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


Demore Rolls 878 with !Q Tour Emerald

Can you imagine walking into the bowling center for league night and rolling 35 strikes? This week, Blake Demore did just that!

Demore, 29, bowled games of 300, 278, 300 for an 878 series on Monday, June 3, at Enterprise Park Lanes. This was the first 300 game and/or 800 series bowled with the new !Q Tour Emerald. His last shot of the set were filmed and can be viewed here.

“It felt like any other league night but if felt different after the first 300 game,” Demore said. “I almost felt like I couldn’t miss my target at the arrows. I felt confident more than normal throughout the night.”

A member of our Storm Staff Team, Demore, has been bowling since he was five years old, He graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Business Administration and opened his own pro shop, Blake’s Next Level Pro Shop in 2006.

At his Pro Shop, Demore works hard to deliver exceptional service. He shares his knowledge with his customers recommending bowling balls that will fit best in their bag and introducing young people to the sport of bowling. He coaches youth and high school players in the area so that they can improve and grow to love bowling. In addition, he is always working to improve his game so he can compete on the highest levels. He joined the Professional Bowlers Association in 2015 and has one PBA Regional Title. He has more than 30 300 games (including one PBA 300 game) and 11 800 series.

When he stepped on the lanes for league at Enterprise Park Lanes, Demore was hoping to discover how the new !Q Tour Emerald rolled so that he could share his thoughts with his customers prior to the June release. The !Q has become a staple in bowlers of all levels all over the globe and serves as a benchmark ball in many players bags.

“I was very surprised at how well the ball rolled," Demore said. "How clean it was through the heads, how well it read the midlane and how it went through the pins.”

As the striking continued for Demore, his friends at league and being able to watch the playoff hockey game on TV with his teammates helped him keep his mind clear while his success continued.

“I really didn’t feel nervous until the last shot of game three because I had a chance to tie the house record,” Demore said. "It really didn't hit me until I woke up the next morning when I saw all the posts, messages, and notifications on Facebook."

After his scores were recorded and the applause, high fives, and hugs from his fellow league members concluded there were a few people he couldn’t wait to tell about his achievement.

"I wanted to tell my Mom and Dad," Demore said. "I was also really wanting to tell my brother, Spencer, and my friend, John, who have helped me get back into being myself mentally again. I feel very proud achieving this moment in my bowling career.”

Demore will hit the lanes for two PBA Regionals in Minnesota and will continue to compete as much as he can throughout the summer.

You can visit your local Storm VIP Pro Shop to pre-order the !Q Tour Emerald which is available worldwide June 21. Learn more about this new gem here.


Prather Wins PBA Playoffs for 100K ; Ng and Bond Win on PWBA Tour

Kris Prather Wins 100K in PBA Playoffs Championships

Kris Prather may have never experienced the bowling fans in Maine prior to the 2019 PBA Tour Season but we don’t think he’ll ever forget it. Prather defeated Bill O’Neill to win the inaugural PBA Playoffs Championships and earned the $100,000 first prize Sunday at Bayside Bowl.

“These fans are incredible,” Prather said in the PBA News Release. “I never thought I’d be accepted into a place I’m not from, like I have been in Portland. You hear about how enthusiastic these fans are, but you don’t really know until you experience this place.”

Prather who earned his first PBA Tour title in the PBA Scorpion Championship during the PBA World Series of Bowling X qualified into the 24-player match play elimination competition as the ninth seed.

The PBA Tour aired live on Fox Sports Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Prather defeated Anthony Simonsen in the “Race to 2 Points.” Prather won the first game 217-179 while Simonsen won the second game 247-216 forcing a two-frame roll-off. Prather won the roll-off 49-40.

Prather, a Roto Grip staffer, used a combination of the IDOL and IDOL Pearl in the TV Finals.

 

“When I came out on tour, I didn’t treat it as a job and it showed,” Prather said. “I hope people can see how much I’ve matured over the past five years, and it’s really having an impact on the success I’m having.”

Shayna NG Wins Second PWBA Tour Title

On Saturday, Shayna Ng defeated Missy Parkin in the finals to take home her second PWBA Title at the PWBA Sonoma County Open.

Ng averaged 217 through the 30 games of qualifying and chose to throw her Hy-Road X through most of the tournament. She earned the second seed and in her first match on tv defeated Stefanie Johnson 267 – 204.She moved on to face the tournament leader, defeating Parkin 259- 237. She chose to throw the Code X in her final round.

“I had my ups and downs, but when it comes down to just one final game, it’s really anybody’s game and I was fortunate to have matched up to the lanes better and earlier.” Ng said in the PWBA News Release.

Though Team Singapore will return to Singapore to compete in the Singapore Open the rest of Team Storm will travel to Arizona for the PWBA Tucson Open.

 

Julia Bond Wins Second PWBA Regional Title

PWBA Rookie, Julia Bond is having a summer to remember. He recent University of Nebraska graduate picked up her PWBA card and has already added two PWBA Regional titles to her list of achievements.

Four Team Storm players qualified for the stepladder finals at the PWBA Sonoma County Regional at Double Decker Lanes. Bond earned the top seed averaging 207.6. Fellow PWBA Rookie, Gazmine Mason earned the second seed, Kayla Bandy earned the third seed, while Stephanie Schwartz rounded out the top four. Schwartz climbed the ladder to face Bond in the title match. In the finals, Bond defeated Schwartz 203-178 using a Roto Grip HALO Pearl.

“I know it can be tough, and I know that not every week you can make the cut or take home that title, but it’s nice when it does work out,” Bond said in the PWBA Release.

“It’s not the first time I’ve bowled against these ladies, but it’s a different environment. I was a little nervous, but having this early success makes me feel like I made a good choice after graduation.”

Bond has been a consistent force since joining the PWBA Tour in Nebraska. She finished seventh in the PWBA Lincoln Open and sixth in the PWBA Sonoma County Open.

A bonus for winning, Bond and fellow Team Storm member Elise Bolton have earned their spots in the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown which will air August 24 on CBS Sports Network.

To learn more about all of the members of Team Storm visit our Storm Athletes section here.

To learn more about our Squad RG players check out the Staff Section here. 

 

 


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.

 

 


STORM ANNOUNCED AS OFFICIAL BOWLING PARTNER OF 2019 WEBER CUP

Storm Products Inc. is excited to partner with Matchroom Multi Sport to be the Official Bowling Partner of the 2019 Weber Cup, which takes place at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas from June 18-21.

The 20th staging of the annual transatlantic tenpin tussle will see America as defending champions against a European team desperate to get their hands back on the trophy they lost to Chris Barnes’ side last summer.

The US team features Storm athlete Kyle Troup, while Europe line-up with Storm’s Jesper Svensson and Osku Palermaa, who returns to the team for the first time since 2015 to make his seventh Weber Cup appearance.

“It is a great honor for Storm to now be associated with the Weber Cup as the Official Bowling Partner," said Dave Symes, President of Storm Products.  "Storm has a long history of investing in competitive bowling and we couldn't be more pleased to support the continued tradition of this event."

Emily Frazer, COO of Matchroom Multi Sport, added: “We are thrilled to be working with Storm as we bring the Weber Cup stateside for the first time. Having Storm on board for this year’s event gives us a great chance to work together to grow the Weber Cup and the sport of bowling and we are looking forward to a successful event at Mandalay Bay this June.”

The Weber Cup has a global TV reach and will be shown live in over 100 countries around the world. Sky Sports will air the event in the UK and news of a US broadcaster will be announced shortly. The Weber Cup is the ‘Ryder Cup of Bowling’ and sees four-man teams from the USA and Europe competing in a mixture of singles, doubles and ‘baker’ matches.

Barnes returns to lead Team USA, with Troup, Anthony Simonsen and Jakob Butturff also representing the Stars and Stripes. Dominic Barrett captains Europe with Svensson and Palmeraa joined by Stuart Williams on the team.

Weber Cup XX takes place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this June 18-21. Tickets are on sale now at www.webercup.com.

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

 


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!


Jason Belmonte Wins 2019 PBA DHC Japan Invitational

Jason Belmonte won the DHC PBA Japan Invitational at Tokyo Port Bowl on Sunday for his fourth title of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. This was his 22nd career title.

“I’ve traveled to Japan to bowl for fifteen years and I’ve never won,” Belmonte said in the PBA Release. “Winning in front of the Japanese crowd means a lot; I’m very honored.

Team Storm's Tour Representative, Tim Mack, was on site to help our Team Storm players with their arsenal all week long. During qualifying, Mack woke up with an idea for a drill and layout for Belmonte. They decided to drill the Exclusive Marvel Strike an international release which helped him through the end of the tournament into the stepladder finals.

On the TV pair, Belmonte chose to throw an original Hy-Road and Hy-Road Pearl to ultimately defeat Jakob Butturff 224-213.

Coverage of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour Season continues on Monday with the PBA Playoffs at 9 pm EDT on FS1.


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.