Jillian Martin Makes History On PWBA Tour

Jillian Martin is no stranger to breaking records, but she made history Tuesday night when she became the youngest bowler to win a Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour event at just 17 years old at the PWBA BowlTV Classic.  

As the top seed, Martin defeated fellow Storm Staff Member, Verity Crawley 221-188 to earn her place in the record books, a crystal trophy and claim the $10,000 prize. The record was held previously by PWBA & USBC Hall of Fame Member Wendy Macpherson who won the US Women’s Open as an 18-year-old. Wendy is a member of our Storm Hall of Fame Staff.

"I was very nervous going into that match, but I reminded myself how special it was to have an opportunity to win a tournament against the best ladies in the world," Martin said in the PWBA Release. "I wanted to make the most of it and have some fun. I kept telling myself that the whole match. I made a couple bad shots, but it was incredible to have that opportunity and be able to find success at the highest level."

Martin of Stow, Ohio joined our Evolution Staff Program in 2021 and is a member of our Storm Pro Team. This isn’t the first record she has broken. At age 14, Martin decided to move up and compete in the U20 age division at the most prominent youth bowling stage, the 2019 Junior Gold Championships. She led qualifying and is the youngest female to make Junior Team USA. She tied for ninth at the event.

 In addition to being a member of 3-Time Member of Junior Team USA, she has earned 2 Youth Open singles titles and one Youth Open All-Events titles. She was also named the Ohio High School State Athletic Association Girl’s Bowling Champion as a freshman. She placed second at the 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic and third at the 2021 PWBA Hall of Fame Classic won the inaugural PBA Junior National Championship in Florida and has claimed 10 Storm Youth Championship (SYC) titles, which is a record for the girls’ division. Her dedication to the sport of bowling on the lanes is matched off the lanes in the classroom where she maintains a GPA greater than 4.0.

Martin is certainly a rising talent in the sportt of bowling and it’s an honor that she has chosen to represent Storm Products. She will appear on "FOX & Friends" on Saturday to help celebrate National Bowling Day.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip, 900 Global, 3G and Master Brands. . In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers. Visit stormbowling.com to learn more.

 

 

 

 


The Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Returns To Houston

The PBA-PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm returns this weekend at Copperfield Bowl. This is the 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 21st annual event. For the sixth time, PBA and PWBA titles will be on the line for PBA and PWBA members.

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. The players are back together to help support the research efforts to find new innovations for the cure and treatment of breast cancer and other cancers. 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.

 

On A Mission To Find A Cure

“It’s about people coming together for a dreadful disease,” Donna Conners said. “When you think about it, breast cancer doesn’t ask any questions. It doesn’t care if you a mother, if you a father, or who you are. Breast cancer hits everybody.”

PWBA Hall of Famer, Donna Conners, leads this event and it truly 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.

Storm Bowling Products have been proud sponsors of the event since 2002 and supports the event in every way possible. It’s an event that our team looks forward to each year.

“Having Storm Bowling Products behind me is like having wings that just lift me up and help me fly.” Conners said. “I feel safe. I know that they’ve got my back and they’re always there to help me. Without these sponsors that like Storm Bowling Products, High 5 Gear, and all the many, many sponsors who donate time and money to come bowl the pro-am, this event would not be possible

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.

If you’re interested in making a donation, click here.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip, 900 Global, 3G and Master Brands. . In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers. Visit stormbowling.com to learn more.

About The X Out Breast Cancer™ Foundation

The X Out Breast Cancer™ Foundation, also known as Striking Against Breast Cancer (SABC), strives to help raise awareness and fund cancer research through events and fundraisers. Learn more about the heart behind SABC as you travel through our website.


Trend 2 VS Trend | Reaction Testing

True to its heritage, the Trend 2 continues to impress me every time I pick it up. When I needed to be aggressive and step in to project the ball farther out, I could tap into the Piston LD’s power potential with as little effort as a hand position. The weight block is comprised of less dense material than the original Piston weight block. This drives and RG up and lowers the differential so the ball doesn’t get rolling forward too quickly. I also liked the response of NRG Hybrid in the oil when I was deeper inside. I felt accurate with the Trend 2 in my hands, and I was confident from multiple angles. Overall maneuverability was excellent, which made it very easy to get my swing into position and free up my grip. The out of box 1500-grit polished is a little too clean for my liking, so taking it down to 3000-grit might be a good decision as I see myself being able to use it on a wider variety of conditions and in different bowling centers. Out of box, I was roughly 5 boards deeper with the Trend 2 and required a steeper launch angle in order to keep it in the 1-3. NRG Hybrid handles oil without any issues while the Piston LD keeps the ball coming around the corner down lane. The results are evident in the SPECTO graph below.

Despite being set down almost an arrow deeper, the Trend 2 still had over a foot sooner breakpoint with .2° more entry angle into the pocket. As mentioned earlier, these results are due to NRG Hybrid being stronger than R2S Pearl and the Piston LD Core able to shape the lane a little more continuously throughout compared to the Piston Core found in the original Trend.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE TEST:

https://youtu.be/OAY1RubUWUI

 STORM HAS A FULL-TIME TECH REPRESENTATIVE READY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT THE TREND 2 OR ANY OTHER STORM PRODUCT. PLEASE CALL (800) 369-4402 (MON-FRI, 8AM-5PM MST) OR SEND AN EMAIL TO TECH@STORMBOWLING.COM (ANYTIME).


Enter The Storm Lightning Rounds Today

We're excited to partner with our friends at Lanetalk to provide a fun summer tournament, called the Storm Lightning Rounds, where bowlers will compete for over $10,000 in prizes from your favorite center!

It's free to join the actual tournament (lineage payment to your local center required).
Steps to Enter:
1. Download the Lanetalk App
2. Visit a participating local bowling center and pay for your games!
3. Bowl!
Once you submit your scores, you'll be entered for a chance to win $10,000 worth of STORM bowling products, digital services, and unique collectibles.
Want your local center to be in on the competition, forward this link to the owner or manager of your local center so they can sign up.
For more info & full rules visit: stormrounds.com

JOHN GAINES - From the Pro Shop to Team USA to the Hall of Fame

If you have ever bowled the USBC Open Championships, you have likely seen or heard about the famous Lodge Lanes team of the 1990s. which included such Hall of Famers as Chris Barnes, Pat Healey, Jr. and Tommy Jones. It also included fellow Hall of Famer and Team USA member John Gaines, and just a few years ago, John built a new Open Championships team which paid tribute to his first group that dominated year after year some time ago. In 2013, Lodge Lanes Too earned the team title with an incredible score of 3538., giving John his fourth Eagle, and shortly thereafter was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.

 

PRESENT DAY

Currently, I work for K&K Glass. My official title is Business Development Specialist, and we have approximately 180 employees. We are mainly auto glass, replace and repair. But we also offer commercial and residential glazing, or “flat” glass as we call it. I currently run the calibration department.

What is calibration you ask? Many of today’s vehicles have safety features or ADAS (Advanced Driver Safety Systems) They include Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision, Adaptive Cruise Control and so on. These systems use a small camera mounted in a bracket on the windshield. When the windshield is replaced in a vehicle with a forward-facing camera, that camera is not exactly in the same place prior to replacement. The system needs to be calibrated to the new position of the camera. This will help pull the vehicle back to the center of the lane. And you thought RG’s and Diff’s were complicated! I am also transitioning into the sales side. I will be running the fleet sales team and am in the training process currently for that position. I will still be running the calibration department, as well. So, yes, quite busy!

I was fortunate to know the owner of K & K Glass, Dan Knowlton, through my days as a District Sales Manager for a bowling manufacturer. Dan is also a very accomplished bowler and owner of two pro shops. I had grown weary of traveling from bowling. I had been on the road either throwing the ball myself or working in the industry for almost 30 years. Plus, many injuries along the way and I just couldn’t perform to the level I was used to. It was time for a change and a new challenge in life.

I really hadn’t looked very hard, but I was always open to opportunities. I was on the phone one day with Dan and just asked him if he was hiring. At first, he thought I was kidding, then he realized I wasn’t. He asked me what I knew about auto glass or glazing. My response was quick and to the point. Absolutely nothing! But our relationship was strong enough, and he knew I had some business sense. We set up a meeting with himself and his two V.P’s. About a week later he sent me an offer letter. I was actually out on the road working for 900 Global as a ball rep when I accepted the position about a week later. I fulfilled my commitment to them, as well as some others. On July 23rd 2018, I began with K & K Glass.

I do miss my friends. I really miss competition. (One) can’t simulate that feeling of competition. I still bowl once a month in a local doubles’ tournament with Kelly. I bowl our state tournament every year. But I have a beautiful wife and three great kids. My son John has started to show an interest in football, so we throw the ball around a lot. He even likes running routes like a wide receiver. First time he caught a bomb I threw he turned around and spiked the ball and threw his arms up in the air!

My daughter Madison has shown some interest in Volleyball. Couple weekends ago just her and I went and played mini-golf. My youngest Ryan is now 16 months and running all over the place. He is hilarious to watch. Kelly still loves to bowl and bowls league once a week. She also has been bowling some local ladies’ events lately. I’ll still bowl with Kelly and some other small events, and I do thoroughly enjoy bowling those with her. I would rather help her achieve the goals she has for bowling than bowl myself.

But to get ready for a national event is just not in the cards right now. As you can read from the previous pages, I have been very lucky to have the career I’ve had. More importantly to meet the people I’ve met and be in my life. Even the people I work with now. Most of them don’t bowl, but it still came through bowling because of the relationship I had with Dan (Knowlton) through bowling. I’ll forever be grateful to this game, sport, and industry of bowling. In the words of the late John Davis “What a life!”

 

THE 1990’s

You (Steve Kloempken) and I met through a mutual bowling friend Rod Mclean. I grew up in the greater Baltimore area and Rod was a prominent player. When Rod got back from one of his trips, I was naturally interested in hearing his experiences. He talked about traveling to a different country and bowling for the Stars and Stripes and standing on the podium hearing the Star-Spangled Banner. He also talked about some of the young players like Rick Steelsmith and yourself. When I went to Vegas for one of the High Roller events, I saw your name, and basically walked up and introduced myself and, well, our friendship has been there ever since!

I also owned the pro shop with Mark Anderson at Country Club Lanes where the tournament was being held. Country Club Lanes was very well known as it was owned by Dennis Baldwin. Dennis was also CEO and President of Faball. Dennis loved promoting the center and being in the limelight. Country Club Lanes hosted PBA and LPBT national tour stops. It also hosted PBA Regionals. It’s actually the center where I won my first PBA Regional title also. So yeah, I kind of knew the center pretty well and ‘didn’t mind’ bowling there!

I had already met many bowlers and industry people by the time Mark and I became owner of World Class Pro Shop. I met Mark while he was working for Wayne Stepp and Glen Burnie Pro Shop. Wayne was a very good player in the area and an excellent ball driller. We were pretty much THE place to go for bowling equipment. Wayne and Dennis Baldwin struck up a business/friendship relationship. We were fortunate enough to have direct access to anything and everything coming out of the Faball plant. Including drilling many test balls. It’s how I met Wes Pye. Wes would be great at calling me at about 6pm and saying, “hey could you drill a couple of test balls for me?” Sure, no problem. Little did I know that sometimes he would bring 10-15 balls to drill! We would be there sometimes until midnight drilling balls (maybe a Crown Royal or two, allegedly. Insert more stories here)

Again, Country Club Lanes hosted many national events. The LPBT Hammer Eastern Open was one of those. Fortunate enough to get to know many of the players. One of those players and ESPN color announcer for the ladies’ tour, Leila Wagner, moved to the Annapolis area. She asked Dennis where to go to get her equipment drilled. Easy enough Wayne Stepp and Glen Burnie Pro Shop. (I) got to know Leila quite well. One of her best friends Sherry Slaughter, whose then husband Wyatt, at one point was the LPBT Tournament Director. Sherry was from the Dallas/Ft Worth area. She said anytime I wanted to come down and bowl some tournaments I was more than welcome to stay at her house. At the time I said ok thanks but never thought anything of it. I didn’t realize at the time how many great players there were not only from the DFW area but up and down the I-35 corridor. With great players come great tournaments. One of those tournaments was the Red River Doubles. They had a men’s tournament in the summer and a mixed tournament in winter. Sherry called me up one day and said she had a pretty good female bowler looking for a male partner for the tournament. I was kind of like you want me to fly all the way to Dallas, drive a couple hours north to Wichita Falls Texas to bowl a mixed doubles tournament? Are you crazy? Then she explained the prize fund. $10,000 first plus the Calcutta. Uh what? $10K first for a mixed tournament? And what the bleep is a Calcutta? She explained that also. Oh yeah and there where these things called brackets and “The Store” I had never heard of either. Well, I guess the prize fund is worth it. But still need a good player to make it worthwhile. Oh yeah, your partner. Ever heard of Anne Marie Pike (now Duggan)? Yep, I’m in.

 

TEXAS-STYLE BIG MONEY ACTION

Wayne and I fly down to Dallas. Stay at Sherry’s for a night. Drive to the Wichita Falls and a 20-lane wood center with above ground ball returns. Are you kidding me? Well, if this is where it is then so be it. Long story short (Wes Pye-ism) Anne Marie and I (mainly Anne Marie. She bowled phenomenal and I just tried to keep up) beat Carolyn Dorin (Ballard) and Mike Scroggins for the title. I met what would become some of my best friends that weekend.

I came back from that tournament shaking my head. I knew I wanted to do this silly thing called bowling for a living now more than ever. But I also knew I had to improve greatly seeing some of the talent that weekend. That was January of 1989. I called Sherry sometime in March or April of that year and asked if the offer was still open to come stay at the house. She said sure how long? I said well I need to figure this thing out. How long can I stay?[i] She said whatever was fine with her. I told her I was coming down until my money ran out. I took about $2500 out of my back account. Loaded up my Chevy Blazer and headed to DFW Memorial Day Weekend. Sherry worked at Showplace Lanes in Euless, TX. Up till this point in my career I had never seen any place like this. Huge center. Gorgeous. (She) introduced me to David Garber, Jim Welch, and pro shop owner Bruce Rowe (insert more stories here. Including the time Bruce threatened Tony Franklin if he did that one more time, he was throwing a bevel knife at him. Well Tony did it one more time and sure enough next thing I see is a bevel knife stuck in Tony calf! Merely a flesh wound). I ended up finishing 2nd in the first tournament I bowled. I made enough in the tournament and side action to basically support me for a couple months. I was then introduced to one of the most talented players I’ve ever met to this very day. Randy Johnson.

Randy was truly one of the best. His dad Bill was also a very accomplished player. Randy told me where we were going to bowl for the summer. Monday at Advantages, Tuesday at Blazer, Wednesday at one of the Don Carter centers, and Thursday at Showplace. Wait what? 4 summer leagues? Then again explained all the brackets (there’s that bracket thing again) and all the side action, especially doubles for some reason, you can handle. Well, all in with brackets and side action it was about $1,000 a week to bowl 4 summer leagues. But in a good week I made about $2500 for the week. So yeah, I’m in. Friday was either a “rest” day or a travel day to some tournament somewhere. Randy and I ended up winning a couple doubles tournaments that summer. Randy and I traveled with Brad Hunter. Low man had to sleep on the floor or pull-out couch. Randy was never low man except once in San Antonio at Astro Bowl and the $50,000 first place U.S. National Scratch championship. Randy wasn’t too happy with the fold out couch mattress. It was removed quickly and over the balcony it went. I just shook my head and well that’s on you don’t touch my mattress. LOL

I ended up now knowing I could really do this for a career. I met what would become one of my teammates, doubles partner, and best friends to this day Chris Barnes that summer. More on that later. I also met Del Ballard that summer. Del was a great elite player winning many titles and majors. He also became one heck of a coach, ball rep, and friend to many players that have gone on to have huge careers. Gave me one of the best pieces of advice I ever received, “you know how to throw the ball, but you have no idea how to bowl.”

At the time, I had zero clue what he was talking about. Over the course of time, I realized it’s not just about physical talent; it’s all the nuances of the game and how you process those mentally.

Throwing the ball became somewhat easy. It was managing everything else. Traveling, hotels, restaurants, dead time when not bowling. And yes Mr. Barnes even practice!

The next few years I bowled as much as I could. Anywhere and anything. Mark and I also still had the pro shops in Baltimore. Everything was going ok. But ok wasn’t enough for Mark and me. Through my travels the next couple of years I bowled anything and everything. Mark and I also still owned the pro shops in Baltimore. Things were going ok. But that wasn’t enough for Mark and me. Through my travels, I had met Ebonite V.P. of Sales Bill Supper. Ebonite sponsored several of our World Team Challenge teams. With that I also met Ebonite Brand Manager Brian Pursel.

Brian also owned one of the manufacturer’s booths at nationals. He knew I had pro shop experience and was looking for a ball driller and someone to run the Ebonite Booth. I liked the idea and accepted. I worked the booth for Ebonite in 1997 in Huntsville, AL. During my time in Huntsville working the booth, they had this new bowling technology called C.A.T.S., or Computer Aided Tracking System.

I could always hook the ball, but I wasn’t very good at going straighter up the lane, especially on the gutter. Up until that point, the gutter for me was about 7. Then I watched guys like Duke, Ozio, and Walter Ray Williams Jr. What they did was remarkable. The C.A.T.S Lane not only read the full board but half boards, also. It would read .5 at the arrows, which would be to the right of center of the (first) board. Try throwing a shot, hit .5, and not go in the gutter. If it has any angle at all, it is going in (the gutter). Well, if I threw one gutter ball in Huntsville, I threw 100! Over the course of time, I learned how to adjust my vison and body angle to go pretty straight up the lane. I’m still not going to beat Walter, Norm, or David doing that every day, but I could now hold my own now.

 

TEAM USA

I had always wanted to make Team USA. I really wanted to bowl with my good friend and teammate Chris Barnes. When I got home, I bowled a local qualifier at Fort Meade Bowling Center. Interesting qualifier. They had just resurfaced the wood lanes. Well, the company that did that didn’t do such a great job. There were ridges and ripples and not much consistency from lane to lane much less from pair to pair. Scores were very low. It is the only tournament I didn’t shoot a 200 game and yet ended up plus. I basically shot 190+ every game and then one of the games struck lightning in a bottle and shot 300! It was ugly. 2-3 Brooklyns and a couple of cave-ins. One or two good ones and shoot the number. I was fortunate to win the qualifier and get to the state finals. Because of how small Maryland is, only the winner from the state would go to Team USA National Finals. Fortunate enough to win the state finals. Finally, a shot at making the team. I get to Eden Prairie, MN.

Again, bowling about as well as I ever did in my career. Things work out and I make the team! I still have some unfinished business, however. Because of the format they have a TV show for the title of National Amateur Champion. I qualified 2nd for the show. I bowl amateur phenom Mike Neumann in the first match. Luck out, make a good shot here and there and win the first match. Now, bowling Kurt Pilon for the title. The lane got really tight down the lane. Where the ball would hook back from wouldn’t hook any more. I made a huge move right (learning how to bowl) and made some good shots with it and was fortunate to win the title of National Amateur Champion!

With being NAC, I was also eligible to represent the USA at The World Cup. Unbelievable! I make the team, win, get to bowl the World Cup and get to bowl with one of my best friends in Chris Barnes? Heck yeah. Oh wait. That was when Chris decided to turn pro and bowl on the PBA Tour. Yeah, we all see how that decision turned out! (Chris) only turned out to be one of the greatest players of all time. I will tell you that  I thought Chris was good before he went on tour. Not even close to how great of a player he became. If you ever really want to find out how good you are, or are not, go bowl on the national tour. PBA Regionals are one thing. Good players and usually a tour player or two. The guys and ladies out on their respective tours are way better than most will ever know.

And with making Team USA, I was able to be around some of the best coaching available now. This is where I met Richard Shockley who was also one of the coaches from the newly founded Kegel Training Center located in Sebring, FL. at the time. Getting to know Richard, he could see not only did I love to bowl but I loved to coach, also. Kegel was looking to add a name player to the coaching staff. I (m)et with John Davis (brilliant mind) Actually interviewed at the same time, unique for sure, with John and the now current president of Kegel Chris Chartrand. Both of us were offered jobs, Chris in marketing and me as one of the coaches in the training center. I (m)oved to Florida Labor Day weekend 1999 and have been in Florida ever since.

 

The Storm Booth

Not long after making Team USA in the summer of 1997, I got a call from William Deken (thanks Steve O!) William had run the Storm booth for a few years. He was looking for a ball driller to assist Steve and Paul Fleming. This also came with the agreement of a Storm contract. I’m in! Load up the 92’ Black Astro Van and head cross country to work nationals in Reno, NV. Because of the weather across the country in late January, and also because I’m going to bowl the Super Bowl High Roller in Vegas, I take a southern route.

I had several friends from my time in DFW that I had not seen in a while and so decided to break up the trip for a few days and stay with Andrea and Paul Fleming. I continued on to Vegas and then Reno to work the booth. Again, many fun times working the booth with great friends. If any of you reading this story remember, please be sure to ask Steve about his favorite delegate from NY! Or also ask him how many times you can play in a row a Metallica song, the same single song, at a country bar called Jimmy’s Chicken Shack.

The Storm Booth also sold Dexter shoes. With that we also had a workstation to replace soles or heels or customize shoes. Steve created the first dress shoe bowling shoe. Lonnie Waliczek brought a pair of nice dress shoes to Steve in the booth. Lonnie wanted something nicer than a bowling shoe and asked Steve if he could customize his dress shoes to bowling shoes. The look on Steve’s face was priceless! Steve was a master on the belt sander we used to trim down excess or smooth the edges. It took Steve a few weeks of coming up with a plan and working on taking off quite a bit of material on the bottom of the shoe including the heel to make room for Velcro® and having a bowling heel attached. The dress shoe heel was quite a bit higher than the bowling shoe heel. Then he had to make sure they were equal height form left shoe to right shoe. Masterpiece! And Lonnie went on to wear those for quite some time.

By the following year, Steve had moved on to start his career in Utah at Storm headquarters. So, I was asked to run the Storm booth in 1999 in Syracuse, NY. Steve would make a “guest” appearance during some of the busier times of the tournament like during Masters week. But overall, the booth was worked by David Garber, Mike Machuga and me with part time local bowler Dan Smith. Syracuse, NY is exactly what you think it is in January and February. Brutal cold and snow. But again, some good times. One of my favorite golf courses I still talk about was Radisson Greens. This was my third year in the booth and being gone for 6 months at a time wasn’t going to work anymore.

 

KEGEL TRAINING CENTER & MORE

I spent a couple years coaching in the training center at Kegel. Some of the greatest bowlers in the world would come through those doors to practice and learn. Having a front row seat to watch how hard they work at their craft, but to also be able to ask questions about how they think and go about their business was priceless. I also learned most of my lane play philosophy be being able to bowl and change lane patterns pretty much whenever I wanted. Learning about the lane and topography. Learning about the oils and how they break down or move. Learning about lane patterns. Learning about the machines that applied the oil and patterns. I was truly blessed to have all of that in one building and that was where I got to work. Amazing!

I had been at Kegel for a couple years coaching. Everything was going ok. But I had always dreamed of going on the PBA Tour. The PBA was struggling a bit and with all the amateur success I had the timing just was never quite right. When the PBA was sold to some Microsoft Execs in 2000 it piqued my interest once again. It was now time to try and bowl against the greatest bowlers in the world on the PBA Tour. I had bowled a couple of stops before winning local qualifiers. I had bowled and cashed in the U.S. Open and Masters. I was 33 years old, and if I’m ever going to do this now is the time. Chris (Barnes) was already out there having success. I had several other friends out there like Dave Wodka and Jason Couch. Another good friend and teammate Tommy Jones was also getting his card and going out full time. So why not. Tommy and I would end up rooming together (insert many more stories LOL) for the first several tournaments. We had already roomed together at World Team Challenge tournaments, High Rollers, and many other events. TJ would go on to win PBA Rookie of the Year. He would also go on as we know to have a Hall of Fame career. Just a natural talent. Heck of a golfer also. It was a great fit. I on the other hand went through the worst period of my bowling career. I wasn’t throwing the ball very well. The injuries I had through the years were catching up. Then I started to press as I watched some of my best friends make the finals every week while I was in the bleachers clapping for them. It just didn’t work out. But everything happens for a reason.

I get to the tour stop in Las Vegas. Dave Wodka had left the tour to go to work as a District Sales Manager for Ebonite. Dave was from Vegas and was home the week of the tour stop. Dave comes up and asks, “how’s it going?” I said, “if a job came along, I would take it immediately.” He kind of looked at me funny and asked, “are you serious?” I replied, “Yep! This isn’t working out, and it’s time.”

He came up to me the next day and handed me his phone. He said it was V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Ebonite on the phone and wanted to talk about a job opening they had. I literally had a phone interview on the concourse of Showboat Lanes in Las Vegas. A couple of weeks later had a face-to-face interview with Bob Reid and Brian Pursel whom I knew from running the Ebonite Booth at nationals. A week later I had a job offer and for the next 12 years worked as a DSM for Ebonite.

Over the next twelve years, I still bowled many PBA regionals and other local events. But injuries were mounting, and I now had a family. And it was starting to be harder and harder to train and bowl at the level I was used to. After I left Ebonite, I went to work for Cliff Barnes and Bowlers Mart. Cliff and I had known each other for many years. He knew I was done traveling and wanted to be home more. Cliff also understands the importance of growing the sport. We came up with the idea I would be Bowlers Mart’s Head of Coaching and Bowler Development. I was doing some coaching camps with Mark Baker.

I consider Mark to be the best coach the game has seen in many years. His book and DVD The Game Changer is truly just that. His eye for the game is second to none. He was able to pinpoint several areas of the physical game that were key to becoming a more consistent and better player. There is a reason that bowlers from all over the world and particularly the PBA and PWBA tours seek out Mark for his coaching. I coached and did clinics through Bowlers Mart. Cliff has gone on to become one of the best bowling retail operators in the country.

 

USBC HALL OF FAME AND OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS REVISITED

I was fortunate to have many accolades, and I felt close to getting in the USBC Hall of Fame. I was in the same position as Bob Goike many years ago. I felt I needed one more title of some stature to help my resume. I then started to look for potential teammates. I had a good start with knowing some great players here in Florida. I was able to convince Vernon Peterson whom I had met through Team USA and megabuck events. I had become friends with Scott Newell. I had talked with Goike to see if he had any ideas and he said one person I should consider was Mitch Jabczenski.

Mitch and Bob have bowled nationals together for almost 40 years. Mitch had the experience and an Eagle and knew what it took. Plus, Mitch was still bowling some sort of tournament almost every weekend. I was still missing a piece, however. It took a while, but I was finally able to convince John Janawicz to join our team.

I knew we couldn’t do this with just one team, however. Nationals had very much become a group effort. I called Jeff Ussery who I became very close with while working together at Ebonite. Jeff was the Hammer Brand manager. Super smart. Understood bowling balls and lane play. Great bowler himself ( I wish he knew and believed that himself, sometimes). He just never realized how big of a deal the Open Championships were and always just bowled with some “college buddies.” 

I wanted to pay tribute somehow to (Bob) Goike and Lodge Lanes from years past. I came up with Lodge Lanes Too. Took a couple years but one great night 10 guys worked and communicated together. Lodge Lanes Too went on to not only take the lead but break a 20-year-old team event record! We had already taken the lead. We were just trying to pile on as many pins as possible to make it hard for anybody to get to the lead. Janawicz was our anchor bowler. He had zero clue of the record. He went on to throw 30 in the pit in the 10th.  Three straight shots just pure high flush. As the third one was halfway down the lane, I was already halfway up on the approach getting ready to give John a huge hug and high five. He turned around and I said we did it! He said yeah cool we took the lead. No John we broke the record! He had no idea. It was great.

Mitch is crying because he never thought he would get there again. Scotty and Vernon had their chance at their first Eagle. Janawicz would have a chance to add to his Eagle tally. I just took a step back and went through the whole journey of putting the plan together and watching it come to fruition was magical. We bowled together a couple more years. Jeff’s team had a couple chances to win and didn’t quit get there. Something else I really instilled in the guys was this is one team with a companion team. This is ten guys working together. Even though Jeff’s team didn’t win, watching them make two runs at the lead and finishing 4th one year I knew I had the right 10 guys and a good plan.

I wrecked my knee (again) in 2015 only a couple months before The Open Championships in El Paso. (There was) no chance I could bowl. I did some digging, thinking of someone to sub for me. (I) made a phone call to some guy from Florida named Norm Duke. He was quite surprised and not quite sure what to think. He had not been eligible to bowl for years because of his PBA status. He asked some questions when, where, dates, and most importantly who was on the team. We talked for a while, and he said he would get back to me. Well, it all worked out and he said, “you know what, it would be an honor to bowl.” I just kind of said cool and played it off. Told him to get his flights and told him the schedule. When I got off the phone with Norm, I then called Jeff Ussery and told him you’re not going to believe this, but Norm said yes! I was giggling like a little kid. I really wasn’t planning on going to El Paso. Unknown to me Jeff had already called the other guys and they all agreed and wanted me there. So much so they paid for my flight.  I’m not sure they still really know how much that means to me to this day. I again knew I had put together the right guys and teammates. Having Norm there was obviously a big deal. And at times, it was a distraction. I will tell you Norm fit right in and was a great teammate. He was truly genuine and just one of the guys. Participated in team dinners. Communicated great. Was not at all a 'PBA prima donna.'

Not only was he a great teammate those couple days, but he was also a fantastic ambassador for Storm and bowling. When he was bowling it was business with the team. Before and after bowling however he never said no to a picture or an autograph. True gentleman and I thank him to this day.

The rules for the Open Championships were changing again and Janawicz, Vernon, Scotty and myself would not be allowed to bowl together but for one more year. Chris and I had always wanted to try and bowl together again. We ended up putting a team together for Syracuse. Wesley Low Jr, Janawicz, Vernon, Chris and Myself. Pretty good team to make one more run if you ask me. We started out the first two games great. We had enough pins and just had to finish it off the third game. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the third game. We did finish leave the tournament in 4th place, however. Still a great showing. The next day my injuries again prevented me from performing at the level I’m used to. I felt bad as to have someone like Chris Barnes as your doubles partner doesn’t come along very often. But it was still a great couple of days catching up with great friends and meeting new ones.

I really haven’t bowled very much over the past couple years. I’ve kicked around bowling a couple senior PBA events. My wife Kelly has really urged me to at least bowl one or two. The owner of K & K Glass Dan Knowlton has been bowling great lately winning a couple of local senior events. He has asked if I would be interested in bowling. Barnes even called the other day asking if I might be bowling the PBA 50 event at The Villages as it’s only about an hour away. But I don’t want to bowl just to compete or even get a check. If I feel I cannot truly be ready and contend for a title, then I don’t want to bowl. I just don’t think I could go through the rigors of getting ready to bowl. Between the time and the physical toll it will take, I’m just not there.


Storm Products Names Matt Gasn Regional Sales Manager

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products officially announced today that Matt Gasn will join the Regional Sales Team starting June 1. He will support customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Though Gasn started ten pin bowling at the age of four, he had already been learning to knock down pins a few years before that. In Maryland, duck pin bowling is pretty common, and he was already bowling by age two. His dad, Billy, was the one who really encouraged him to enjoy the sport of bowling. Together, they watched PBA telecasts on the weekends. Together, as a family they enjoyed bowling together. As Gasn started to grow, he tried out his mom’s Storm Meteor Flash and enjoyed rolling it. He had so much success with it, that his family decided he was ready for his first reactive ball and got him one of his own. Gasn successfully competed in youth bowling events across the United States and was named to Junior Team USA in 2011. With the scholarship money he earned as a youth bowler he attended Robert Morris University where he helped his team win an Intercollegiate Team Championship title and three consecutive NAIA championships. He graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts in Computer Networking.

“I am humbled and excited to join the team at Storm,” Gasn said. “Our values and vision for the future and growth of bowling align perfectly. Within minutes of talking, I knew Storm Products was something I wanted to be a part of. I look forward to being a part of this team for a long time and hope to help continue to raise the bar that Storm has already set so high.”

Though Gasn has dedicated his efforts to his work off the lanes in the bowling industry, he still enjoys competing on the lanes when he can. He has bowled 75 300 games and has recorded a personal high series of 853. In 2018, he rolled an 802 to finish second in the Singles event of the Regular Division at the USBC Open Championships. Gasn has been dedicated to his service in the bowling industry where he has worked as a technical coordinator, ball tester, assistant product manager, and district sales manager. He will be responsible for building long-term business relationships and assisting with the communication between distributors, pro shops, and consumers in his territory.

“Matt brings a lot of experience to the team and we look forward to him representing the brands of SPI,” Hank Boomershine, Vice President of Sales and R&D. “His energy and dedication to the sport of bowling, both on and off the lanes, matches Storm’s vision perfectly.”

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip, 900 Global, 3G and Master Brands. In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers. Visit stormbowling.com to learn more.


STORM PRODUCTS INC. SPONSORS 2021 US NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM CHALLENGE

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - Storm Products Inc. (SPI), is proud to announce that Storm Bowling will sponsor the U.S. National Junior Team Challenge, August 6-8, 2021 at Bowlerama in New Castle, Delaware. This event is part of the Mid Atlantic Junior Bowlers Tour (MAJBT).

“We are excited to partner with the Mid Atlantic Junior Bowlers Tour and their amazing events for youth bowlers,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Tournament and Events Manager said. “At Storm, we work to inspire existing bowlers and to foster and develop new bowlers to grow the sport of bowling. Providing opportunities to youth athletes who love to bowl is infinitely rewarding. We look forward to a fun partnership with the MAJBT bowlers.”

The MAJBT hosts youth events throughout the Mid-Atlantic States that host bowlers from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. These events feature a variety of formats that include team, doubles, and singles events. Youth athletes travel to these events to develop their skills and learn on the lanes. MAJBT Tournament Director, Billy Gasn, has been conducting tournaments for 25 years. He started the U.S. National Team event in 2017 with 28 teams and the event has grown each year. In 2019, they hosted 45 teams and in 2021 they will host a sold-out field of 58 teams. The event is expected to award more than 70K in scholarship funds throughout the event.

“Storm does amazing things to influence, develop and grow youth bowling,” Billy Gasn said. “We are humbled and excited to be a part of their program. We look forward to doing great things together with them as our partner.”

Storm Bowling will provide resources to help the MAJBT with on-site activations and provide resources to generate funds to support the tournament athletes and events. In addition, Storm will share news from the events on our social media channels and provide livestream coverage at the event.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip, 900 Global, 3G and Master Brands. . In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers. Visit stormbowling.com to learn more.

About Mid Atlantic Bowling Events

Mid Atlantic Bowling Events are dedicated to providing a variety of adult and youth bowling events in the Mid Atlantic. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MID-Atlantic-Bowling-Events-649806972044064/?ref=page_internal.

 


SYC Texas Champions Named At Cityview Lanes

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) invited athletes and their families to travel to Fort Worth, Texas to compete at Cityview Lanes to launch the start of the 2021 Storm Youth Championships (SYC) Season. 174 youth bowlers competed in three five-game rounds on three different Kegel patterns in six divisions determined by gender and age (U18 Boys, U18 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Boys, and U12 Girls) for a national title and a portion of the $14,045.00 scholarship fund. The overall champions are decided based on total pinfall.

“SYCs are a labor of love for our team,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Tournament and Events Manager said. “Storm is a family-owned company and it’s essential for us to provide safe, fun events for families who love bowling as much as we do.  Not only is it important to crown worthy champions, but we also strive to create memorable experiences for all who attend, and that includes the family members who attend too.”

It’s no secret that 2020 was a tough year for youth athletes to prepare and practice for events prior to the pandemic. Though it’s difficult for all youth bowlers, some athletes at the SYC live in areas where most bowling centers are still forced to remain closed, and families have had to be creative to find ways to keep the kids in the game.  As we introduce you to our 2021 SYC Texas Champions, you’ll see stories of dedication, determination and resilience in these young athletes.

Back Row: L to R: Bella Love Castillo, Elias O’Hollaren, Spencer Robarge| Middle Row: L to R: Matteo Quintero, Avery Domaguin| Front Row: Jillian Martin

The U12 division is always a fan favorite to watch. The young bowlers in this division truly balance showcasing their skills in competition while having fun with the other young bowlers on the lanes. These competitors usually become quick friends as they bowl the 5 game blocks. In Texas, two of the youngest athletes in SYC history took to the lanes. Alex Westring (7) and Ellie Kate Murray (6) bowled in their first SYC events picking up tips. Ellie Kate was even able to capture the overall bronze medal and celebrated her seventh birthday on Sunday.

In the U12 girls division, home state favorite, Bella Love Castillo of Texas averaged 178 to earn her first SYC trophy. Castillo, a young two-hander who has bowled in SYC competitions in the past and continues to learn and grow stronger with every event she bowls. Castillo dominated the U12 girls division earning the gold in every round and leading the field by more than 400 pins. She was the only SYC athlete in the field from Texas to earn a title. Castillo will be one to watch as she continues to develop her skills in future youth bowling competition.

In Texas, U12 boy’s division was a tight race between Matteo Quintero of Tennessee and Alex Crowley of Montana. Though Crowley earned gold on both the Short and Medium Patterns Quintero averaged 231 on the Long Pattern to take the overall lead. Quintero, a member of the 2020 Storm Youth All-American Team, never stops working on his game. Since his previous SYC victory in Orlando, he has traveled to compete in tournaments all over the south and Midwest regions. Quintero averaged 206 for the event to earn his fifth consecutive SYC title in Texas.

In the U15 girls division, Avery Domaguin of California overcame obstacles to earn her second SYC title at Cityview Lanes, the same bowling center she picked up her first SYC title in 2018. In every SYC she has competed in, Domaguin demonstrates dedication to the sport and patience throughout each round. This 2-time member of the Storm All-American Team has been extremely limited on which events that she could attend in 2020 due to her father’s travel ban for work. Unlike some her friends in California she was unable to travel on the weekends to Arizona or Nevada. Her family set up a “release drill lane” at home for her to continue to practice on her release and do 1-step drills. As a family, they decided which events Domaguin would travel to compete in, and when they returned, her father was required to quarantine for 2 weeks and a COVID test before going back to work. Prior to her win in Texas, Domaguin and her mother traveled to Maryland for 6 weeks to stay with family where she was able to consistently practice for the first time in a year and successfully competed in some youth tournaments there. In Texas, she earned gold medals on both the Short and Medium averaging 212 for the event and led her division by more than 200 pins to claim the overall title.

In the U15 boys division, Elias O’Hollaren of California averaged 225 to earn his second SYC title in Texas. When bowling centers in California started closing, O’Hollaren and his dad built a platform at home where he was able to continue to practice his balance and approach drills. When some out of state tournaments started returning, O’Hollaren and his family would travel to allow him to get back on the lanes. After each event, he would evaluate his performance and talk to his coach Mark Baker about how he could improve in future events. He would also do self-evaluations and try to find ways to practice the things that he needed to work on. With centers still closed around him including his home center which recently closed permanently, his family would travel nearly two hours to find ways to get O’Hollaren on lane practice time with his coach. The dedication to the sport and sacrifices that his family made truly paid off when he earned two gold medals on the Short and Long Pattern and picked up the title.

The two athletes who took home the U18 titles at the SYC have won events on every level of competition. From local events, to regional events, to national events, and now they both are starting to test their skills against the professionals in the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) competition. They continue to break records and both set the bar higher for total number of SYC titles. In addition, these two athletes who are the first two members of the Storm Evolution Program named to Storm Staff based on their exceptional grades, community service initiatives, and success on the lanes. They have passion for the sport and have aspirations to compete at the highest levels. They also are always willing to mentor younger athletes and help them learn more about the game.

Jillian Martin of Ohio showcases her determination, advanced knowledge of lane play strategies, and enthusiasm for the sport every time she steps on the lanes. Prior to the SYC in Texas, Martin competed on the PWBA Tour in January making two final stepladders and earned the PBA Junior title in Florida. In Texas, she collected the gold medal on the short and medium patterns averaging 213 overall to earn her eighth overall title, a record number of SYC titles for the girls division. After competition is concluded, Martin is always gracious to her fellow competitors. Her dedication to the sport of bowling on the lanes is matched off the lanes in the classroom where she maintains a GPA greater than 4.0. In addition to future youth competitions, Martin plans to compete in more PBA and PWBA events in 2021.

Spencer Robarge, who also took home the PBA Junior title in Florida before traveling to the SYC continues to shatter records. Staying consistent through the first two blocks he had his best performance on the final day averaging 247 on the long pattern. He averaged 234 overall to take home his 11th SYC title. Setting records isn’t new for Robarge, he holds the record form most 300 games of a USBC Youth Player in addition to earning the most SYC titles. Robarge who serves as mentor to several youth players who were competing in the field at the SYC also gives back to the sport by serving on the Greater Springfield Youth and Missouri State Youth Board of Directors. Robarge will compete in the USBC Masters and the PBA U.S. Open in 2021. He has also committed to bowl collegiately at Wichita State University in the fall.

Both Martin and Robarge are members of the 2020 Storm Youth All-American Team.

In addition to the overall champions, the top three athletes in each division were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal after each round.

Overall Medalists: U12 Girls– Bella Castillo (gold), Aleiya Kerrigan (silver), Ellie Kate Murray (bronze).  U12 Boys- Matteo Quintero (gold), Alex Crowley (silver), Jos Weems (bronze). U15 Girls– Avery Domaguin (gold), Karina Capron (silver), Kaitlyn Stull Star (bronze). U15 Boys– Elias OHollaren (gold), Trevor Anifer (silver), Rylan Breese (bronze). U18 Girls– Jillian Martin (gold), Lara Kurt (silver), Victoria Varano (bronze). U18 Boys– Spencer Robarge (gold), Brandon Bohn (silver), Tyler Keller (bronze).

The Medalists on the Short Pattern: U12 Girls– Bella Castillo (gold), Aleiya Kerrigan (silver), Ellie Kate Murray (bronze).  U12 Boys - Alex Crowley (gold), Matteo Quintero (silver), Jos Weems (bronze). U15 Girls– Avery Domaguin (gold), Kaitlyn Stull (silver), Abigail Starkey (bronze).  U15 Boys - Elias O’Hollaren (gold), Trevor Anifer (silver), Gavin Murray (bronze). U18 Girls– Jillian Martin (gold), Frances Davila (silver), Lara Kurt (bronze). U18 Boys– Garrett Andrus (gold), Spencer Robarge (silver), Samuel Calderon (bronze).

The Medalists on the Medium Pattern: U12 Girls– Bella Castillo (gold), Aleiya Kerrigan (silver), Janiyah Graham (bronze).  U12 Boys - Alex Crowley (gold), Matteo Quintero (silver), Anthony Swanson (bronze).  U15 Girls– Avery Domaguin (gold), Charisse Graham (silver), Kara Beissel (bronze). U15 Boys– Trevor Anifer (gold), Spiros Schenk (silver), Chase Swenson (bronze). U18 Girls– Jillian Martin (gold), Lara Kurt (silver) Morgan Brookover (Bronze), U18 Boys– Julian Salinas (gold), Spencer Robarge (silver), James Bennett (bronze).

The Medalists on the Long Pattern: U12 Girls– Bella Castillo (gold), Aleiya Kerrigan (silver), Janiyah Graham (bronze).  U12 Boys – Matteo Quintero (gold), Alex Crowley (silver), and Jos Weems (bronze). U15 Girls– Karina Capron (gold), Keira Magsam and Morgan Kline (silver - tie), Avery Domaguin (bronze). U15 Boys– Elias O’Hollaren (gold), Trevor Anifer (silver), Braden McDonough and Dylan Murray (bronze - tie). U18 Girls– Victoria Varano (gold), Lara Kurt (silver) Katharina Mente (Bronze). U18 Boys– Spencer Robarge (gold), Pablo Prado (silver), Joshua Abigania (bronze).

The SYC is focused on providing education through seminars in addition to fun competition to the families who choose to spend the weekend at the SYC. Ballard’s Bowling Academy and Turbo 2-N-1 Grips sponsored two socially distanced seminars. In addition, every athlete who entered the tournament received a Storm Parallax bowling ball.  The event was livestreamed over the two days on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page and scores were uploaded live through the official scoring system of the Storm Youth Championships, BowlMetrix.

Josh Modelo, Rusty Dickinson, and the staff at Cityview Lanes helped to ensure a safe environment for all the participants and their families. Their support of the SYC ensures the event ran efficiently from start to finish.

Giving back is an important part of the SYC and athletes 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. $10 of every entry will go directly to BVBC to continue to fight the war against cancer. SYC athletes raised $4,360 at the SYC Texas event through entries and ball raffles.

“Team BVBC would like to thank all of the SYC families for their support this past weekend at the SYC in Ft. Worth,” Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, President BVBC said. “One thing we always say is; we may never meet the people we help, but we know by the organizations we partner with that families are not left alone and get help when needed. We truly help give those families a voice when they may not have one.”

The owners of IAM Bowling, Ken and Kathy Keegan provide the apparel for the SYC. IAM Bowling is the official jersey partner and merchandizer of the SYC and creates customized jerseys to help commemorate each of the SYC events. They have also created the Dan Keegan Scholarship for youth athletes to earn scholarship to use towards their education throughout the year. They awarded two scholarships to SYC athletes based on their sportsmanship throughout the weekend. Brianna Archabal and Trevor Anifer were chosen as the recipients and will each receive a $250 scholarship.

We’re proud to partner with great companies to enhance the SYC experience at events including Storm, I Am Bowling, Kegel, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips, 3G Shoes, Master, and Ballard’s Bowling Academy. In addition, P&P Plumbing Co. Inc. and USBC North Central Texas provided local sponsorship of the event.

The 2021 SYC Tour has six events remaining on the schedule. The next event will take place in the Quad Cities May 28-30, 2021. Entries will open in April on the Storm Bowling Website. More information will be available soon for this event.

For final results of all rounds of competition and for more information on the SYC visit the Storm SYC page at www.stormbowling.com/SYC.

About the Storm Youth Championships (SYC)

The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) was created to celebrate all of the great things about youth bowling. Our goal is to bring players and families from around the country together in the spirit of competition and camaraderie. For more information visit stormbowling.com/SYC

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip, 900 Global, 3G and Master Brands. In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers. Visit stormbowling.com to learn more.

About Ballard vs. The Big “C” (BVBC)

BVBC was created out of love for PBA Hall-of-Famer, Del Ballard, Jr., who has survived his battle with tonsil cancer. Since forming, BVBC has raised over $200,000 to help raises funds for continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck, and throat cancer. For more information visit http://www.ballardvsthebigc.org.

 

 


Photo Credit Stars and Strikes Bowling News magazine

USBC Hall of Famer Don Scudder wasn’t in it for Money or Fame

If you have been a competitive bowler over the years, you probably know the name Don Scudder. He is a USBC Hall of Famer from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is one of the most decorated amateur bowlers you will find. Don’s national championships span across several decades. In fact, Don Scudder has won the two oldest tourneys in the US having won the Petersen Classic in 2014 (at age 62) and the ABC Singles title in 1996.

Don’s ties to Storm and the brands of Storm are significant, too. He used the Pacific Storm while earning two eagles and shooting 823 at the ABC National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah. And at the famed Petersen Classic outside of Chicago, Illinois, Don used the Roto Grip Uproar and Storm Mix while earning the coveted Petersen Classic title just seven years ago. Interesting to note, too, is that Don has shot 1600 four different times throughout his career there. And what’s even more impressive is that, for more than 40 years now, he has a lifetime average of 185, at what is known as one of the toughest and most demanding events in the country.

Did you ever turn pro? Or consider it, at least?

DS: Yes I did. I turned pro in 1985, because I wanted to bowl a few Regional tournaments. I had won a Pro Regional tournament in Taylor Michigan in 1982, as an amateur. Pro Tour rules stated that I was unable to bowl any more Pro tournaments until I joined and picked up a card.

At the time I was working full time for the State of Ohio. I was a weekend warrior. I did this for about 6 months, and dropped my card so I could bowl in the new Megabuck bowling tournaments that had just started in Las Vegas.

I had a chance of touring full time on the PBA in 1978.  A restaurant owner across the street from Western Bowl wanted to back me for a year so I could give it a try.

Eddie Jackson, Team USA Captain and eventual ABC Hall of Famer, elected 1989, sat down with me in 1978, and filled me in on the pitfalls of touring. Eddie knew I worked for the state. Eddie explained the money bowling on the tour verses working for the state was not worth the risk. In the end it was his common sense thinking that stopped me from getting a card and I stayed amateur until 1985 . To this day I thank Eddie as I retired at age 55, from the state with pension and health insurance in hand.

In 1996, you won $100,000 in the Mini-Eliminator, defeating Purvis Granger in an exciting finish….throwing a strike to win. How nervous were you stepping up in the tenth there with that kind of money on the line?

DS: When it got to the 10th frame in the title match needing a strike to win $100,000, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous.

However, going back to the start of the week I was hardly able to walk much less bowl. Everything hard to believe happened that week, from starting my 1st two eliminator matches standing at the foul line, no approach, throwing each 1st ball in the middle of the lane at turtle speed and making the cut in both matches with clean games. In fact, prior to the show, I had bowled 11 clean games in making the telecast. In the title match games in the second frames I had splits that I failed to convert leaving me with two open frames for the entire week.  Still – unbelievable I had bowled and won this tournament with a bum knee that was caused by falling on ice in front of Western Bowl the Wednesday prior to the tournament beginning.

Back to the 10th frame the final game needing a strike, I remember telling myself this one is for the title. My mind did not think about the money. I wanted the title. In the 10th I did strike, along with a nine spare to finish the game. It was the happiest moment in my bowling life to win that title and that much money on TV with a bum knee.

On the show I remember striking in the 10th frame and yelling in celebration to my friends who were in the stands “Get me a Bud Light”. I wanted to start a party. Denny the show’s commentator had heard earlier I was on the ABC HOF Ballot for the past several years.  After striking to win $100,000, Denny celebrating with me commented “HOF fame committee take notice”, and at the same time I yelled, “Get me a Bud Light”. It was very funny indeed. HOF must not have taken notice, as I did not get elected into the HOF until 1999.

Winning the Eliminator tournament, there was more. I also received a full expense paid entry fee with airplane fare and hotel to bowl in a tournament in the Netherlands to be held in March 1996. I bowled and finished 4th in the singles, and was second with Ron Pollard in the doubles.

It’s been 25 years now since you set the record Team All Events score in Salt Lake City in 1996…and won the singles there too…. What do you remember from that event and what did it mean to you to win two Eagles?

DS: Our team, Pollard’s Bowl, won the ABC Team All events on the 25th and 26th of April 1996; I don’t think I will ever forget. Our team event in Salt Lake City, Utah on the 25th, found us shooting 3222.  I was low with 620.

Starting off in the doubles Ron and Rick Pollard bowled a pair of 290 games, totaling 580, a record. I believe it is still a record at USBC in the doubles. The Pollards finished 3rd, in the doubles that year.

My doubles partner, Bill Spigner bowled games of 244, 239, and 290, for a 775 total. I shot 654, only one open for a 1429 total.

I did not have a ball reaction like the rest of my team. Bill and I had started our doubles set on 7 and 8. The Pollard brothers, Paul Wolf and Jerry Kessler bowled doubles on 9 and 10. When the set ended, the Pollards moved to 11 and 12 to bowl their singles.

Out of all the equipment I had brought from home, I had one ball left that I had not tried to use until the 10th fill frame of our doubles set. It was a brand new out of the box Pacific Storm ball that had been mapped off by you, (Steve Kloempken). My 1st pitch was during the fill ball, last frame of the doubles and I left a 5-7, split. Bill, who was watching stated “I like that ball motion”. I laughed and said ok, what do I have to lose.

The rest is history. Moving to 5 and 6 to bowl singles, using a Pacific Storm I bowled 244, then 300,  finishing with 279 for a winning 823 series, along with my personal best 2,097 All Events total. The Pollard’s five all shot above 2040, winning and setting the new Team All Events record of 10,422, which stands today 25 years later. This is a dream that I am still living and forever thankful for.

Final thoughts on the 1999 ABC Hall of Fame Induction and more

DS: I was rooming with Ron Pollard in Las Vegas. We were there to bowl the High Roller. Somehow Steve James from the ABC had learned where I was and called me that night to congratulate me on being inducted into the HOF. What a special memory that is to this day. I was inducted in March 1999, in Syracuse, New York.

My fondest memory was of the HOF dinner night, getting to talk with Joe Norris. We sat at the bar and had a beer. His mind was still sharp. What fun it was to reminisce with him talking about his travels and fun he had bowling on his beer teams at the Nationals. He had bowled ABC’s 70 years at that point. What a history lesson I so enjoyed.

It’s the history that makes the ABC, now USBC so great. Tournaments that lose their history go down hill fast. Long live the USBC.

In closing, my final thoughts about HOF. There are two bowlers who I believe that have been passed over for HOF induction. The first is Mike Neumann. What can you say about this guy? The question is, what didn’t he win? 3 to 4 USBC titles, 2 to 3 Megabuck tournaments. (I watched Mike win the Hoinke Super Classic in Cincinnati, my hometown. He started with front 8 in the title match. It was something to see). He also won an overseas tournament in the Netherlands in 1995, (same one I bowled in 1996) and was on at least 3 or 4 National Team bowling challenge wins. There has to be a lot more that I’m missing because he was just that good.

USBC HOF committee, please review the merits of putting this guy into the HOF based on his tournament performance during his short career. He was a special talent that when he was on the lanes there were always people who wanted to watch him bowl. If his name comes up on a ballot that I am able to vote on, he has my “yes” check mark.

The second bowler is Ted Hannahs, from Zanesville Ohio. He has won a USBC title, the Petersen Classic, 4 national tour stops, countless Regional Pro tournaments, was 2nd at the 1982 ABC Masters in Baltimore, multiple National Team Challenges wins, along with countless other tournament wins since the 1970’s. He is a special talent who needs to be recognized as one of the best I got to see in my generation.

Thank you very much, Steve for spending time with me reminiscing about my past history. It was fun to think back about where I’ve been in this game. I did not bowl for the Hall of Fames or the money. I have truly loved our game since I was a young man. It’s great to think about the fun I had traveling, seeing different cities, and meeting people along the way. What a ride it’s been.


Kyle Troup Wins His First PBA Major Title

“Trust in the process and keep working hard.”

Those were some of the thoughts Kyle Troup shared with our team after he qualified for the PBA Players Championship Finals and was preparing for the major event. He spent the weeks dedicated to the routine that he has developed in the off-season. Training off the lanes in the gym, staying committed to his mental work, and staying dedicated to his practice on the lanes.

Troup rolled a three-game series of 741 to earn the top seed in the seeding round which streamed live on FloBowling on Saturday.

“I tried to just stick to the process,” Troup said. “I felt really confident coming over for those 10 shots and this match.”

Troup came in for the championship match and admitted that it didn’t start the way he wanted but he stayed focused and dug deep.

“I just told myself to keep my mind forward and my eyes forward. Keep working, keep pushing, believe in yourself.”

In the end, Troup bowled a 257 game to win the PBA Players Championship for his first career major title and the $250,000 first prize, defeating Dick Allen. Kyle Troup used a Roto Grip IDOL Synergy to win the title. This was the same ball he used in the East Region Final.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Troup in the official PBA release here. “Hard work pays off. I felt very confident in my ball reaction and the angle I was playing. I didn’t really feel nervous at all. I stayed focused and the pressure and the nerves kind of went away.”

This title qualifies Troup for the PBA Super Slam which will feature all five 2021 major winners in a broadcast on FOX on April 18.

The PBA Tournament of Champions begins this week at Bowlero Jupiter and will be streamed live on FloBowling, February 23-26. The stepladder finals will air live Sunday, February 28 at 1 pm Eastern Time on FOX.

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