Gonzalez Wins Bowlero Elite Series

The first event of the Bowlero Elite Series aired Tuesday, April 9, where eight pros faced eight Bowlero League Bowlers for more than $500,000 in prizes. In the final match Team Storm PBA player, Kyle Troup, faced amateur, Luis Gonzalez, who recently joined our Storm Staff. In a close title match, Gonzalez defeated Troup 237 - 226 to take home the title and $270,000.

“This win brought out a different side of me as a bowler," Gonzalez continued, "This is definitely my favorite win of all time. I have taken a lot in from this tournament win. I have been working on my mental game and this tournament really brought out a spark in me that I did not know was there.”

Gonzalez started bowling at age three in his father’s bowling center. He worked hard throughout his youth career and bowled for his varsity team during high school in Chicago. In his junior year, he led the state of Illinois in average with 226 and finished third individually at the state tournament. After high school, he continued to bowl competitively in tournaments throughout the Midwest and bowls as much as he can. In addition to his commitment to the lanes he also balances a full-time job as a radioactive pharmacy technician at Cardinal Health and has been attending college full time to finish his degree in Business Management.

Gonzalez was encouraged to compete in the tournament by the General Manager at Bowlero River Grove. He qualified for the Bowlero Elite Series by submitting a video about why he should be chosen to compete in the event. He was chosen to be one of the eight amateurs from across America to participate in the event.

Entering the event Gonzalez said his goals were to stay calm and make it through the first match. He says winning the tournament was his main goal, but he knew that he had to get through his smaller goals to reach his main goal.

As the tournament began, he felt confidence with his preparation and his ball reaction on the lanes. He thought that he’d have a good chance to win some matches.

“The first match of the tournament was a nail biter going into the 10th frame.” Gonzalez said. “My max score going into the 10th was a 278 and my opponents was a 269. I knew I needed a double for the win. After a few deep breaths, I got the double for the win. I believe this win lit a fire in me that I needed to get me through this tournament.”

Throughout the competition Gonzalez chose to throw a Roto Grip IDOL and his trusty Storm Mix stayed by his side. He kept winning matches until he ultimately was named the champion. His family and friends were there to cheer him on and keep him in the moment.

“I couldn't have done this without my family and close friends," Gonzalez said. "They made sure to keep me calm and focused in between matches, which really helped. Seeing my mom in the stands rooting for me and the moment I was able to hug my wife and son after I won was an indescribable feeling that I will never forget.”

 

Though his father who got him into the sport has passed away, he has truly honored his father's legacy by introducing the sport to his son and continuing to compete. Gonzalez will be celebrating this win for a while, but he has a busy spring schedule on the lanes. He has some local tournaments over the next few weekends including the Illinois Masters. In addition, he’ll be traveling to Las Vegas to bowl the Open Championship this summer.

“This experience has been a whirlwind for me, I am still soaking it all in. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent Storm. I am going to take what I learned from this tournament and continue to build myself as a bowler both physically and mentally.”

For more information about the Bowlero Elite Series and to see the final bracket visit their website here.


Jon Harmon "Strikes Gold" in Abu Dhabi

This post was prepared by Storm Ambassador, Tim Cerami.

In August of 2017, we shared the story of Jon Harmon, a bowler from Boise, Idaho that was preparing to travel to Seattle to compete in the 2018 USA Special Olympic games. There, he won a silver medal in men’s singles using a Storm Son!Q donated to him by the Storm Brand Ambassador Team. In 2019, his story continues.

Upon returning home from the Seattle games, Jon got more serious about his game, spending countless hours practicing and preparing for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. He traveled around the bowling centers in the Boise area looking to experience as many lane conditions as possible.

On March 7, 2019, Jon started his journey to Abu Dhabi along with thousands of other Special Olympics athletes. His mission… bring a gold medal back to the USA and Idaho.

Needless to say, Jon did “strike gold” while in Abu Dhabi.

Bowling with his doubles partner Tyler Baxter, Jon rolled games of 224, 214, 189 with his SON!Q to help win the doubles competition by almost 150 pins. Jon returned to Idaho to a proud community of local bowlers.

Congratulations to Jon and his partner for bringing home the gold.


Prepping For The PWBA Tour

What happens during the months that the PWBA Tour goes on hiatus? What have the pros been up to? What do the Tour Reps do? What goes on when the competition stops?

Bowlers really have no off season.

Throughout the year, there are many events to compete in to prepare for the PWBA tour. Events ranging from local to international events, some even choose to compete against the men on the PBA Tour. Other players have other careers and family responsibilities outside of their PWBA life that they tend to. Some players choose to take some time off to refresh their batteries. Every player seems to do things their own way as there is no right or wrong way.

As the PWBA Tour manager, part of my responsibility is to prepare the Team Storm players to be ready once it is, "go-time." I am in contact with the players weekly, via e-mail, text, social media, phone calls, or in person. I am always available for players to bounce ideas off of, or to suggest technique alterations, equipment recommendations, and for general support.

The demands of being a PWBA caliber player are incredible. The pressure, the risk vs. the reward, dealing with the let downs - it all tests you.

My desire is for players to feel like they are growing as individuals, not only in their bowling life, but in their life outside of bowling.

I believe one of the most important aspects of my job is to guide them on how to properly process an event and what they should focus on.

I wish I applied more of what I preach to these players in my own career, I would have had much more success. Since stepping away from competition and reflecting upon my career, I see many mistakes that I made. How I allowed the small things that really did not matter in the big picture to have an influence on my performance. I made this particular mistake many times. I want nothing more than to steer these players from falling victim to these same mistakes. The old saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees,” never did make much sense to me…. until now.

The PWBA Tour Season kicks off April 25 in Cleveland, Ohio and Team Storm will be ready! For more information on the upcoming schedule visit pwba.com.


The SYC Travels to the Golden State

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – If you look up youth in the dictionary one definition states, “the early period of existence, growth, or development.” The youth athletes that compete at the Storm Youth Championships (SYC) capitalize on their age to learn as much as they can, as quickly as they can. Every bowler is growing both mentally and physically every time they pick up a bowling ball. They ask educated questions and continue to fill their mind with the tools to be successful during competition. After the awards ceremony the champions often turn to ask their parents if they can get back on the lanes to practice the next day.

These youth athletes are truly an inspiration for every person who has attended an SYC event.


The second Storm Youth Championships (SYC) of 2019 was held in Rohnert Park, California, March 22-24. Our host center, Double Decker Lanes helped us welcome 144 youth bowlers and their families from 17 states to compete.  The tournament awarded a total of $15,450 in scholarships.

The youth athletes bowled in three 5-game rounds on three Kegel oil patterns over two days of competition. There were six 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 took home a gold, silver, or bronze medal and the tournament champions in each division were crowned based on their total pinfall for all three rounds.

In the U20 division, Caroline Thesier of North Carolina rolled a 224 in the final game to win the girls title by 5 pins while Bryce Oliver of Ohio finished 358 pins ahead of the field to capture the boys title. They both earned their second SYC title at this event. In the U15 division, Jillian Martin of Ohio led the field by 267 to take home her fourth SYC title while Ashton Yamasaki of Oregon remained consistent to pick up his second SYC title. In the U12 division, Jude Balajadia and Kiyah Lane of California both earned their first SYC titles.

L to R: Jude Balajadja, Kiyah Lane, Ashton Yamasaki, Jillian Martin, Bryce Oliver, Caroline Thesier

Some of the best moments at the SYC happen before and after competition. Parents often share that the friendships that are formed through a weekend at the SYC last far beyond when the scores are calculated on Sunday afternoon.

Friday is packed with optional activities for the whole family, a practice session with the Storm Pro Staff, and bowlers get to pick up their brand-new Storm Bowling Ball. At this event, Team Storm members, Jason Belmonte and Jesper Svensson traveled directly from the World Series of Bowling in Detroit to host a Q&A session on Friday. Belmonte had just earned a record 11th major title at the World Championships using the Hy-Road Pearl, the same ball that all the SYC bowlers received by participating in the event. In addition, a few lucky youth bowlers were randomly chosen to bowl for Team Belmonte or Team Svensson in an exciting Baker Challenge.

Our SYC bowlers raise funds for a great cause while they compete. A donation of $10 from each entry goes directly to BVBC also known as Ballard vs. the Big “C.” Additional funds were raised through a silent auction and raffles throughout the weekend. BVBC supports 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.

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 Bowlers Journal International. The event was livestreamed throughout the two days of competition on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page.

The 2019 SYC Tour will host a total of six events in 2019. The SYC will travel to Smyrna, Tennessee, May 24-26. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries for the next event in Lincoln, Nebraska will open April 29. In August, we will travel to Wichita, Kansas and in October the SYC will return to Shallotte, North Carolina. For more information about our upcoming events visit our website, http://www.stormbowling.com/syc or check the StormJr Facebook Page.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. is the leading manufacturer and marketer of high performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip and Master Brands. For everything Storm, Roto Grip and Master Industries – visit stormbowling.com, rotogrip.com and bowlwithmaster.com

Photos: Kimberly Power-Defer

 


On The Road with Team Storm

Team Storm PBA Tour Manager, Jim Callahan shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse at life on the road with Team Storm & Roto Grip.

The 2019 PBA Season has been filled with excitement and a lot of success for Team Storm and Roto Grip. The athletes have been working hard each week to represent our brands.

Jason Belmonte has added three PBA Titles to the record books this season, including two major titles. We witnessed a moment in history when Jason Belmonte won major title #11 to surpass the great Earl Anthony and Pete Weber at the PBA World Championships. I have had the honor to work with Jason for all 11 of his PBA major titles.

Jason is truly a fantastic representative for our sport, and we are so lucky to have him as part of our Storm family.

Norm Duke won back to back titles on grueling duel pattern events including title #40. He is simply amazing.

Jesper Svensson had a great start to the season making back-to-back shows at the first two events throwing the new Fever Pitch. The next week, Anthony Simonsen became the youngest PBA player ever to win two PBA majors.


We’ve also been able to celebrate a first PBA title with one of our team members this season! There’s a quote that goes, “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” Kris Prather has been, “knocking on the door” overcoming adversity and advancing to several PBA shows for the past two years. He kept his head down, kept working and learning. Prather earned his first title at the PBA Scorpion Championships during the World Series of Bowling. Keep an eye out for this guy, he is a star in the making.

I am excited that several of our young players have had breakout weeks including Kris Prather, Brad Miller, Nick Pate, Marshall Kent, AJ Chapman, Darren Tang, BJ Moore and Kyle Troup who fought through injuries to make a show. These young staffers work extremely hard and I am proud of the progress that they make every week.

The players on tour have been throwing a variety of Storm and Roto Grip equipment each week. Some balls that have become key week to week have been the new Fever Pitch, Crux Prime, and Super Son!Q. The Roto Grip Halo Pearl is a great asymmetrical addition to our players bags.  The reliable Phaze II and Hy-Road are steady staples in the bag each week as well.

The athletes of Team Storm and Roto Grip have traveled to Las Vegas this week for the 2019 USBC Masters. Competition kicks off on Wednesday, March 27 at 11 am ET. Qualifying will air live on Flobowling.

Everyone Bowl Up a Storm!

-Jim Callahan


Belmonte Leads the World Championship

The World Series of Bowling is a true test of consistency. Bowlers compete on three different lane conditions throughout the week to qualify for the World Championships.

On Thursday, Jason Belmonte averaged 239 for 10-games to advance to the match play rounds on the Scorpion Championships. He also is leading the field into the casher's rounds of the World Championships.

Belmonte used the Storm Hy-Road Nano to attack the 42-foot lane condition. Team Storm and Roto Grip players joining Belmonte to advance to the match play rounds of the Scorpion Championship include, Anthony Simonsen, Norm Duke, Kristopher Prather, Kyle Troup, Marshall Kent, and BJ Moore. The players used a variety of Storm and Roto Grip balls to match up to the lane condition and lane surface including the Roto Grip IDOL and the Storm Super Son!Q.

Match play for the Scorpion Championships will take place on March 20 with the TV Finals airing on FS1, March 20 at 8 pm ET.

The top 45 players from the field advance to two five-game casher's rounds of the World Championship. The top 16 players will advance to match play on Saturday. All of the competition on Friday will air live on Flobowling starting at 12:30 pm ET and 6:30 pm ET.


Liz Johnson Wins WBT Tour Finals

The World Bowling Tour Men's and Women's Finals aired Sunday on FS1. Team Storm player, Liz Johnson earned the Women's WBT Tour Finals Title defeating fellow Team Storm member, Danielle McEwan 246-223.

Liz Johnson used a combination of the Storm Hy-Road X and Roto Grip IDOL Pearl to win the title.

Six players qualified for the Tour Finals by competing in WBT events around the world throughout the year. The top three players who earned the most points earned a spot in the TV finals to bowl for the title. The top three men who qualified were EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, and Stuart Williams. The top three women were Liz Johnson, Danielle McEwan, and Daria Pajak.

“Every title is special," Johnson said in the PBA Press Release. "This was my sixth WBT show, but this is my first win."

Team Roto Grip players, Anthony Simonsen and Stuart Williams faced tough matches against EJ Tackett. Both matches were decided by just one pin. Williams was defeated 243-242 and Simonsen was defeated 233-232 in the title match.

Liz Johnson, Anthony Simonsen and Stuart Williams are currently competing in the PBA World Series of Bowling this week in Detroit.  All qualifying rounds can be watched live on Flobowling all week long.

Danielle McEwan will join Johnson, Simonsen, and Williams at the USBC Masters March 26-April 1.

To learn more about the athletes on Team Storm click here.


7 Storm Players Advance to Chameleon Match Play

The best bowlers in the world faced the Chameleon Championships at the WSOB X on Wednesday at Thunderbowl Lanes. Chameleon is a 39 foot condition that you can learn more about here.

Jason Belmonte led the players of Team Storm and Roto Grip averaging 231 to earn the #2 seed heading into Match Play for the Chameleon Championships. Belmonte use a combination of the Storm Phaze II and Roto Grip Idol Pearl to attack the conditions.

Team Storm and Roto Grip players joining Belmonte to advance to the match play rounds of the Chameleon Championship include, Anthony Pepe, Norm Duke, Tim Pfeifer, AJ Chapman, Andres Gomez and Matthew McNiel.

Match play for the Chameleon Championships will take place on March 19 with the TV Finals airing on FS1, March 19 at 8 pm ET.

WSOB X competition continues Thursday with the Scorpion Championship. After qualifying is complete, the top 45 players advance to the casher's rounds on Friday. After two rounds, the field will be cut to the top 16 players for two match play rounds to determine the five players who will compete for the World Championship Finals.

The Scorpion Championship Qualifying rounds can be watched on Flobowling Thursday at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. ET.


Rhino Page Leads PBA Cheetah Championship

The World Series of Bowling X officially kicked off Tuesday at Thunderbowl Lanes. Team Storm player, Rhino Page averaged 234 to lead the field during qualifying for the PBA Cheetah Championship.

"Thankfully today was a little bit easier than most days and I attribute a lot of that to a week off," Page said to Storm PBA Tour Manager, Jim Callahan. "Mentally I felt really relaxed and physically I've been bowling well all year."

Page used a combination of the Storm Code X and Roto Grip Hustle HYB to attack the 33-Foot Cheetah lane condition.

Each day at the WSOB, the bowlers will compete on a different lane condition for two rounds. The top 16 will advance to match play. Once match play is complete, the top four players will advance to the LIVE TV finals on FS1 March 18-22.

“Right now, everything is where it needs to be physically,” Page said in the PBA news release here. “Every day is a new tournament so, in addition to the physical game, I really need to concentrate on my focus as the tournament progresses."

Team Storm and Roto Grip players joining Page to advance to the match play rounds of the Cheetah Championship include, David Haynes, BJ Moore, Matt McNiel, Brad Miller, Brad Angelo, and Darren Tang.

Match play for the Cheetah Championship will take place on March 18 with the TV Finals airing on FS1, March 18 at 8 pm ET.

WSOB X competition continues Wednesday with Chameleon Championship. Qualifying rounds can be watched on Flobowling at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. ET.


Norm Duke Wins PBA Title #40

Team Storm player and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke defeated Anthony Simonsen 212-164 in the final match to win his 40th PBA Title at the PBA Jonesboro Open on Sunday.

Duke is the third player in PBA history to earn 40 PBA Tour Titles joining Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Earl Anthony and is the oldest player to win consecutive PBA Tour Titles.

“I don’t really care if I bowl 280 or 180 if it’s more than the other guy has,” Duke said in the PBA News Release here. “You just give it all you’ve got."

Bowlers competed on dual lane conditions throughout the tournament. They faced the 45-foot Wolf pattern on the left lane and 36-foot Viper pattern on the right lane. Duke used a combination of the Roto Grip Dare Devil and IDOL to win the title.

For the second week, four Team Storm & Roto Grip players qualified for the stepladder finals live on FS1. Kris Prather defeated Shota Kawazoe in the opening match 246-236. Prather went on to face Anthony Simonsen who won 247-203. Simonsen defeated EJ Tackett 214-199 to move on to the final match against the top seed Duke.

The Team Storm & Roto Grip players travels to Detroit for the PBA World Series of Bowling at Thunderbowl Lanes which begins on March 11.