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USBC-Approved 900 Series (33)


Jeremy Sonnenfeld (R), Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 2, 1997
Tony Roventini (L), Greenfield, Wis., Nov. 9, 1998
Vince Wood (R), Moreno Valley, Calif., Sept, 29, 1999
Robby Portalatin (L), Jackson, Mich., Dec. 28, 2000
James Hylton (R), Salem, Ore., May 2, 2001
Jeff Campbell II (R), New Castle, Pa., June 12, 2004
Darin Pomije (R), New Prague, Minn., Dec. 9, 2004
Robert Mushtare (R), Fort Drum, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2005 and Feb. 19, 2006
Lonnie Billiter Jr. (R), Fairfield, Ohio, Feb. 13, 2006
Mark Wukoman (R), Greenfield, Wis., April 22, 2006
P.J. Giesfeldt (R), Milwaukee, Dec. 23, 2006
Rich Jerome Jr. (R), Baltimore, Dec. 22, 2008
Chris Aker (L), Winnemucca, Nev., Oct. 30, 2009
Andrew Teall (R), Medford, N.J., Nov. 2, 2009
Andrew Mank (R), Belleville, Ill., March 18, 2010
William Howell III (L), Middletown, N.Y., Oct. 21, 2010
Matt Latarski (R), Medina, Ohio, Nov. 28, 2010
Bob Kammer Jr. (R), Crown Point, Ind., Jan. 8, 2011
John Martorella Sr. (R), Greece, N.Y., April 12, 2012
Jimmy Schmitzer (R), Riverside, Calif., April 20, 2012
James Williams (R), Pawcatuck, Conn., (bowled in Wakefield, R.I.), April 16, 2013
Joe Scarborough (R), Charlotte, N.C., (bowled in The Villages, Fla. PBA Regional), April 21, 2013
Todd James (R), East New Market, Md., (bowled in Laurel, Del.), March 18, 2014
Amos Gordon (R), Colorado Springs, Colo., April 11, 2014
Earon Vollmar (R), Toledo, Ohio, Jan. 19, 2015
Hakim Emmanuel (R), Stoughton, Mass., Feb. 19, 2015
David Sewesky (L), Dearborn, Mich., Jan. 10, 2016
Dale Gerhard (R), Mill Hall, Pa., Jan. 12, 2016

Sean Osbourn (R) Cypress, Texas Nov. 22. 2016

John Buchanan III (R), Evansville, Ind., Jan. 11, 2017

Sam Esposito (R), Homer Glen, Ill., Feb. 3, 2017

Brady Stearns (R), St. Cloud, Minn., March 28, 2017**




** Pending formal approval by the United States Bowling Congress.


MINNESOTA BOWLER RECORDS 900 SERIES


ARLINGTON, Texas - Brady Stearns of St. Cloud, Minnesota, never thought he'd see a 900 series, let alone bowl one of his own.

Now, he's happily wading through a flood of congratulatory messages after becoming the latest bowler to roll 36 consecutive strikes in United States Bowling Congress-certified competition.

The 23-year-old right-hander tossed three perfect games Tuesday in the City league at St. Cloud's Southway Bowl to join Darin Pomije of New Prague as the second bowler from Minnesota to achieve the score. Pomije recorded his 900 series in December 2004.

Stearns treated the night as a series of hurdles, rather than focusing on the end result - 900 - and that seemed to keep the nerves at bay.

After starting the night with the 18th perfect game of his career, Stearns kept striking and started to think about back-to-back 300s, something he's never done. As the strikes added up, his attention turned to the center's strike jackpot, but he still didn't let the idea of 900 creep into his mind.

"When we got to the last game, I did my best to treat it like another game and just concentrate on making good shots, one at a time," Stearns said. "I knew I had the strike pot around the eighth frame, and after that was the first time I thought about the possibility of 900. At the time, I didn't want to worry too much about it. Whether I did it or not, my life wouldn't change too much, and I'd still be going to work in the morning."

Stearns did go to work Wednesday to assume his role as the manager at the local Little Caesars, but he felt a little different after all, more so as the messages rolled in and the magnitude of the accomplishment continued to sink in.

It also turns out the owners of the store he manages are bowlers and both were at Southway Bowl to witness his success Tuesday night.

They support Stearns' passion for bowling and allow him to have weekends off to compete, which he has done for the last few years alongside some of Minnesota's top performers.

Stearns specifically mentioned the likes of Dan Bock and Chad Nelson, whom he recently accompanied to the USBC Masters in Las Vegas, an event that is proving to be a turning point in his own bowling career.

"I bowled in the Masters for the first time, and even though I didn't cash, just getting that experience and watching all the great bowling really showed me what it takes to succeed at that level," said Stearns, who finished tied for 237th place in a field of more than 390 competitors. "I returned home extremely motivated and ready to work on my game, and it really has paid off during the last month or so."

Following his 15 games of qualifying at the Masters, Stearns got some feedback and advice from Professional Bowlers Association Tour star Bill O'Neill, whom he'd crossed with all week at The Orleans Bowling Center.

Having some of the best bowlers, both locally and nationally, in his corner helps reinforce the lessons Stearns learned from his father, Bob, a former PBA Tour player, who was part of the team that brought Southway Bowl into existence in the early 1970s.

Bob taught Brady and his brother, Scott, how to bowl about 10 years ago, and Brady has worked hard to get better.

The 2017 Masters, and the confidence and success that have followed, have Stearns more motivated than ever. However, he's not quite ready to give up his day job.

"I've been fortunate to be able to bowl with some great bowlers the last few years, and it definitely has helped me improve," Stearns said. "It has been a progression, thanks to bowling more and against better competition, and it has me wanting to get even better and learn as much as I can. In a perfect world, I'd be able to go bowl on the Tour, but for now, I'll continue working and plan to return to the Masters and do better there each year."

Stearns' achievement is pending approval from USBC and would be the 33rd USBC-approved 900. It marks the fourth perfect series of the 2016-2017 season and third of 2017.

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Nebraska.


ILLINOIS BOWLER RECORDS 900 SERIES


ARLINGTON, Texas – Prior to lacing up for league Friday evening at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Illinois, Sam Esposito of Homer Glen, Illinois, had two United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 games to his credit.

By the end of the night, the 26-year-old right-hander added three more perfect games to his collection on his way to becoming the 31st bowler to roll a 900 series.

Esposito connected on 36 consecutive strikes during the Friday Classic league at Strike N Spare II to join Andrew Mank of Belleville, Illinois, as the second bowler from Illinois to achieve the score. Mank recorded his 900 series in March 2010.

After getting through the first two games, Esposito relied on his teammates and friends to keep the pressure at bay as he continued to get closer to having a perfect evening.

“After I got the second one, I thought if I could get the first few strikes of Game 3, I would be able to shake some of the nerves and have a chance at doing it,” said Esposito, who had two 800 series with a high of 822 prior to Friday’s performance. “My friends and teammates were trying to keep me calm, talking about work and keeping my mind off of what was happening.”

Upon arriving to the 10th frame, Esposito stuck to the process that already had got him 33 consecutive strikes to start his set and was unfazed by his surroundings.

“I knew I had a chance to do something that very few people get the opportunity to do, and my mind kind of went blank,” Esposito said. “I just wanted to do the same thing that had worked all night, not change a thing and let my body take over.

“All 38 lanes had stopped, and you could’ve heard a pin drop. There was absolute silence, and everybody was watching.”

Despite the final shot getting right of target, the result for Esposito was the same as he entered the record books.

Esposito was greeted at the foul line after the final shot by friends and teammates, and he’s appreciative of the bowling community for getting to share in the experience.

“I was worried about the final shot,” Esposito said. “I got it right from where I was all night but luckily it came back and struck. I took a big, deep breath afterwards and said thank you. I got tackled by everybody, but that was amazing. It honestly still hasn’t hit me that I shot three perfect games in a row. I’m still in shock, but to have everybody cheering for me and congratulating me was amazing. It shows what a great bowling community we have, and it was special to be able to share that with everybody.”





INDIANA BOWLER BECOMES OLDEST TO ROLL 900 SERIES


ARLINGTON, Texas – Less than three weeks from his 71st birthday, John Buchanan III of Evansville, Indiana, gave himself an early gift as he connected on 36 consecutive strikes to become the oldest bowler in United States Bowling Congress history to record a 900 series.

The right-hander fired three consecutive 300 games Wednesday during the Woodward Commercial Seniors league at Evansville’s Franklin Lanes to become the 30th bowler to achieve the feat, surpassing Dale Gerhard of Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, as the oldest to reach the score. Gerhard was 59 years old when he rolled his 900 series last January.

Buchanan became the second bowler from Indiana to accomplish the score, joining Bob Kammer Jr. of Crown Point, Indiana, who recorded his perfect set in January 2011.

Buchanan laced up on his favorite pair of lanes at the 20-lane facility Wednesday, but he did not find the ball reaction he was looking for early in practice.

“We were on 17 and 18, which is my favorite pair in the house,” Buchanan said. “The ball I usually use wasn’t reacting quite as well as I wanted it to, so I switched to a stronger ball and played a completely different line. I hardly had to change throughout the set – maybe a board through all three games – since I was alone playing where I was on (the fifth board).”

As the strikes continued to add up and Buchanan approached the final frame, his first goal was to reclaim the Greater Evansville USBC series record, which he previously held after rolling an 858 series during a tournament at Franklin Lanes in May 2003.

“Stepping up in the 10th, I was thinking about the city record,” Buchanan said. “I had held the record before at 858, but it has been broken four or five times since then, and I was hoping to get it back. After that, I just tried to stay as calm as possible and make good shots, which I was able to do.

“Holding the record is pretty special,” Buchanan said. “A 900 series is an achievement all bowlers strive for, but only a few are able to attain. I feel privileged to be in that group.”

Buchanan’s achievement is pending approval from USBC and would be the 31st USBC-approved 900.

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Nebraska


NEW YORKER BECOMES 19TH BOWLER TO ROLL 900 SERIES

ARLINGTON, Texas - John Martorella Sr. of Greece, N.Y., grew up around bowling and had the opportunity to experience the sport's ultimate achievement when he rolled 36 consecutive strikes for a 900 series in the Knox Amusement scratch league at Domm's Bowling Center in Rochester, N.Y., on Thursday night.

The accomplishment still is pending approval from the United States Bowling Congress, but would make the 28-year-old right-hander the 19th bowler in history to achieve the feat. It would be the 20th USBC-approved 900 series.

"Before I threw the last strike, I took a deep breath and told myself if I got the last one, I'd tie the world record, and to be able to do it is absolutely amazing," Martorella said. "This just feels incredible. My phone has been ringing all day with calls from friends, the local news, people I haven't talked to in years and even local bowling legends I grew up watching. We have such a great bowling family here, and it's special to be able to share it with them."

Martorella's family has owned Domm's Bowling Center since 1971, and he co-manages the 16-lane establishment with his father, Joe, a Rochester Bowling Association Hall of Famer, and his brother, Frank.

Because of his responsibilities at the bowling center, Martorella often is pulled in different directions, even when he's bowling league. Thursday was no exception, as he spent part of the first game addressing a lane breakdown and organizing brackets.

Toward the end of the set, his 5-year-old son, John Jr., stopped him during his pre-shot routine and asked if he could bowl, too.

"I was able to shoot 300 the first game, and then things started to settle down, so I was able to stay on my pair," Martorella said. "When my son came up to me during my pre-shot swing in the ninth frame, I couldn't help but laugh. It gave me a chance to step back and start my routine all over, and it really helped. I'm glad that he and my father were able to be there with me. My brother bowls in the league, too."

This year, Martorella cut his league participation back to just one league and is having one of his best seasons, which ended Thursday night with a 238 average. He also rolled a pair of 300s and two 800 series earlier in the year. He now owns 15 perfect games and five 800s to go along with his latest achievement.

"I'm here an awful lot, so I decided I didn't want to commit to two leagues this year, which left my Friday nights open to go out and do some other things," said Martorella, who spends about 50 hours each week at the bowling center. "I try to practice every other day, and a lot of my focus is on tournaments on the weekends."

In three weeks, Martorella will head south to Baton Rouge, La., for the 2012 USBC Open Championships, the world's largest participatory sporting event. He will be making his fourth consecutive tournament appearance and looks to improve on the career-best 2,001 all-events total he posted at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., last year. His father won a Regular Team title at the 1971 event in Detroit.

"I've been throwing the ball really well lately, and I hope some of this carries over," said Martorella, who owns a 204.7 average at the Open Championships. "You just try to use something like this to your advantage, and it definitely keeps your confidence up."

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.

 
INDIANA BOWLER ROLLS 900 SERIES

ARLINGTON, Texas – Bob Kammer Jr. of Crown Point, Ind., rolled a perfect 900 series Saturday night. The series is still pending formal approval by the United States Bowling Congress.

Kammer, who would be the 18th bowler in history to roll a USBC-approved 900 series, tossed 36 consecutive strikes in the Saturday Invitational League at Stardust Bowl II in Merrillville, Ind. He would be the first bowler from the state of Indiana to record a certified 900 series.

“It was unbelievable, and I was nervous,” said Kammer, a 41-year-old right-hander. “It’s not something that happens every day.”

Competing on lanes one and two, Kammer said the rest of the league stopped play to watch him after the seventh frame of his third game.

“I was just thinking, please carry,” Kammer said in describing his final strike. “I was taking deep breaths and trying to get the ball clean off my hand.”

Kammer works for Ford Motor Company and may be a local celebrity when he returns to work.

“My phone has been blowing up,” Kammer said. “I am having my 15 minutes of fame and it’s fun.”

Kammer’s 900 series would be the 19th USBC-approved in history. The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.
 
OHIO BOWLER ROLLS 900 SERIES
 
Matt Latarski (pictured) of Medina, Ohio, is part of a bowling family, and he had his relatives by his side when he became the 17th bowler in history to roll a USBC-approved 900 series.

Latarski tossed 36 consecutive strikes in the Sunday Morning Trio league at Roseland Lanes in Oakwood Village, Ohio, on Nov. 28. He is the second bowler from the Buckeye State to accomplish the feat and will join Lonnie Billiter Jr. of Fairfield, Ohio, in the record books. Billiter's 900 came on Feb. 13, 2006.

"This is all pretty overwhelming and still hasn't sunk in yet," said Latarski, whose 900 was the 18th overall and third one of 2010. "I may have struck one time in practice, so I made an adjustment when the lights came on, and it worked."

The league also includes Latarski's grandfather (Ron), father (Kevin), uncle (Kurt) and older brother, Mike, who had to work and missed the historic occasion. Together, the group has combined for 24 perfect games and eight series of 800 or better.

"We root for each other, and they've always been there to support me, whether I bowl good or bad," Latarski said. "We are competitive, but we really just want everyone to have a good time and bowl well."

With five 300 games already to his credit, the 23-year-old right-hander was somewhat familiar with the pressure, but with six 299s also on his record, he knew that even a seemingly-perfect shot wasn't a guaranteed strike.

"I've had trouble finishing off 300s before, and after the second one, I couldn't believe what was going on," Latarski said. "My buddy told me to stay calm and finish it off. Before I knew it, I was getting closer, and about the seventh frame, it started to sink in. I shot my first 300 when I was 16, and I was pretty nervous then, but that doesn't even compare to this."

The 18-team trios league and the neighboring league both stopped to watch Latarski polish off his perfect series. He instantly became a local celebrity and spent time in the days that followed doing newspaper, TV and radio interviews.

Latarski, who carried a high average of 232 last season, now has eight USBC-certified perfect games, while his previous-high series was 812. His latest success was achieved with a 14-year-old bowling ball he acquired from his father last year while trying to get out of a slump.

For now, Latarski will focus on his job as a line cook at the restaurant inside the Blue Herron Country Club in Medina, but his time in the spotlight also could be the first step toward realizing his dream of becoming a professional bowler.

"This is the greatest thing ever," Latarski said. "I never thought I could achieve something like this. To do something I love and achieve this is unbelievable."

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.
 
 
NEW YORKER ROLLS USBC-APPROVED 900 SERIES

ARLINGTON, Texas - William Howell III of Middletown, N.Y., has big aspirations for his bowling career and took a step toward making a name for himself as he became the 16th bowler in history to roll a United States Bowling Congress-approved 900 series.

The 22-year-old left-hander rolled 36 consecutive strikes in the Bruce Bryan 3 Person League at Tarsio Lanes in Newburgh, N.Y., on Oct. 21. He now has 14 USBC-certified perfect games, while his previous-high series was 828.

"That night was truly amazing, and it means a lot to know that I'm now a part of bowling history," said Howell, whose 900 was the 17th overall. "I tried my best to keep my focus, and luckily, I had a lot of people there to support me. I knew I had the line, so all I had to do was put the ball there."

As Howell closed out his perfect set, the 36-lane bowling center grew quiet and the members of the 20-team league stopped to watch him make history as the second bowler from the Empire State to record a 900 series.

"It felt just like a normal night when I started, and after the first 300, I started thinking 800 was possible, but I never imagined I'd get to 900," said Howell, whose father, Bill Howell Jr., competes in the same league. "By the end, it was very crowded, and the entire league was there watching me. It was more emotional than my first 300, and I even broke down and cried after. I just couldn't believe it."

Howell's high average last season was 228, but he encountered some struggles on the lanes earlier this year. He turned to former Junior Team USA member Matt O'Grady for help and got things back on track. Howell and his father drove an hour and a half to Hudson Lanes in Bayonne, N.J., for a tune-up with O'Grady, and it clearly paid off.

"I just felt like I wasn't throwing the ball very well, or there was something weird in my approach, so I went to see Matt for a professional opinion," Howell said. "He told me that in his opinion, everything looked OK, and that helped my confidence. He showed me some hand and finger positions that I've been working on since, and obviously, that helped, too."

O'Grady, who honed his skills as a member of Junior Team from 2006-2008, prides himself on his knowledge of the physical game and lane play and was able to quickly assess Howell's game.

"Bill's fundamentals were solid coming into our lesson, but we made a few small tweaks involving grip pressure and increasing the leverage at the bottom of the swing," O'Grady said. "He was instantly able to be more consistent, create more area on the lane and adapt to changing conditions much quicker."

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.


 
ILLINOISBOWLER ROLLS 900 SERIES
 
ARLINGTON, Texas – Andrew Mank of Belleville, Ill. has joined an elite club becoming the 15th bowler in history to roll a United States Bowling Congress-approved 900 series.
 
“In the ninth frame of the third game I rang a 10 pin,” Mank said. “Then a messenger came and took it out. Thank God.”
 
Mank, 22 rolled 36 consecutive strikes March 18 in the Thursday Men’s Handicap League at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville. Everyone in the bowling center gathered behind lanes one and two to watch his final frames.
 
“The whole place went wild like a Cardinals baseball game,” Bel-Air Bowl staff member Paulette McCullough said. “We were all so happy for him.”
 
Mank, who started bowling at age 3, had several certified 300 games and 800 series to his credit heading into this season. Mank aspires to bowl professionally some day and said he is thrilled his league voted to be a USBC certified league allowing the accomplishment to go in the record books.
 
“I am glad it was certified,” Mank said. “If it wasn’t, who knows if it could ever happen for me again.”
 
The first USBC approved 900 occured Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions. Mank said he will be looking for a PBA Experience USBC Sport league this summer in the hopes of being the first.
 
“I love challenges,” Mank said.
 
 
NEVADA, NEW JERSEY BOWLERS ROLL 900 SERIES THREE DAYS APART

ARLINGTON, Texas – Chris Aker of Winnemucca, Nev., and Andrew Teall of Medford, N.J., recently became just the 14th and 15th bowlers, respectively, to roll United States Bowling Congress-approved 900 series.

The feats were accomplished within three days of each other and were the first since Rich Jerome Jr. of Baltimore had a 900 series on Dec. 22, 2008. The first approved 900 did not occur until Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb.

Aker, a 47-year-old left-hander, had 36 consecutive strikes Oct. 30 in the Friday Night Mixers League at Spare Time Bowling Center. Teall, a 24-year-old right-hander, matched that Nov. 2 in the Monday Invitational League at Medford Lanes.

“It was pretty cool, and doing it with my wife bowling on the team was pretty special,” Aker said. “She usually gets nervous and can't watch, so she's only seen one or two of my previous 300 games. This time she watched pretty much every frame, which is nice.”

Aker had seven 300 games and an 825 high series before his 900 series. Teall had five earlier perfect games and beat his previous best series of 813.

“I really wasn’t thinking of a 900; all I was really focused on was getting a 200 to get 800,” Teall said. “I’m still on Cloud 9. I didn’t know what to do. People behind me were going pretty crazy but I didn’t know how to act, whether I should jump up and down or fall to my knees.”
 
Aker and Teall are the 13th and 14th bowlers to roll approved 900s, all on regular league lane conditions. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.
  
 

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