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.


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.


Brad Kemp Rolls Four 300s With Crux Prime

Since its release, bowlers have been using the new Crux Prime to set their new personal bests and roll honor scores all around the country.

Our Tech Team at HQ worked hard to bring something extraordinary to the lanes combining the Catalyst Core with the all-new SPEC coverstock and bowlers are witnessing the power of this new technology in their home centers.

Storm Staff member, Brad Kemp has been on quite the hot streak. He's rolled four 300 games with three different layouts since he added this new release to his bag.

 

LAYOUTS: 5x4x4 | 5.5x6x5 | 5.5x3.5x3

"From what I see throwing the crux prime and also watching others, it is the first Premier Line ball that rolls to its full potential on just about any condition," Kemp said. "A lot of the big balls tend to burn up on a “house” pattern and lack power going through the pins, the Crux Prime does not seem to 'burn up' nearly as much and is still very strong the entire way down the lane."

As Kemp has seen, the combination of the core and coverstock allows for increased entry angle and a greater margin for error with its dynamic asymmetrical design and vertical cavity technology. The benefits of the SPEC Solid Reactive can be truly appreciated on heavier conditions, especially when they begin to transition but bowlers have found success with it on a variety of conditions.

"It seems to be an amazing ball to add to your arsenal for every style of bowler and I would highly recommend getting yourself one or multiples!" Kemp said.

Still looking for more information about the Crux Prime? Chad McLean, Technical Director at Storm Products, shared some insights about the new Crux Prime in his internal review that can be read in this blog post. He discusses that the innate Ra of SPEC is slightly higher than our other primary coverstocks that don’t use an ancillary additive or enhancer.

Steve Kloempken and Matt McNiel also discussed the Crux Prime in this Tech Video. Click the link & watch the video below.

With tournament season in full force, the new Crux Prime might be a great addition to your arsenal. Visit your local VIP Storm Pro Shop today to discuss where this ball would fit into your lineup. Need some help finding a Pro Shop? Use our Pro Shop locator to find one near you.

 


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.


Champions Crowned at Storm Youth Championships - Las Vegas

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - Many professional athletes speak about defining moments as a youth throughout their entire career and through these stories of passion, determination, and dedication, it’s evident that these athletes become committed to their sport at a very young age and work hard to reach their goals.

The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) gives youth bowlers the chance to set goals for their future and showcase their talents on a national stage. After two days of competition, six smiling youth athletes are proud to hold the SYC trophies high above their heads.

"The Storm Youth Championships is an event that celebrates all the best parts of bowling," Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development at Storm Bowling said. "Families come together to support growing athletes doing what they love to do, while supporting a great charity that helps improve the lives of people going through a tough time."

The first SYC of 2019 was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 15-17, 2019. More than 200 youth bowlers from 28 different states, including 7 bowlers from Puerto Rico, and one bowler from Poland traveled to compete at the South Point Bowling Plaza. 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 $19,950 scholarship fund.

The overall champions at the SYC demonstrate consistency across all four patterns and are decided based on their 20 game total pinfall. In the U12 Girls division, Katelyn Abigania, of California, battled a wrist injury to earn the title finishing 194 pins ahead of the field. She also earned the gold medal in all four rounds of competition. Elias O’Hollaren of California, dominated the U12 Boys division finishing with a 442 pin lead. His best block was the long pattern finishing with a 226 average. Bowling for the first time in the U15 Girls Division, Saphyre Nofuente of California, averaged 216 her final block to take home her second SYC title, while Alexander Horton, of Pennsylvania, picked up his first SYC title averaging 226 for the event. In the U20 Division, two past SYC Champions, Mabel Cummins of Illinois and Spencer Robarge of Missouri outlasted the competition to capture their fourth SYC Titles.

The talent of the youth bowlers at the Storm Youth Championships is always remarkable. The top two competitors in each division were named to the Storm All-American Team. Avery Domaguin, Sebastian Huffman, Samantha Conti, Ashton Yamasaki, Jennifer Loredo, and Cerell Cardines will join the Las Vegas champions on the 2019 Storm All-American Team.

2019 Storm All-American Team BACK ROW: U12 Girls – Avery Domaguin, CA, Katelyn Abigania, CA, U15 Girls - Saphyre Nofuente, CA, Samantha Conti, NV U20 Girls - Jennifer Loredo, CA, Mabel Cummins, IL FRONT ROW: U12 Boys – Elias O’Hollaren, CA, Sebastian Huffman, NV U15 Boys - Alexander Horton, PA, Ashton Yamasaki, OR U20 Boys - Spencer Robarge, MO, Cerell Cardines, NV

In addition to the overall champions, the top three bowlers in each division were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal after each round. Each round proved to be challenging but several youth bowlers conquered the patterns and rose to the top. Some highlights included TJ Rock of Las Vegas throwing two 279 games in a five game block to earn the gold on short, Ashton Yamasaki with 11-in-a-row in game three averaging 247 to earn the gold medal on the medium pattern in the U15 Division, and Solomon Salama dominated the medium pattern in the U20 division throwing games of 278, 279, 243, 264, 300 to capture the gold medal.

Throughout the weekend participants and their families were able to attend the, “How To Make A Storm Bowling Ball,” seminar with Storm’s Technical Director, Chad McLean. They also were able to meet and practice with members of the Storm Bowling Pro Staff, and discuss lane play strategies with Storm Tour Representatives, Mike DeVaney and Del Ballard Jr. Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm Phaze II bowling ball to add to their tournament arsenal and were given the opportunity to have it drilled at the South Point Pro Shop.

Charitable giving continues to be a focus for the Storm Youth Championships. A donation of $10 from each 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 $8900 for BVBC.

"At Storm, we're incredibly lucky to have owners who give back through the sport of bowling as much as they can," Hulsenberg said. "Bill and Barbara Chrisman's generosity is felt through the events that they sponsor and the community that they have built throughout the world."

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 Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, California, March 22-24. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries for the next event in Smyrna, Tennessee, May 24-26, will open on March 18 at Noon MST. This event sold-out quickly in 2018. Two new cities, Lincoln, Nebraska and Wichita, Kansas will host events in June and August. In October, the SYC will return to Shallotte, North Carolina. For more information about our upcoming events visit our website, stormbowling.com/SYC or check the StormJr Facebook Page.


Norm Duke Wins PBA Indianapolis Open

Team Storm players, Norm Duke and Jason Belmonte delivered a match on FS1 that had bowling fans cheering around the world in the finals of the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open on Sunday. In the end, Duke defeated Belmonte, 237-219, to win his 39th PBA Tour at Woodland Bowl.

"I thought I needed the career game," Duke said. "The 4-9 was everything. If I don't spare that, then the momentum goes his way."

Duke used a combination of the Storm Son!Q and Roto Grip Idol Pearl on the challenging lane conditions. The field competed in a mixed oil environment all week with the 45-foot Dick Weber 45 oiling pattern on the left lane and the Mike Aulby 38 pattern on the right lane.

Belmonte, who rolled a 300 game in the last game of qualifying to secure the top seed for the stepladder finals has led three consecutive events in 2019. He is also leading the PBA Playoffs rankings.

“I always believed I’d win again,” Duke said in the PBA Final Release. “The first game I ever bowled on television was against Earl Anthony, and I won. In my mind, Jason’s the best ever, in spades. I feel for him, because I’ve been there, but for me, I get to say I bowled Earl, and Walter, and Pete, and I beat ‘em all.”

Team Storm travels to the PBA Jonesboro Open in Arkansas next. Qualifying begins on Wednesday and will be streamed live on FloBowling. The Jonesboro finals will air live on FS1 on Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern.