Father-son team places seventh in national bowling tourney

A father-son bowling team from Isanti recently took seventh place in a national tournament.

Father-son bowling team Steve Schommer and Ben, 11, with professional bowlers Norm Duke, left, and Stefanie Nation. The Schommer team took seventh place in the International Family Tournament in Florida.

Father-son bowling team Steve Schommer and Ben, 11, with professional bowlers Norm Duke, left, and Stefanie Nation. The Schommer team took seventh place in the International Family Tournament in Florida.

Steve Schommer and his son, 11-year-old Ben, were one of two teams from Minnesota to make it to the International Family Tournament in Florida July 26-29, hosted by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA).

“He’s been doing quite well,” Steve said. With a score of 245, Ben bowled his highest game in the state tournament.

Ben won $1,250 for placing seventh, with an additional $500 for being named Best Bowler after earning the most points over the six-game series. The money goes toward a scholarship fund, which now has nearly $3,000 Ben earned from bowling events.

Ben has been bowling in a youth league at Junction Bowl in Isanti for three years. He said he got started when his uncle, Mitch Perry, started coaching him.

“I give him 75 percent credit because he was the one who actually got me into bowling and he gave me lessons, helped me get the right bowling ball, gave me tips,” Ben said. “Without him, I would never be here.”

Ben has his own bowling balls and has become friends with his league teammates at Junction Bowl.

His dad Steve started bowling in a men’s league last year because Ben needed a parent for a teammate in order to place in the International Family Tournament.

Steve and Ben went to state in Big Lake, Minn., this year, where they took second place out of over 80 teams competing, qualifying the father-son team for nationals, where they placed seventh in the finals out of 32 teams.

Ben said the pressure of competing is the most difficult part of tournaments.

“If you’re not doing good, don’t fall apart,” he said. On the other hand, Ben said he enjoys beating his dad.

“Bowling the high games feels good,” he said. His goal is to bowl a 300 game within the next couple years—as long as he keeps beating his dad.

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