Gazmine Mason Visits I PROMISE School

Team Storm Member and PWBA Tour Rookie, Gazmine “GG” Mason was recently invited to share her story through sports and interact with the students at the I PROMISE school in Akron, Ohio.

The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools partnered to design a brand new school for the public school students in Akron. According to their website, “a culmination of years of on-the-ground work and research-based interventions through LeBron’s I PROMISE program, the I PROMISE School will be more than a 1st - 8th grade academic institution. It will infuse APS’s rigorous curriculum with a STEM, hands-on, problem-based learning focus with LJFF’s ’We Are Family’ philosophy to create a complete wraparound for its students and their families.”

The I PROMISE students were able to ask Mason questions about her journey through youth and college bowling and she was able to share how she has persevered. The school also set up an inflatable bowling set and also some plastic bowling pins so that all the students could bowl with Mason and learn a little about the sport of bowling. Her favorite part of the day was being able to say the student promise with the kids.

“All I know is that they inspired me more then they know,” Mason said. “These kids are brilliant and so special!”

Mason said in her blog. “I PROMISE kids, family, faculty, staff, LeBron James, friends & family, and Akron, I appreciate and love you all! An unforgettable, eye-opening experience that I will forever be grateful for!”

A graduate of Nebraska, Mason is currently competing on her first year on the PWBA Tour. A few of her goals for the season are to make cuts consistently, win at least one event, and make it to the PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond.

If you get the opportunity to meet Mason on the lanes this summer, you’ll find out quickly that her passion for the sport of bowling is contagious. She hopes to inspire the next generation of youth athletes to set their goals high and work hard.

“DREAM BIG and work towards that dream every single day no matter what ANYONE says.” Mason said.

 

Photo Credit: I Promise School


A New PWBA Tour Season Begins

The 2019 PWBA season kicks off in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend and the ladies of Team Storm and Roto Grip are prepped and ready for a spring and summer filled with travel and trophies.

“I am very excited to get the 2019 PWBA season underway! Many of our returning PWBA staff have been steadfast in perfecting their craft during this off season. Our staff has been more diligent and focused in their tour preparations than ever before.” PWBA Tour Manager, Mike Devaney said.

PWBA Champions Liz Johnson (24 titles), Kelly Kulick (6 titles), Danielle McEwan (4 titles), Rocio Restrepo (4 titles), Bryanna Cote (1 title), Diandra Asbaty (1 title), and Elysia Current (1 title) will be looking to add more titles to their resume while our stable of non-champions will be striving for that thrilling first PWBA title.

“My goal for this season is to execute the process of performing.  My experience and athleticism build my overall confidence. Knowing that, I am capable of winning every week!”

– Kelly Kulick, newly elected USBC Hall of Famer and PWBA Champion

The Rookie of the Year race on the PWBA Tour will be a competitive one this season and Team Storm has four very talented young ladies aiming to win that honor.  Collegiate standouts, Gazmine Mason (University of Nebraska), Katelyn Simpson (University of Pikeville), Jackie Evans (Monmouth University) and Julia Bond (University of Nebraska) will be taking what they learned in their collegiate careers to the next level as full-time traveling PWBA Players.

“We have a group of first and second-year players who I am anxious to see compete on a more regular basis. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with these players. To support players who are reaching for their dreams and seeing them actually realize those dreams gives you a very gratifying feeling.” PWBA Tour Manager, Mike Devaney said.

Some of these rookie players shared their goals for the season and gave us a glimpse into their mindset for the summer.

Gazmine Mason, a Collegiate All-American, was invited to participate in the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitationals in February and won the Mini-Clash. She’s been diligently practicing and bowling tournaments to prepare for her first year on tour.

“My goal for the season is to win one title and qualify for the Road to Richmond Tour Championship.”

– Gazmine Mason, PWBA Rookie

Katelyn Simpson has been working toward her MBA at the University of Pikeville and will graduate in May. She served as a graduate assistant for two years sharing some of her knowledge on the lanes with younger athletes. Now, she’s ready to test her skills on tour.

“My goal for this year is to learn as much as possible, be consistent in making cuts, and if things fall into place, I’d like a shot at Rookie of the Year.”

– Katelyn Simpson, PWBA Rookie

Competing part-time on tour this summer will be Hall of Famers Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (20 titles), Tish Johnson (25 titles), and Leanne Hulsenberg (27 titles).  Leanne is also being inducted into the PWBA Hall of Fame on May 15 in Wichita before the USBC Queens competition begins along with fellow Team Storm members, Wendy Macpherson and Donna Conners.

Photo Credit: USBC

The PWBA season begins April 25. The ladies will travel to 14 events including 4 majors, the USBC Queens, the U.S. Open, the PWBA Players Championship and the PWBA Tour Championship to end the season.  Visit PWBA.com for more information.

Click here to learn more about Team Storm and Team Roto Grip.


Collegiate Spotlight | Will Mateffy | Minnesota State Mankato

Name: Will Mateffy
School: Minnesota State University Mankato
Location of school: Mankato, MN
Year in School: Senior

What is your favorite part of collegiate bowling?
My favorite part about college bowling is being part of a team that cares about the sport of bowling as much as I do and being able to compete at such a high level of competition. Another part I love is seeing all of my friends that I have made from other teams across the country.

What is your preparation routine before a big event?
My preparation before a tournament is getting my physical game the way that I feel is good and getting my arsenal ready with the right surfaces and the right ball selections.

How often are you/your team working on your game(s)?
Our team practices Monday-Thursday from 4:30-6:00pm. We also have 1 on 1 times with the coaches to work on specific aspects.

What is teamwork? What does it look like on the lanes?
Teamwork means working together and pushing each other to be the best they can be, both on and off the lanes. Everybody sees the lanes differently, communication about the lanes and ball choice are essential pieces to perform well at tournaments and it is a way for the younger players to learn about lane play and transitions. Having someone that keeps up the energy is also important because it keeps everyone more active and involved throughout the entire tournament.

How important is the physical and mental game? Is one more important than the other?
Both aspects are very important but I believe that the mental game is more important. The mental game helps you bounce back from a bad game and help you focus on what you should be doing on the next pair. It also takes longer to develop and understand than the physical game, especially if your team needs to be on the same page.

How does Storm and their products help you and your team?
We are very blessed as a small program to be sponsored by the Storm and Roto Grip Companies and to that we say thank you very much! They have given us the best bowling ball options that are available on the current market and new equipment to replace all our old stuff, that are great for moving from pair to pair at tournaments.

What is your life like as a collegiate athlete?
My life as a collegiate athlete is great, I get to practice everyday with some of my best friends and study about my favorite topics that we discuss in class.

What does a typical practice session look like at your program?
We usually start by spreading out and throwing balls to get warmed up. After we are warmed up, we split into 2 groups and shoot at 10 10 pins and 10 7 pins. As a team each group has to make 10 consecutive 10 pins or 7 pins without missing, if someone misses, that group has to start over. The first group to 10 forces the other group to do 25 reps of something, whether it's push-ups, sit-ups or lunges etc. After we finish both 10's and 7's, we tend to do baker tournaments, can be 2, 3, 4 or 5 players.

Are there mandatory workouts at your program? If no, how do you stay fit?
We do not have mandatory workouts, I keep in shape by working out at the campus gym. I'll run around the track, play pick up basketball or lift weights. Outside of practice, I bowl on Tuesday night league.

How close/far is/are the practice facilities?
The practice facility is on campus, otherwise there are 2 other bowling alleys within 10 minutes of the school.

 

How interactive are your men’s and women’s teams?
The men's and women's teams practice together everyday. The 1 on 1 times are also scheduled between the men and women.

What is your favorite Storm bowling ball? Why?
My favorite Storm bowling ball has to be the IQ Tour Solid. I love the benchmark motion that it has and I can use it on any pattern. I have owned 4 of these and I'll order another one this semester to replace my oldest one.

How do you pick your limited (5 or 6 balls) arsenal for collegiate tournaments?
I pick my arsenal around my IQ Tour, since I use that ball every tournament. I have a urethane for my spare ball. The other 3 or 4, I'll usually have a strong ball that can roll early in the mid-lane. Next, I'll have a pearl for when the pattern gets burnt up and we need to start lofting. My last ball is a Roto Grip Show Off, it's a lower end ball, which is good for when my IQ Tour starts to lose its' surface and I need a little more backend. The other option is another IQ Tour but it has a different drilling. It all depends on what kind of tournament we go to, either a tier 1 or tier 2.

What is it like competing against friends on opposing teams?
I can say that it is so much to have side competition between all my friends. It's amazing the people that I have met through college bowling and that is why I love going to tournaments.

Is it possible to have a job at your program while going to school full time, bowling most days a week, traveling, etc?
Yes, it is possible to have a job. Employers are very flexible with students and are willing to work with you if you work with them. We have jobs on campus with very flexible hours and days.

What's the funniest thing that has happened in college bowling?
The funniest thing was last year at club nationals, my teammate was doing his final shot of college bowling and he decided to loft it. The first time he guttered but the second time, the ball slipped out of his hand and bounced off the gutter cap of his lane and landed on the lane to the right of him. It straightened out once it landed and struck the other lane! Everybody on our pair laughed and all the pairs next to us laughed and gave him high-fives.

What's one thing that a high school bowler should know before going into college that may surprise them?
College bowling is much more intense than high school. There are hundreds more players and many more teams at every tournament than the high school meets. It can be very intimidating but your teammates and coach will help you feel just as comfortable as you did in high school, while learning about the atmosphere at the same time.


Collegiate Standout | Daniel Hanson | Robert Morris University

https://youtu.be/1iNzIMmH7iI

Name: Daniel Hanson
School: Robert Morris University- IL
Location of school: Chicago Illinois
Year in School: Junior


What is your favorite part of collegiate bowling?

My favorite part of collegiate bowling has to be the team feeling. My teammates have become a second family to me and I can always count on them for anything.

What is your preparation routine before a big event?

Practice 4-5 days a week for an hour to an hour and a half each time.

How often are you/your team working on your game(s)?

Tuesday-Thursday from 2:30 to 5:00 pm with optional practices on Monday and Friday's

What is teamwork? What does it look like on the lanes?

Teamwork is breaking the lanes down as a team, and always trusting one another. Another key to teamwork is a lot of communication and understanding how one person see's a lane differently than another but using the information given to make the best decisions possible.

How important is the physical and mental game? Is one more important than the other?

You have to have both. One is not more important than the other. If you have an amazing physical game and no mental game you will never dominate, if you have an amazing mental game but not the best physical game you will never dominate either. The best bowlers in the world have to have both or they would never make it on the tour.

How does Storm (or Roto) and their products help you and your team?

Roto Grip helps our program by providing us with the best equipment in the sport. Having the best equipment in the sport gives us a big advantage against our competitors. Roto Grip has a wide variety of shapes that match up to college patterns phenomenally.

What is your life like as a collegiate athlete?

I wake up at 8:30 am, cook some breakfast and get ready for class at 10 am. From 10 am to 2 pm i'm in class. After class I take the train and bus to practice, usually that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, so by 3pm, I'm at the bowing alley practicing until 5 pm. After that we take the hour bus and train back to the apartment and cook dinner around 6:30 pm. By the time I'm done with cooking and eating dinner it's about 7:30pm and then I start my homework for the night. If it's a little homework night I'll be done by 10pm and watch some tv until I go to sleep but if it's a busy night of homework I won't get done until 12 am. I'm usually in bed by 12:30am everyday


What does a typical practice session look like at your program?

Our varsity team all practices on the same pair of lanes everyday. Each of us is working on our own game but the others are watching and helping each other out. Our coach DJ Hayes is always behind somebody helping them understanding something new everyday. Right around February we start to do bakers everyday and start practicing Monday-Friday.

Are there mandatory workouts at your program? If no, how do you stay fit?

We do not have any mandatory workouts, but most of us live in the same building downtown and it has a gym. For us it's all on your own but if you do not take care of your body you will never reach your full potential, just like in every other sport.

How close/far is/are the practice facilities?

From the school it is a 10-15 minute drive, or up to an hour depending on Chicago traffic , but if you don't have a car it is a train ride and then you connect to a bus. Depending on how well you connect the 2 it could be as little as 40 minutes or it could take you up to and hour and 20 minutes.

How interactive are your men’s and women’s teams?

Our teams are very interactive off of the lanes but when we are practicing we only practice 1 or 2 times a month together. The other days in the month the girls do there own thing and the guys do there own thing.

What is your favorite Storm bowling ball? Why?

My favorite Storm bowing ball has to be the Torrent. I love my Torrent because for me it is such a benchmark ball that rolls nice and even. Also it is the ball that helped me place 6th individually at the Hoosier this year and got me to the ISC for the 2nd year in a row.

How do you pick your limited (5 or 6 balls) arsenal for collegiate tournaments?

I make picking my arsenal for college tournaments really simple.

1. Strong smooth ball
2. Weak smooth ball
3. Weak angular ball
4. Strong angular ball
5. My favorite ball

What is it like competing against friends on opposing teams?

It's really fun! I've known some of these guys since I was 10 and to grow up with them and experience college bowing together is a true blessing. It's always nice to have bragging rights if you win, but the friendships you make in bowling are like nothing else and they will create life long friends, and that's the important thing.

Is it possible to have a job at your program while going to school full time, bowling most days a week, traveling, etc?

Yes it is possible, some kids work nights after practice from like 6-10 or shifts, or some work on Monday and Friday's when we don't have practice.

What's the funniest thing that has happened in college bowling?'

All of our van rides to and from tournaments always have some funny moments in them. The best was on our way to a tournament and Michael Martell was sleeping in the first row of the van. We are driving down the road and a tow truck was hauling a semi so that the semi was facing us. On the count of 3 we all screamed so that Michael would wake up and when he did he started freaking out because he thought the semi was coming right at us. That was a great laugh.

What's one thing that a high school bowler should know before going into college that may surprise them?

Learn time management skills in high school. You will use time management more than you would ever imagine.