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.


Youth Spotlight: Caroline Thesier

Name: Caroline Thesier

Age: 17

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Home Bowling Center: Victory Lanes

Favorite Pro Bowler: Kelly Kulick

One of the brightest and hardest working young athletes we have seen in a long time, Miss Caroline Thesier is truly having a memorable 2019. In January, she was selected to Junior Team USA from her performance at the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas. In March, she won her second Storm Youth Championship (SYC) title in Rohnert Park, California. At home in North Carolina, she won three Tough Shot Tour titles and was named Bowler of the Year in May. She traveled to Smyrna, TN for Memorial Day weekend and finished second overall in the U20 Division at the Music City SYC. After that she traveled to Junior Team USA camp in Texas where she said she got to know her other teammates and built a special bond with them.

Caroline went straight from Junior Camp to Florida for Teen Masters where she had another impressive runner-up finish. As soon as she finished in Florida, Caroline, her brother Nate and her dad Jack drove home to North Carolina to pick up her mom and then continued their summer travels to Detroit for Junior Gold.

Caroline’s week in Detroit was solid from start to finish and she was never lower than 18th place and qualified 3rd for the U17 TV show which aired on CBS Sports. In the title match, Caroline bowled 265 to take home the title and a $4000 scholarship.

When asked what the highlight of her action packed summer was, Caroline said,

“The highlight of my summer had to be either Team USA Camp or winning Junior Gold. Both of them were so amazing, I can’t decide!”

After a celebratory family trip to Disney World, she came home and won the first Tough Shots Tour event of their season in Durham, NC. Caroline is entered in the last two SYCs this year in Wichita and Myrtle Beach so we can assume more titles might be added to her growing resume.

 

It appears that there’s no stopping Caroline this year!


Bowlers Join Forces To Raise Funds In Houston

The PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm kicks off this weekend. The “Luci”, as the touring players refer to it, is the world’s largest and most popular Mixed Doubles Tournament in the world.

A sold-out field of 160 doubles teams from all around the world will travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the 20th annual event.

2018 Champions, Liz Johnson and EJ Tackett

The brain child of newly inducted PWBA Hall of Famer, Donna Conners, the event represents the power of coming together in fellowship for a cause. Conners and Luci Bonneau met through bowling and became travel partners on the LPBT. In 1999, Bonneau was battling breast cancer and Conners never left her side. They dreamed of creating a bowling tournament to raise funds for breast cancer research when her treatment was complete. When Bonneau passed away, Conners knew she had to build the event they dreamed about.

"Upon starting the tournament, I had a plan and then worked the plan," Conners said. "My five year plan was met in three years, so every three years I made a five year plan."

Although the players are competing for a title and a $20,000 top prize they all know that this event means more than just that. 

All of the funds raised are donated to The Rose, a Houston-based organization that helps women who can’t afford breast care treatment or mammograms, and the Huntsman Group, a cancer research facility based in Utah.

"Taking care of the players was the main objective of the event but I've found that the players have taken care of me,"  Conners said.

"Together, hand and hand, we have grown this event. I have a theory that without the players, we don’t have a pro-am. Without the pro-am, we don’t raise money for the charity. With the the added support of all the sponsors and volunteers the event continues to reach new heights every year. I am so honored and forever grateful to all."

Storm Products have been proud sponsors of the event since 2002

We're proud to support the event in every way possible. In 2019, Storm joined forces with recent Donna Conners, to initiate our 2019 Paint the Lanes Pink™ campaign by offering 300 Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20™  bowling balls.

An exclusive club of 300 supporters have added one of these Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20 bowling balls to their collection. The Chrismans also elected to donate all the manufacturing costs to ensure the full $90,000 raised will go towards helping someone in the future.

"I'm truly speechless," Conners said. "It was an opportunity to raise money for the foundation that even I could not have planned for. I'm so thankful to Storm."

The tournament will be part of the FloBowling PBA Summer Tour and will stream live on FloBowling.

Teams will be split into four squads and bowl one 7-game round on Friday and Saturday. The top 40 teams will bowl another 5-game qualifying round Sunday. The field will be cut to the top eight teams who will advance to an 8-game round-robin match play final round.

For a complete roster of teams entered, click here. To learn more about FloBowling subscription prices and to watch live all weekend visit FloBowling.com.


Storm Products Names European Sales Manager

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products announced today that Tim Mack has been named as European Sales Manager and Peter Somoff will continue his duties as the International Business Development Agent. Mack and Somoff will work in unison to maintain relationships and foster the growth of the brand in the European community.

“With a combination of more than 50 years of extensive worldwide experience in the bowling industry, Mack and Somoff will greatly support the European Sales Team and increase sales coverage in this growing market,” said Dave Symes, President of Storm Bowling.

Mack has won more than 70 titles around the world. In 1995, Mack joined Team Storm as a full-time member of the National Professional Staff competing in international tournaments throughout the year becoming one of the first global ambassadors for the sport of bowling. He also represented the United States as a member of Team USA in 2003. The United States Olympic Committee recognized him as the Male Athlete of the Year for his performance at the 2003 World Bowling Men’s Championships. In 2018, he was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.

“I’m thankful to Storm for this amazing opportunity,” Mack said. “I am looking forward to working closely with Peter, in addition to all of our wonderful European partners and customers. The goal has always been to provide the customer with the best experience. We look forward to continue to support bowling around the world.”

In addition to his sales responsibilities, Mack will continue to collaborate with the Storm Tour Team to assist Storm’s professional players competing on the PBA and PWBA Tour with their bowling equipment during competition, analyzing their physical games, and assisting with their travel to international events. He will also represent Storm at events throughout the year.

Somoff has represented Storm for more than 25 years on the European International Sales Team traveling internationally to educate bowlers, business owners and pro shop professionals about the sport of bowling. In his new role, he will work closely with Mack to instruct international retailers about best practices, teach new drilling techniques, and discuss technical advances in our new products.

“Tim and I have been very close for years and his contacts throughout the world are amazing,” said Somoff. “I look forward to working together with Tim as well as the rest of our Storm family to support the growth of Europe’s market. Together our focus is to service all bowlers, pro shops and distributors in Europe further supporting the growth of the sport.”

As an IBPSIA Certified Master Instructor, USBC Gold Certified Coach, and European Tenpin Bowling Federation Level III Certified Coach Somoff has educated countless bowlers and individuals in the industry on and off the lanes. In addition to his coaching credentials, Somoff has competed at the highest level. He was a PBA Member from 1982-2003 and earned two PBA Regional Titles as well as three NWBA titles. In addition to his new responsibilities in Europe, Somoff will continue to educate bowlers around the world regarding advances in the sport of bowling.

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


The SYC Travels to the Music City

Temps were rising and pins went flying as our Storm Youth Championship family came together to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in Tennessee. The weekend was filled with smiles, music and honoring those who have served our country while raising funds for a great cause.

The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) returned to Smyrna, Tennessee, May 24-26, for the third stop of the 2019 SYC Tour. An expanded, sold-out field of 208 athletes, including 14 previous SYC champions, and their families traveled to our host bowling center Smyrna Bowling Center for a weekend filled with education, fun and competition.

“Spend a weekend at the Storm Youth Championships and you’ll be inspired almost instantly,” Gary Hulsenberg, VP of Business Development said. “Our generous owners and all those who support Storm make it possible for these young people to build lasting friendships, raise money for a meaningful cause, and compete for a national title.”

The bowlers competed in two seven-game rounds on two different lane patterns designed by KEGEL, the official lane partner of the SYC. The tournament is composed of six different 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 were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal. After both rounds were complete, the tournament champions in each division based on their total pinfall. The SYC awarded a total of $19,000 in scholarships to the youth bowlers.


In the U12 division, two new champions held their trophies high. Nick Trentler of Maryland, edged out the silver medalist, Henry Hind, by eight pins to earn the U12 boys title. Landin Jordan picked up the bronze overall medal. In the U12 girls division, Gianna Brandolino of Illinois, finished ten pins ahead of past champion, Kayla Starr, for the title. Abigail Starkey earned the bronze medal. Both U12 champions medaled on both patterns.

The U15 boys champion, Joshua Collins of Georgia, finished eighth on the medium pattern but he commanded the long pattern. Collins rolled games of 279, 279, 268 for an 826 set games 3, 4, and 5. He averaged 234 to earn the gold medal and earned his first SYC title. Nate Trentler earned the silver overall medal while Hayden Tarris picked up the bronze. In her fifth SYC event, Jillian Martin of Ohio, defended her Music City title to win her fifth SYC trophy. She led the U15 girls field by 155 pins and earned the gold medal on both patterns. Annalise O’Bryant earned the silver overall medal and Rachel Moore earned the bronze.

The U20 Boys division featured a tight race that came down to the tenth frame of the final game of the event. Duncan Whitaker of Washington, claimed his first SYC title averaging 219 for the event and finishing 12 pins ahead of Anthony Neuer and Charles Bostic who tied for the silver medal. Ryan Taylor picked up the bronze medal. Mabel Cummins of Illinois, who has also competed in five events defended her SYC Music City title to earn her fifth SYC trophy. Cummins who will be competing at Vanderbilt University in the fall averaged 216 for the weekend.  Past champion, Caroline Thesier earned the silver overall medal while Jordan Mundt earned the bronze medal.

Every SYC event features activities throughout the weekend for competitors to learn and meet friends from different parts of the country.

Youth bowlers and their families learned about lane play strategies and tips to tackle sport conditions from National Team Storm Member, Kyle Troup, Gary Hulsenberg, and special guest Parker Bohn III. Bohn joined our Team Storm members, Troup and recent PWBA Hall of Fame inductee Leanne Hulsenberg for a Q&A session filled with insights about life as a professional bowler and tons of advice.

Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm PhysiX bowling ball and had the option to have it drilled by the staff at Bowlers Advantage Pro Shop. Many youth bowlers had their PhysiX ready for the practice session where our Team Storm members walked through the field offering advice to bowlers who tested out the patterns they would see throughout the weekend.

Friday night, our SYC families joined us for the SYC Party at the Park where youth bowlers got outside and played throughout the night! Music and games of frisbee, corn hole, and whiffle ball filled the field while Kyle Troup jumped from game-to-game teaming up with SYC bowlers all night long.

“We truly enjoy being able to welcome new families to our events and reuniting with those who are already part of our SYC family,” Hulsenberg said.

Giving back is an important part of the SYC and bowlers come together to raise funds all weekend long for Ballard vs. the Big “C” which 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. 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. Our SYC families raised nearly $5,000 throughout the weekend.

The owners of Logo Infusion, Ken and Kathy Keegan joined us in Smyrna to provide apparel for the SYC. Logo Infusion is the official jersey partner of the SYC and creates customized jerseys to help commemorate each of our events.

"As the Official Merchandiser and sponsor of the SYC, Logo Infusion is proud to be associated with such professional events whose focus is based on education, competition, and new friendships,” Ken Keegan, Executive Director of Logo Infusion said. “It is a pleasure to work alongside the SYC staff at these events and is always fun to spend time with all of the families of these exceptional athletes."

In addition, Dale Garner, of 3G Shoes our official shoe partner of the SYC was on site to introduce the bowlers to the durability, comfort and style of their current lineup. SYC bowlers were invited to visit the 3G booth to learn more about the products and their programs for youth bowlers to take advantage of.

This tournament would not be possible without the generous donation from all of our sponsors, Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Bowlers Journal International. The event was livestreamed over the two days on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page.

Three events remain on the 2019 SYC Tour. The SYC will travel to Sun Valley Lanes for the SYC – Nebraska event, June 28-30. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries open for the SYC – Wichita event June 10 and the SYC - Coastal Classic event on August 5.

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.

 

 


The PWBA Hall of Fame Returns in Wichita

Three members of Team Storm were inducted into the Professional Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame in Wichita, Kansas. Wendy Macpherson and Leanne Hulsenberg were inducted into the 2019 PWBA Hall of Fame in the Performance category and Donna Conners was selected for the Meritorious Service/Builder category. They were the first class to join the PWBA Hall of Fame since 2003. In addition, Anne Marie Duggan, who was elected to the PWBA Hall of Fame in 2003 when the PWBA Tour ceased operations, received special recognition at the ceremony.

We asked the new Team Storm PWBA Hall of Fame to share some of their favorite events to bowl in and some wisdom that they have learned throughout their bowling careers.

Donna K. Conners

  • Founder and executive director of the annual Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament
  • A USBC Silver Coach
  • 2012 USBC Joyce Deitch Unity Award Winner
  • Member of the Houston and Texas Bowling Halls of Fame
  • Won seven PWBA Regional titles
  • Co-owner of Carol Norman's Pro Shop

Favorite Tournament:

Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles!

Because it is very close to my heart! It’s great to see that many talented players under one roof.

Favorite Player:

Liz Johnson

Because she is one of the greatest players on the planet.

Favorite Quote:

"Grab your balls and Save the Ta Ta’s!"

One Lesson That You Learned From The Sport of Bowling:

Don’t quit the day before you succeed!

Something That You Hope the Next Generation Learns:

Find happiness in the journey and never give up on your dream!

Wendy Macpherson

  • 20 Career titles including 6 majors (3 USBC Queens, 2 Sam’s Town Invitationals, 1 US Open)
  • Youngest (18 years old) to capture the U.S. Women's Open title in 1986
  • Youngest (22 years old) to capture the triple crown
  • 1 PBA Women’s Series title (2009 Earl Anthony Medford Open)
  • 10 Japanese Professional Bowling Association titles
  • 4-time PWBA Player of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000)
  • 5-time USBC Women’s Championships titlist (1994, 2007 All-Events, 2000, 2002, 2004 Team)

Favorite Tournament:

WIBC now USBC Queens...It is a tournament where your goal is to remain in the winner bracket and the matches are so exciting.

Favorite Player:

Carolyn Dorin Ballard

Her work ethics are top notch.

Favorite Quote:

"There's always tomorrow."

One Lesson That You Learned From The Sport of Bowling:

Patience. Patience in competing and patience in life. It all works together.

Something That You Hope the Next Generation Learns:

Respect. Starting with respecting parents, family and authority. Respect of people and things.

Leanne Hulsenberg

  • 27 PWBA Titles including 2 major titles (1-USBC Queens, 1-US Women's Open)
  • 3-time USBC Women’s Championships titlist (2005 Classic Singles, 2006 Classic Doubles, 2007 Classic Team)
  • 12-time Bowlers Journal All-American and 1-Time member of Team USA in 2012
  • Inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008
  • 1990, 1991 and 2002 PWBA Player of the Year (First bowler to capture back-to-back PWBA Player of the Year honors)
  • 100+ TV appearances

Favorite Tournament:

My favorite all time tournament is the US Open. Tradition. Big fields. Long format and very prestigious. I led the US Open in 1991 by 400 pins but lost in the finals and I have also had many top fives so when I finally won it in Dallas Cowboy Stadium in 2011, it really meant a lot to me.

Favorite Player:

Parker Bohn III

He is a true professional who I admire not only for his bowling achievements but for the way he acts on and off the lanes.

Favorite Quote:

"Do unto others as they would do unto you."

I have always prided myself on being a very respectful competitor. There is always someone who was better than others each week but that didn't mean they were better than others. We all were out there each week, working hard, traveling and doing the same things.

One Lesson That You Learned From The Sport of Bowling:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal. it is the courage to continue that counts."

I don't remember all the tournaments I have bowled but I sure do remember all the fun times we had each week.

Something That You Hope the Next Generation Learns:

My wish for this generation of the PWBA is that the tour grows and that the young talented bowlers will always have something to aspire to be. I hope the PWBA is around for a long time to come.

Learn more about all of our Storm Athletes and learn more about the players who are part of our Hall of Fame Staff by visiting this page.


Thank You StormNation

Thank you for all your support. Our IQ Tour 20 sold out in less than 24 hours.

Storm joined forces with recent PWBA Hall of Fame inductee, Donna Conners, to initiate our 2019 Paint the Lanes Pink™ campaign by offering 300 Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20™  bowling balls. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to continue the fight on Breast Cancer.

In recent years, Storm Co-Founders, Bill and Barbara Chrisman, have led Storm to produce a limited number of High-Performance Pink bowling balls to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. In a recent visit to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, researchers said that these annual contributions are truly creating an impact in the fight against cancer and the research lab is expanding. These donations wouldn’t be possible without the support of the bowling community and your continued support of Storm.

The 2019 version of the #PTLP Ball, a beautiful Pink and Black !Q Tour 20 bowling ball is a joint venture between Storm and X Out Breast Cancer to help celebrate the 20thAnniversary of the famous Striking Against Breast Cancer Bowling Tournament held in Houston, TX in late July. The “Luci”, as the touring players refer to it, is the world’s largest and most popular Mixed Doubles Tournament in the world. The brain child of newly inducted PWBA Hall of Famer, Donna Conners, the Luci represents the power of coming together in fellowship for a cause. The biggest stars on the PBA and PWBA tours joined forces with top amateurs around the world to via for the coveted championship in a sold-out field each season. Though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October, our 2019 campaign launched early to ensure the !Q Tour 20 balls will be available for the event in July.

An exclusive club of 300 supporters will lay claim to one of these Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20 bowling balls. Each bowling ball will be hand crafted in Brigham City, Utah and shipped free of charge to those bowlers in the continental U.S. (international shipping rates will apply). The Chrismans have elected to donate all the manufacturing costs to ensure the full $90,000 raised will go towards helping someone in the future.

Thanks again for your generous support. Together we are making a difference!


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.


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


Honor Scores Galore with Crux Prime

When our Team Storm players heard the Crux Prime™ was coming to their bags, the excitement was overwhelming. They couldn't wait to get their hands on this ball and punch it up. This ball has produced numerous honor scores around the world in the few weeks that it's been on the lanes.

Here's a recap on some of the honor scores and reviews that have been reported by Storm Nation in the first few weeks after the release of the NEW Crux Prime.

January 13: WATCH Jeremy Hunt, shot 300 with the new Crux Prime at the Cape Girardeau Tournament Series.

January 16: Jordan Racke hit perfection the first game out of the box with the Crux Prime in honor of his friend! Watch the 12th shot.  

"300 first game out of the box after leaving Rick Hitt’s celebration of life, Josh Hitt said “go shoot 300 for Pappy.” That was for you Pappy!!!!" - Jordan Racke

What's inside the Crux Prime? With the Catalyst Core, you, too, will bear witness to unprecedented power, increased entry angle, and a greater margin for error with its dynamic asymmetrical design and vertical cavity technology.

"The first two times that I used the Crux Prime (OOB) in my league I bowled 778 & 766. I have been using Storm bowling balls for more than 20 years and have never been disappointed but the Crux Prime is one special ball." - Lew Agius

January 18: Timmy Powell  put together games of 268-278-259 for an 805 fresh out of the box with his Crux Prime!

January 21: Ric Mccormick with games of 278-266-255 for a 799 set for his first set out of the box.

"This ball is unbelievable. Storm really made something special when they came out with this masterpiece. Right out the box i threw numbers of 267,246,225." - Colin

January 23: Billy Wigand IV had a monster set on the lanes with the new Crux Prime! He rolled games of 300-263-279 for an 842 set.

January 24: Harry Shaffer rolled 820 with his Crux Prime. WATCH his 10th frame of the last game here.

"Crux Prime is a must! This ball hits hard and carries the power through the pins!!" - Ryan McGuire

January 24: Christopher Jannazzo put together games of 279-299-278 for an 856 set with his Crux Prime drilled at Mike Machuga's Next Level Pro Shop.

January 24: Ian Willard rolled 300 with the Crux Prime in the Milwaukie Scratch Trios league.

The innovation that comes with the Catalyst Core is evident with every honor score that's posted. The genius the design is in the cavity which lets the driller remove less mass with most layouts.

January 25: Cameron Bechtol put together games of 269-279-254 for an 802 Series with the Crux Prime. Watch the finish to his set.

"I really love this ball it plays the lanes great, glad I have one of these in my bag." - Cameron Bechtol

January 27: Alex Diercks rolled 300 with the Crux Prime in the finals at Greater Iowa Scholarship Bowling Tour.

When this coverstock encounters midlane friction, it digs in harder, unlike anything Storm has produced to date.

January 27: Jalen Mosley shot 1047 for 4 games (shooting 803 the first 3) with the Crux Prime. Watch his 10th frame.

"I’m starting to believe all this ball does is strike..." - Jalen Mosley

January 29: Jeff Williams put together games of 277-279-244 for 800 with the Crux Prime drilled at the High Roller Pro Shop!

The breakthrough has truly begun. SPEC stands for “Storm Performance Enhanced Coverstock”. The intent behind this formula was to create something that withstands the rigors every bowling ball endures each time it takes a trip down the lane; namely, the friction and oil it encounters.

February 1: Luke Rosdahl rolled 255-246-300 for a 801 series with the Crux Prime.

With SPEC, you can expect consistent performance that is as tireless as it is dynamic. It’s bold, definite, and extremely potent.

February 3: Jeff Shadbolt & Chuck Reynolds Jr. roll 300 with the Crux Prime. Watch Chuck Reynolds Jr.'s 10th frame.

February 5: Lee Sandt took a Crux Prime off the press and rolled 280-257-278 for an 815 set.

"I have to say, there is something special about this ball. The scores being rolled by multiple customers with different styles in different center speaks volumes." - Lee Sandt

February 5: Chris Kishbaugh shot his 100th career 300 with the Crux Prime. He finished his set with a 792 series at Skylanes Bowling Center.

February 5: Jimmy Hannay rolled a perfect 300 game at Bowl America Eastern in Richmond, VA.

February 5: Beau Schenk rolled his 33rd 300 with his Crux Prime.

February 5: Jim Hilligas put together games of 268-267- 289

with the Crux Prime.

"This is a must have in your bag if you need some hook on a tighter condition." - Jim Hilligas

The Crux Prime is available worldwide now. Our Tech Team conducted some tests with this new release at Storm HQ. Check it out here.

Still have some questions about this new release? Whether you have burning questions about bettering your game or just want to know how to get the most out of your new Crux Prime, we’re here with answers. The best part is your questions will help us create how-to videos that will be featured on Storm’s YouTube channel. Each week nine lucky winners will have a chance to earn some new Storm products.

Visit a Storm VIP Pro Shop near you to discuss your arsenal and find out where this new release would fit in your bag.