Storm Collegiate Program is a way to support young and up and coming bowlers in our sport.

With more than 40 Storm-sponsored collegiate teams, Storm realizes they are an instrumental part of the bowling industry and believe by giving them the support of Storm Bowling Products, they will succeed on a higher level.

For more information about the Storm Collegiate Program, visit StormBowling.com.

 

# # #

 


Storm Goes To Camp

At Storm, our purpose is to continue to inspire existing bowlers and to foster and develop new bowlers. To accomplish this mission, our team travels around the world to work with bowlers of all levels. Storm also partakes in several collegiate bowling camps throughout the year.

College bowling is important to Storm. We sponsor several college bowling teams every season and work with the coaches as much as we can to ensure that their bowlers are prepared for tournament season. This preparation starts with student athletes before they are admitted to the school of their choice. Our team at Storm also works with coaches at these camps who use them as an opportunity for scouting prospective players for their program.

Mount Mercy University

The purpose of Storm’s involvement in collegiate bowling camps is to improve students’ understanding of bowling ball technology, how it shaped the present, and to train students to recognize when certain elements might be appropriate in one environment and not another.

Upon completion of the course, students will be primed for an elevated level of the sport through a deepened understanding of the physics and chemistry behind the engineering of a bowling ball. Through this, and other practical applications, the decisions made in the adjustment and arsenal selection process will come easier and will be made with the utmost confidence.

Here are a few of the topics covered in these seminars:

  • The evolution of bowling balls
  • The engineering, physics, and chemistry behind the manufacturing of the balls
  • Understanding ball motion through an enhanced understanding of Storm’s Pin Buffer layout system
  • Internal and external controlling elements of ball technology
  • Building an arsenal
Wichita State University

These camps seem to grow every year with more and more youth showing interest in competing at the collegiate level. The passion for the game at this level continues to inspire us to teach these student athletes as much as we can in these short sessions.

Each camper leaves with a better understanding of the bowling balls that they put into their bags and how to utilize them for tournaments throughout the year. We love seeing the bowlers continue to work hard on what they learn at camp when they go home. Our only stipend is seeing their medals and trophies hoisted on the lanes throughout the season.

 

 


Boelter and Kelly Earn Title at USBC Women's Championships

Charly Boelter and Samantha Kelly have bowled with each other twice and have taken home 1st and 2nd place at the USBC Women’s Championship in the Diamond Doubles. In 2017, Charly rolled games of 258, 245 and 203 for a 706 series combined with Samantha’s games of 257, 217 and 224 for a 698 set to take over the lead. Their lead held until the end of the tournament. Both Charly and Samantha threw Storm and Roto Grip bowling balls to earn this title. We had a chance to catch up with the Diamond winners and ask them some questions about the event.

When did you start bowling?

Charly: I have been bowling for 31 years.

Samantha: I started bowling when I was 3 years old at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estate, IL. My father was the GM of the bowling alley, and my mother was a bartender/ junior coordinator youth program.

How long have you been bowling together at the USBC Women’s Championships?

Charly: 2 years…last year by accident, really.  I’d rather call it a blessing.

Did you practice together prior to going out to compete?

Samantha: We did not practice together prior, just bowled some local tournament together.

Did you know the score you had to shoot prior to bowling?  

Charly: Yes, we looked at the score.  We both looked at it and said it was attainable, and let’s give it a shot.

Tell us about that day:

Charly: We had high aspirations on winning this tournament based on last year’s performance. The day started with our pre-tournament routines, which are somewhat similar…which makes it even easier to compete with her.  We took our time to get ready, prepared, focused, and revisit our plan of attack. We have an amazing relationship for two individuals that don’t know each other very well, and we just understand each other on the lanes, and are able to communicate with each other freely and constructively; like we’ve known each other, and our games for that matter, for years.  We came up with a plan and stuck to it the next afternoon.

Samantha: We both struggled in team, and stayed up late into the morning just talking about a game plan for the next day. That morning of the doubles and singles we got to the alley early, and both sanded a ball to 500 grit to create some hook right for us. It ended up working out in our favor. Yes we did know the score going into the tournament, but we also knew we were capable of shooting a good number just needed the pins to fall our way when we executed good shots.

What bowling ball(s) did you use during the event? 

Charly: Haywire then switched to the IQ tour (glad I drilled up some new stuff…lol)

Samantha: Phaze II and Code Red

What did you ladies do after you finished bowling to celebrate?

Samantha: Actually, we got on the road right after the tournament due to work obligations. We are planning to celebrate with our sponsor, Motion Plus Lanes in the upcoming weeks. It is an exciting moment we want to share with friends and family.

You set your scores pretty late in the tournament? What was the anticipation like waiting for the event to conclude?

Charly: I’m glad it was so late’ it was the longest week ever.  I kept my fingers crossed, hoping and praying it would hold

Do you have a favorite Storm bowling ball of all time? 

Charly: IQ tour

Samantha: Virtual Gravity

What advice would you give someone who’s going to bowl the Women’s Championships next year?

Samantha: Talk to the team, and have a game plan going into the tournament. Winning as a team everyone has to play as a team. I believe everyone needs to be on the same page as the breakpoint just may need to get to that breakpoint in many different angles.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Charly: Sam is the most amazing teammate anyone could ask for.  I am completely blessed to have fallen in her path. I would rather share the excitement (of a win) than have it myself.


 


Liz Johnson Wins the 2017 Women's U.S. Open

USBC Hall of Famer, Liz Johnson, started as the #5 seed at the 2017 Women's U.S. Open. To make history, she'd need to climb the ladder and defeat all of her opponents, for a second year in a row. That's exactly what she did! In the final match, she defeated Daria Pajak 188-176 to claim a record 10th major title. The two-time reigning PWBA Player of the Year, also won the 2017 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship this season.

We caught up with Liz after her victory as she was traveling home to Chicago.

Over the weekend, you were able to win your fourth consecutive and sixth total U.S. Open title. What did it mean to you to put that green jacket on again?

I am still in amazement of what happened Sunday Aug 6, 2017.  To be a part of history of winning my 4th consecutive Women's U.S. Open and my 6th overall is just an unbelievable experience and something I will continue to cherish forever.

 

Photo: PWBA Tour

As the 2016 reigning Player of the Year, what were your goals heading into this season?

After winning the POY the last 2 seasons, I was just hoping to just make some shows and hopefully come out with a win.  I never imagined I would have the 2017 I have had.

I am very humbled and honored to be able to still compete at this level.

There’s about a month before the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship, what will you be working on to prepare for the final tournament of the season?

In the few weeks we are off I will probably take a break from throwing a ball for about a week.  I am going to Montreal for a trade show and heading to Storm Products in Utah for the first time so I am extremely excited about that.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

I have used my Sure Lock(s), Code Black(s), and Code Red(s) a lot but my go-to ball throughout the 2017 PWBA season has been my Storm IQ Tour.  It's been the most versatile ball, no matter what pattern we have been on.

What do you plan to do on the off season?

I recently sold my house in Cheektowaga, NY and bought a house in Palatine, IL with my fiancé Kasia so we will be getting ready for all the fun stuff that goes with that.  I also got invited to bowl the US Open in November in Syracuse, NY so I will be preparing for that.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I played softball from age 8 to 18.  I was a pretty good pitcher in high school and played on varsity from 8th grade until I graduated.

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

I would just say to try and bowl anything and everything you can.   Try and go to different centers .  If you have a "home" house have them put patterns out.  Spares are always a big factor in bowling tournaments so never press the reset button.

The best way to learn about the mental game or "being strong mentally" is going out and doing it! To me that's the best way to learn and get stronger.

 


Striking Against Breast Cancer Tournament

Striking Against Breast Cancer 2017

The PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm kicks off this weekend. In its 18th year the tournament will host the largest field in its history. More than 320 bowlers will be competing in the event.

The story of the tournament travels back several years. Donna Conners and Luci Bonneau met bowling together in Houston and became travel partners on the LPBT. In 1999,  Bonneau was battling breast cancer and Conners stayed by her side. They discussed creating a bowling tournament to raise money for breast cancer research when her treatment was complete. Bonneau passed away later that year and Conners knew she had to create the event.

“This event has been around for 18 years and it is still growing,” Conners said. "It’s about people coming together for a dreadful disease. When you think about it, breast cancer doesn’t ask any questions. It doesn’t care if you a mother, if you a father, or who you are. Breast cancer hits everybody.”

Conners starts preparing for the next event the day after the current year wraps up. The tournament fills up quickly. Entry blanks are posted live on the website on January 1 and she starts receiving entries on January 3. In 2016, the event raised $84,000 to help fund breast cancer research and Conners is excited to expand the field and continue growing the event this year. Although the players are competing for a title and a $16,000 top prize they all know that this event means more than just that.

“There’s nobody in that building that hasn’t come in contact with somebody that has cancer.” Conners said. “I am very grateful that the PBA & PWBA have come together and given me a title for the players because they deserve it. The players would come here anyway and I know that, but I needed that title to help these players and their careers. I’m very grateful to Tom Clark and Chad Murphy and all the people involved for allowing me to award a title. I’m also grateful that people can watch the players compete live on Xtra Frame.”

Players travel from across the nation and around the world to compete in the event. Conners has a team of volunteers that give their time and help the event run smoothly. She says each year the volunteers keep growing.

This year the team has put together, Pennies for Pins, a new initiative to get fans at home more involved at the event. Fans can choose their favorite bowler and either pledge a flat donation or a “Penny-A-Pin” based on how many pins the bowlers knock down. Individuals can go to this website to pledge a donation: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctRolxMIKSDTbtgZU24ARCiSu_5OvF3I_AxE_JTHWohVhHdA/viewform?c=0&w=1

“I am very blessed.” Conners said. “I don’t even know how to put into words how much I appreciate everyone that has been such a part of it. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I am the child and I have an entire village helping me pull this off.”

Storm Bowling has sponsored the event since 2002 and each year the whole company tries to participate in the event in every way.

“Storm has been a proud supporter of the Luci for 18 years,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Marketing Coordinator at Storm Products said. “Not only do we sponsor the event, all of our pro staff and Storm employees participate in the tournament. Donna Conners and her staff of volunteers do an incredible job all year to prepare for this weekend and we appreciate all of their efforts to make this special tournament happen each year.”

Knowing that Storm Bowling is 1000% behind her event means a lot to Conners.

“Having Storm Bowling Products behind me is like having wings that just lift me up and help me fly.” Conners said. “I feel safe. I know that they’ve got my back and they’re always there to help me. Without these sponsors that like Storm Bowling Products, High 5 Gear, and all the many, many sponsors who donate time and money to come bowl the pro-am, this event would not be possible.”

Conners and all of her volunteers try to make sure that the players who participate in the event know how grateful she is for their presence and support. They have stayed with her and helped the event grow year after year.

“I do everything that I possibly can to make the players feel like they are rock stars.” Conners said. “They are rock stars. They deserve everything I can possibly give them. If I can find a way to give them more then I’m going to find a way. I want them to remember that when they leave here that they are worth everything that I can possible give them. They deserve to be recognized as the greatest players in the world.”

The Luci hosts a pro-am where amateur bowlers bowl with PBA and PWBA stars and help raise money for the cause throughout the event. They host a silent auction as well as several raffles and giveaways for all of the participants. This year, Conners has added a giant Plinko board that participants will be able to use to win prizes. It’s an important piece of the weekend. Conners does everything in her power to make sure that there is “positive karma” throughout the entire event and good thoughts for all the spectators and participants.

She also tries to make the tournament environment as fair as possible right down to the lane condition. Kegel comes in to provide the tournament with a fair but challenging lane condition. Every once in a while a player will get caught up in the frustration of the tournament. It doesn’t take long for them to regain perspective.

“I had one player tell me one time that this (lane) condition is awful,” Conners said. “I said, you’re right now turn around. Do you see this lady standing behind you? She has breast cancer right now. When you are on these lanes you are fighting to win. That’s what she’s doing too. She is fighting for her life.”

To follow the tournament on Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. For those who would like to support the event but can’t attend visit http://www.strikingagainstbreastcancer.org/ make a tax deductible donation online.

“Hopefully every player and participant leaves with positive and good thoughts.” Conners said. “I hope they know that I’ve done everything possible to help them. Each year I add something in to make it better. So we’ll see what happens.”


Riding For A Reason

The mosaic the production team at Storm weaves is a sumptuous one – a working rapport of many divisions that are as equal as they are diverse. On Easter Sunday, 2017, Storm lost a vital piece to that team. Scott Knavel, who worked in every facet of production at Storm, was a leading light for hundreds involved in the day-to-day operations at the factory.

The following week, Shane Blakeley, Storm’s Plant Manager, was having breakfast with a friend of the company, Jack Andersen, and the two agreed that Scott’s story wasn’t quite finished. With some careful planning, the “Ride for a Reason” tour was born.

Beginning in Ogden, Utah, Andersen with 4 of his riding companions began their 300 mile trek to Challis, Idaho to honor the memory of Scott.

Scott’s wife, NaCoal, was invited to the Storm plant as the team passed through Brigham City on their expedition north. What she wasn’t aware of was the $6,910 check about to be presented to her for aid with Scott’s final expenses. An initial goal of $2,500 was set, but in typical Storm fashion that target was exceeded with flying colors. Thanks to the help of company suppliers, sponsors, and fellow employees NaCoal can rest a little easier with some of this austere burden lifted off her shoulders.

The cycling team plans to hit all the best fast food stops along the way on their 3 day campaign. “Thank you so much for your generosity and the compassion that was shown. The outpouring has been overwhelming,” said Blakeley. It’s been an emotional journey for all involved.

Scott’s integrity and steadfastness will remain a beacon of virtue for years to come.