Champions Crowned and “BVBC” Charity Wins at 2018 Storm Youth Championships

The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) was held in Reno, Nevada, March 23-25, 2018. More than 270 youth bowlers from 29 different states, one bowler from Liverpool, England, and their families traveled to compete at the National Bowling Stadium. The youth bowlers competed in four five-game rounds on four different Kegel patterns in six different divisions determined by gender and age (U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Boys, U12 Girls) for a national title and a portion of the $20,975 scholarship fund.

“Storm is a small family business focused on connecting with people and giving back, the SYC accomplishes both of these founding principles,” Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development said. “We crowned national champions but throughout the weekend the SYC families also focused on raising money and awareness for charity.”

The 2018 SYC champions demonstrated consistency across all four patterns and each bowler led their division by at least 100 pins. Alex Aguirre, of California, captured the U20 boys title 164 pins ahead of the competitors in his division, while Mabel Cummins, of Illinois, dominated the U20 girls field in her first SYC event with a 327 pin lead. Spencer Robarge, of Missouri, earned two SYC titles in 2017 in Reno and Myrtle Beach. Robarge led the U15 boys division by 214 pins to defend his title and earn his third SYC crown. Melanie Katen, of California, picked up her first SYC title 214 pins ahead of the bowlers in the U15 girls division. In our U12 division, Micah Voorhis, of New Jersey, captured the boys title while Saphyre Nofuente, of California, earned the U12 girls title.

The top three bowlers in each round were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal. After the four rounds were complete, the tournament champions in each division were crowned based on their 20 game pinfall. The top two competitors in each division were named to the Storm All-American Team. Sebastian Huffman, Ashtyn Woods, Ashton Yamasaki, Jennifer Loredo, Nicholas Postag, and Caroline Thesier will join the champions on the 2018 Storm All-American Team.

2018 Storm All-American Team

Throughout the weekend participants and their families were able to attend a seminar with Dr. Dean Hinitz, meet and practice with members of the Storm Bowling Pro Staff, and discuss lane play strategies with Storm representatives. To celebrate National Puppy Day, Blake the Bowling Doodle also made a special guest appearance to meet with the youth bowlers, signed paw-tographs, and rolled the ceremonial first ball of the tournament. Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm !Q Tour bowling ball and were given the opportunity to have it drilled in the Lane 81 Pro Shop on site.

“Our goal is to give all the bowlers a welcoming environment to learn and have fun while doing it,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Marketing Coordinator for Storm Products said. “To have a sports psychologist of Dr. Dean’s caliber who has worked with many Hall of Fame bowlers was quite the experience for all the kids and parents in attendance.  In addition, our Storm and Roto Grip Pro Staff shared their practice regimes, mental preparation for competition and answered many questions during our Players Q&A Session. We also added in some outright fun with the guest appearance of Blake the Bowling Doodle and his little brother Adam who were a big hit with everyone.”

Charitable giving is a focus at Storm therefore we chose to align our SYC tournament with a worthy charity. A donation of $10 out of every entry goes directly to 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. BVBC also raises money for nutritional supplements and treatments for those going through the cancer journey. The Ballard Family was on site to host a BVBC silent auction, raffles and more throughout the weekend. The SYC event raised more than $10,000 for BVBC.

“Our family is grateful for the growth of our BVBC charity,” Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, President BVBC said. “What started in Texas with our wonderful group of friends has grown to be a nationwide fundraiser largely thanks to the SYC bowlers and their generous families. BVBC is proud to be to be part of this amazing event.”

Additionally, Jim Callahan, Storm Tour Representative, and his wife Keli, have created a new scholarship to be awarded at the 2018 SYC events. The “Passion Pays Off” Award and a $500 scholarship will be presented to a bowler who exemplifies sportsmanship and passion towards the game of bowling at each event. The inaugural “Passion Pays Off” scholarship was awarded to Jimmy Hunter.

“As our SYC family grows, we are getting requests for additional events to be held all over the country and we are looking into ways to accommodate those communities,” Gary Hulsenberg said. “Our goal is for all youth bowlers to have the opportunity to experience the Storm Youth Championships especially those in more rural areas. Keep your eye open for an SYC coming to a city near you.”

This tournament would not be possible without the support of our sponsors; Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips, Kegel, 3G Shoes, and the Eldorado Resorts. The event was livestreamed to an audience of more than 600,000 people throughout the two days of competition on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page.

The SYC will travel to Smyrna, Tenn., May 25-27. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. We will return to Myrtle Beach, October 12-14 and visit Fort Worth, Texas, November 30-December 2. For information about our upcoming events visit our website, http://www.stormbowling.com/syc or check the StormJr Facebook Page.

 


Selecting an Arsenal for the USBC Open Championships

If you are heading to Syracuse for the OC’s this year, then you’ve probably already started thinking about what equipment you are toting along. And since ball slots are limited and checked bag fees are high, the gravity in your selection process becomes pretty critical. As with any arsenal, variety is key. Sounds easy, right? Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into it that can become a daunting task for even the most seasoned professional. The boundless options that are available on the market should be used to your advantage, but it all starts with the bowler. Knowing the subtle distinctions in how you roll the ball, such as axis tilt, axis rotation, speed, and rev rate, are most crucial.

Once you’ve determined your stats, next comes the ball selection process. As always, variety is key.

The Open Championships have now abstained from announcing the oil pattern prior to the tournament commencing – which is perfectly fine. You can bet on it not being a cakewalk. Balls that exude control and forgiveness are going to be your best friends with any trip to the OC’s. What kind of balls do this? Well, your favorite benchmark should be the first thing that comes to mind. A low RG, solid, matte finish ball that is smooth and brings the breakpoint closer to the foul line would definitely provide this for the bowler. The !Q Tour is the second longest running ball in Storm’s history for this very reason.

After that, building an arsenal is pretty straightforward. Having a good mix of solids, pearls, hybrids with a combination of surfaces and layouts is important. Typically, you won’t see too many polished balls going down the lanes at the Open Championships. The reason for this all boils down to controlling the breakpoint. Sanded balls maximize your room for error by picking up on the midlane better than polished balls and bringing the breakpoint - the most critical part of the lane - closer to you. It’s not a mystery anymore that surface is the #1 most influential factor that dictates ball motion. The bowlers that perform the best every year will almost always bring a wide array of 500-grit to 4000-grit sanded balls. I’m not saying omit polish completely, so reserve one to two spots in your bag for when they get “toasty” later in the day.

Layouts are the last big thing to discuss. Working with your Storm VIP pro shop professional to establish which layouts are best for your style and the arsenal you’ve chosen is imperative. Some of the most accomplished bowlers will use around three of their favorite layouts and let the inherent properties of the balls be the major difference in what they see. Pete Weber, for example, has only used two layouts for years: one pin up above the bridge and one pin down below the bridge. There are enough factors in bowling that are above and beyond anyone’s control, and, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change them. So keeping the variables in check that you can control, like Pete, isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Below is a sample 6-ball arsenal that would cover all of your bases at the Open Championships this year.


12th Annual Storm | Domino's Pizza Cup SBS Korea Tournament

240 top players from around the world competed at the Hogye Sports Complex Bowling Center in Seoul, S. Korea December 16-21, 2017.

The event attracted Professional bowlers from Korea, Japan, and the United States, as well as several high-ranking amateurs from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and more.

Total Prize money was 160 Million Korean Won ($150,00 US Dollars) with 30,000,000 Korean Won (USD $28,400) to the winner.

The finalist to the TV Championship Round included two finalists from S. Korea, Sanpil Park and Heeyeo Yoon, plus Cherie Tan of Singapore, and Anthony Simonsen of the United States.

(shown left to right Anthony Simonsen, Heeyeo Yoon, Cherie Tan, and Sanpil Park, and KPBA representative)

 

This was a Major Championship which featured live local broadcasting and showcased several of the major sponsors such as Storm, Domino's Pizza, and Kegel, LLC.

(SBS SPORTS LIVE & COMPOSITE CHANNEL LIVE COVERAGE)

 

In the championship match, Anthony Simonsen defeated Heeyeo Yoon 268-223 to claim the top prize!

Anthony Simonsen, Champion

 

Storm co-owners Bill and Barb Chrisman were on hand throughout the entire tournament, and without their generosity this tournament would not be possible.

Bill and Barb Chrisman, Co-Owners of Storm Products, Inc.

 

Glimpse of the Victory Banquet which concluded the event. Title sponsors Storm Products, Inc. and Jinseung Trading Co. helped make this event a Major Championships for the KPBA, the Korean Professional Bowlers Association.

Mr. JP Jeon, CEO of Jinseung Trading Co. (left) with top finishers from the tournament

 

Congratulations to all who were involved to make this an amazing event!

 


Foster wins Uzelac Tourney at Davis Lanes

Former Collegiate standout from William Penn, Cameron Foster won the Uzelac Classic Tournament at Davis Lanes in Layton, Utah this past weekend.

The tournament attracted 123 entries (109 men and 14 women) from across the state. It featured 49 optional scratch entries and paid out more than $4000.

 

Cameron Foster wins Uzelac with the Storm Intense

 

Cameron used the Storm Intense™, a Premier Line™ high-end asymmetrical ball, to earn more than $1000 for first place including the optional progressive pot.

Matt Voeltz was the runner-up and Mike Sagers finished third.

Tournament Director Leon Uzelac would like thank his sponsors Storm, Roto Grip, Master, the Storm Northwest Tour, and the Competitive Edge Pro Shop.

If you would like information on future Uzelac Classic events, please call Leon at 435-630-8762


Tournament Prep List

Keep this list close as you prepare for your next tournament.

  1. Make sure your equipment is ready. Inserts are fresh, thumb holes feel good, interchangeable thumbs are operating properly, and that you a backup interchangeable thumb for any emergencies.
  2. An accessory bag filled with grip adjusting products. Some things to include are: thumb insert tape, thumb/finger protection tapes, tape knife/tape tool, scissors, fingernail clippers.
  3. Abralon pads/surface adjusting products are a must for fine tuning ball reaction. These jewels are a tournament bowlers friend.
  4. Shoes. If you do not have high performance shoes with removable heels and soles, get some. Every bowling center is different and proper footing is essential. Get yourself many combinations of heels and soles. Fine tuning here is paramount.
  5. Add a shoe brush for those slick approaches to your accessory bags.
  6. Rosin and/or hand conditioner can come in handy too.
  7. Shoe covers to protect your shoes for trips out of the settee.
  8. Some anti-inflammatory medication as you never know when those little beauties will be needed.
  9. Storm Shammy to wipe your ball off, do this every shot!
  10. If it is an event that requires proper attire, your bowling clothes! I have forgot my “name” shirt on more than one occasion in my career, it can be quite the embarrassment. Storm apparel works very well in this situation! The most important thing is to bring an open mind and a willingness to learn. Every time we step onto the lanes there are lessons to be learned, but only when our mind is right.

Stay In The Moment

The process... to stay within the moment.

BUT, how does one stay “within the moment”?

It seems to come so naturally for some, Weber, Belmonte, Federer, Nicklaus… any great performer, and it really doesn't matter the sport or disciple. Those who have “it” seem to carry some sort of unique power to always succeed.

Throughout my years of competition, the one thing I consistently witnessed from the best was their commitment to their process. To stay “within the moment”. What does this mean? We hear, “stay in the moment,” often, but how is it really accomplished?

Success is the result of proper execution. Proper execution is a result of being committed to staying focused. Our focus lies within your process which often leads to the ability to stay in the moment. This is accomplished by not allowing outside interference affect your performance and not allowing distraction to interrupt your flow. Distractions come in many forms. The #1 distraction is to be focused on the results. Humans are competitive. We are constantly measuring ourselves against society and against our peers. We want newer cars, bigger houses, nicer clothes, larger bank accounts, the list is endless. Why do we have these desires? The ability to understand this leads to the ability to understand why some can perform “within the moment” and why others can’t.

To be properly focused on the task at hand (the process), one must stay in the moment.

Not the past, no matter how far or immediate, nor the future. It takes great discipline to not be results oriented when we are competing. We can’t look ahead. It also takes great discipline to let go of the negative past results we have experienced. We can’t look behind either. This balancing act is exactly what the greats do to remain in the process. The mind is clear and quiet, the thoughts are purely on the action. It is a form of passive aggressiveness, to get exactly what you want to have and to “let” it happen. You must “allow” yourself to perform, you cannot “make” it happen. It doesn't work that way. It never has and it never will.

A drill that I have used with many of the players I coach is to learn to not watch the scores. This is much easier said than done, but if implemented fully, it will pay immediate dividends. In your next league/tournament, do not look at your score, nor recap, nor results, nor your opponent’s score, nor your friend's scores, nor your rivals scores. What does this drill achieve? Well, it teaches the mind and muscles to stay in the process.

The only shot of any importance is the next one. Nothing else matters.

Our mind knows when we are bowling well, we can feel it. Our mind knows when we are bowling bad, we feel that too. We do not need a number on a piece of paper to tell us what we already feel. Once you feel your body speaking to you and you learn to listen to it, you will then learn to be more honest with yourself. Honest with what you feel, and how to improve on that. The smallest of errors can be felt, things you would have never felt before. Removing the scores from being the dominant factor in how one self-assesses their performance teaches you that you are trying 100% EVERY shot. You are not allowing distraction or the fear of results to affect your performance. You are living in the moment. You are leaving it all out there. No matter what your results are, you tried your best, and that is all we can truly ask of ourselves.

 


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!


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.