The SYC Travels to Wichita

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Katelyn Simpson Wins PWBA Orlando Regional

Katelyn “KT” Simpson’s favorite city on the PWBA Tour is without a question, Orlando!

It was an exciting week for Simpson that started with the PTQ at the PWBA Orlando Open. After eight games, eight players would earn spots into the Elite Field of the PWBA Orlando Open. Katelyn qualified in the 7th position averaging 207. She bowled 22 more games averaging 214 to earn the fourth seed for her first TV PWBA Stepladder Final on CBS Sports.

Though she lost her match, she quickly had to push it out of her mind and stay focused. Simpson was on the roster for the PWBA Orlando Regional the very next day. She added eight more games of qualifying to her week averaging 211 to qualify as the fourth seed of the stepladder finals which aired on BowlTV.

 

She climbed the ladder and won her first PWBA Regional Title defeating Kayla Bandy 222 to 203 in the finals.

After the 43 games were complete, Simpson could finally catch her breath and think about her exciting week in the Sunshine State!

When the PWBA Tour kicked off in April, Simpson, was among the star studded 2019 Rookie Class hitting the lanes for the first time as full-time PWBA Touring Players. Simpson was an All-American while competing at the University of Pikeville and was a member of Junior Team USA in 2015. After completing her undergrad, she served as a graduate assistant for two years sharing some of her knowledge on the lanes with younger athletes as she worked towards her MBA. She completed her MBA, talked to her family and decided to head out on the PWBA Tour. Her family was in full support of her decision and decided to make it a summer adventure!

Her parents, Terri & Wayne, who own KT Lanes in Emmett, Idaho and the famous Bowling Doodles, Blake and Adam, jumped into their RV and spent the summer on the road traveling from stop-to-stop. They tried to fit in as many pit stops and family memories as they could.

Blake and Adam who learned how to bowl at their home lanes as puppies were fan favorites at all the Pro-Ams and Fan Fests! They signed paw-o-graphs and took tons of photos while KT worked hard on the lanes learning more and more each week.

We chatted with Simpson about her exciting week on the lanes in this exclusive interview.   

Tell us a little about your first full season on the PWBA Tour:

My first year has been full of learning. I’m just trying to embrace the learning curve as best as I can. It’s been full of ups and downs and I’m doing my best to learn from both but especially the downs. I was really frustrated after the Connecticut PTQ. I didn’t have a good start, but I threw it great down the stretch and the pins didn’t fall my way. I sat down with our Tour Managers, Mike DeVaney and Steve Jacobs and we had a really good conversation about what I need to do better and how I can improve out here. I really just bought in to what they were saying and executed as much as possible these last couple events. I only want to keep getting better and I’m trying to learn as much as possible in this first year!

What were your goals going into the season?

My goals going into this season were to make as many cuts as possible and give myself a chance at Rookie of the Year. I didn’t really have many expectations because I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect! These ladies are good so to just be competing against them is a privilege.

The Orlando Open was a great week for you from start to finish! Walk us a little bit through the week from your perspective:

Yes, this week was a really good week for me. I executed pretty well, made most of my spares, had a few hiccups here and there, but I just tried to take what the lanes gave me and make adjustments as needed and of course Mike and Steve were a huge part of my success this week. I like when there is friction, so I was able to play my A game and stay aggressive!

What was your favorite part of bowling on you first PWBA telecast? 

The atmosphere was amazing. Intimidating a little bit at first because all eyes are on you at all times. I really was trying not to have the stone look on my face that I always get made fun of for! You could just feel the energy and the people rooting for you and that was so cool!

The cut was really tight between a few players going into the last game of the PWBA Regional ....tell us about those final games.

I had a rocky start. I made good shots but all 10 pins just didn’t want to fall for me all at the same time in a consecutive fashion so once I found the right ball that went through the pins the right way I just took advantage and put some good games together to give myself a shot at making cut. I knew what the girl close to me had shot the last game, so I knew I needed to at least beat that. I just told myself to make really good shots. Execute them and whatever happens, happens. I had a carry struggle. Four 10 pins and an 8 pin that last game so I knew I just needed to get as many pins as possible in those last couple frames!

Tell us about the final frame of that title match at the PWBA Regional. What was going through your mind?

Honestly, I sound kind of repetitive but just to execute a good shot. I tried not to think about anything else. Just focus, breathe and execute. See the shape first that I wanted and then to execute. Kayla did the right thing, she made me finish on the hard lane, it was a lot tighter, so it required a little more focus.

What balls did you use this week?

In the Orlando Open I used a Hy-Road X, a little bit of the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX and actually on the show when I switched to the Idol PRO that was the first time I had thrown it all week! In the regional, I used a little bit of a HALO Vision but mostly the Idol PRO!

What has been the hardest part about competing on the PWBA Tour?

These ladies are soooooo good! You have to be on top of your game all the time. They are sharp and if you are not on top of it, they will run you over. We also bowl a lot of games, so I’ve had a few issues with my hand over the course of the tour. I actually changed my fit in between the US Open and the second half of the tour. We may still have some tweaking to do. I had a couple skin patches on, on the show.

Though Simpson wanted to thank everyone at Storm for all they do, we want to thank her for choosing to throw Storm and Roto Grip on the lanes every day. We’re proud that she’s part of our team.

 

The PWBA Tour travels to Buffaloe Lanes North in Raleigh, North Carolina next for the QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship September 3-8.


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 Standout | Sydney Brummett | Wichita State University

Name: Sydney Brummet
School: Wichita State University
Location of school: Wichita, KS
Year in School: Senior


What is your favorite part of collegiate bowling?

My favorite part of college bowling is the competitive platform. It is not a typical setting for our sport, where five to eight people get to come together for one common purpose. It truly is one of the best platforms for bowling.

What is your preparation routine before a big event?

A few weeks before the event I stop working on trying to improve my game and just allow myself to feel good about how I am throwing it. I work on visualizing good pre-shot routines and watching my ball go through the pins for a strike every time. I take a few days to check my bowling balls to make sure everything is how it needs to be and the surfaces are set up in an appropriate way.

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

We work on our games every single day. We have official team practices Monday through Thursday, along with workouts (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) and study hall on Wednesdays. However, we commit a lot of time outside of team practice to getting to be the best player we can be.

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

This one is hard for me to put into words. When teamwork is going well the energy is electrifying and the connection between teammates is seamless. When it is going well words are not needed. It becomes easy to move off of each other and watch lane transition happen. It simply looks like having fun and playing lanes.


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

The physical game is important, but to me the mental game is much more important. Being able to mentally rebound from a bad day or stay committed during a good day is much harder than simply working hard on a physical game. It is easy to see physical game changes, but mental games changes take faith and belief to occur.

How does Storm and their products help you and your team?

We are a Storm sponsored collegiate program! So our team is very thankful to have stars and bolts on our bowling balls. Storm and Roto Grip have the best brand in the business by providing a wide range of bowling balls that can fit every member of our team, no matter what pattern we are bowling on that week. For me personally, there is no company whose balls go through the pins better than Storm and Roto Grip!

What is your life like as a collegiate athlete?

Life as a collegiate athlete is beyond satisfying. I get to spend everyday at a university that provides me with an outstanding education in my desired field. I also get to focus on my passion and love in life - bowling. Getting to do this is a privilege and a blessing. Each day I wake up just being thankful for the opportunity to study my sport and my chosen field.


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

This honestly depends on the day. We spend a lot of our team practices focused on getting to know our teammates games' better, and simply focusing on how we can play lanes better as a group. We focus some of our time on spares and some on trying to beat the boys :)

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

Yes there are mandatory workouts! However, we still commit more time to the gym than just the mandatory workouts. We do a program called F45 and it was originated in Australia, and we were one of the first two universities in the United States to provide the workout class to the students.

How close/far is/are the practice facilities?

The practice facilities are right on campus. We are extremely blessed.

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

We have practices together everyday. However, usually the women are on the first four lanes and the men are on the second four. But, on some days we mix and get to bowl together. Those are some of my most favorite practices. No matter what, though, we are cheering for each other and hoping that each other succeeds.

What is your favorite Storm bowling ball? Why?

Storm IQ Tour, of course! This ball is one that when I have no idea what is going on, I can change to it and it will tell me exactly what the lane is doing and what the lane is looking for.

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

We are limited to five balls each tournament. I simply stick with building an arsenal around my IQ Tour. So I have a big ball (one that reads the lane early), then the next ball is typically one that is pretty early but will be a little stronger on the backends than the big ball, then my IQ tour, then a higher RG ball (it typically tends to be the hyroad), and last the trusty spare ball.

What is it like competing against friends on opposing teams?

At Wichita State we are always just worried about beating the lane condition. So, really, I'm never having to compete against friends. It's amazing to see them at tournaments and get to interact while playing the sport that we love!

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

It is possible! (I am a tour guide on campus!) But, we have to be very good at budgeting our time.

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

At one of the collegiate tournaments in Las Vegas, one of our teammates (she's kind of short ;)) decided it would be really funny to belt Celine Dion at the top of her lungs in the middle of Caesar's Palace. The whole lobby looked at her confused and we just all laughed.

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

Being a student athlete is stressful. It is important to start learning time management early so when you get to college it is easy to just keep doing what you've been doing!