La Salle-Peru graduate Nate Stubler has a few major bowling tournaments coming up in the next few weeks before turning his attention to his future career.
Stubler is graduating with his master’s degree then beginning the process of preparing for and taking his CPA exams.
He’s coming home for his first summer tournament.
Stubler will look to defend his title in the PBA Illinois Valley Super Bowl Midwest/Central Open on Sunday in Peru.
“It would be fantastic [to repeat],” Stubler said. “I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself, but anytime I can come home and see a lot of my friends and family and everyone in the community, it always means the world to me to see them. Last year I was fortunate enough to win. If I’m fortunate enough to do it again this year, it would mean the world to me, especially because my parents are able to be there this year. I’ll give it 110% and hope the pins fall my way.”
Stubler enters the tournament bowling well after finishing as runner-up in the Intercollegiate Singles Championship, which was aired on CBS Sports.
“It was a pretty cool experience,” Stubler said. “I just wrapped up my college season with that tournament. I look forward to getting back out there more frequently. I took a little break right before nationals, before I start traveling this summer and getting back into it. [The Intercollegiate Singles Championship] was a really good determinant of where I’m at and what kind of things I need to work on to be successful through the summer.”
Stubler will compete against a tough field that features more than 10 bowlers who have won PBA events.
Brad Snell has 22 titles on his resume, Nick Kruml is the reigning PBA Midwest Region Bowler of the Year, Kevin McCune is the reigning Midwest Region Rookie of the Year and Benjamin Martinez won the previous Midwest Region tournament.
Other champions in the field are Chris Colella, Tim Gruendler, Ryan Lakota, Nathan Michalowski, Nicholas Pate, Steven Taylor and Greg Young.
Nonchampions to watch are Will Clark, a member of Junior Team USA, and Corey Kistner.
“We have a strong field,” said Toby Contreras, PBA Midwest Region manager. “It’s a very popular tournament. We filled it last year. Only [PBA] members were able to get in (Sunday). We had a lot of nonmembers sign up, but per PBA rules members can enter up to the closing date so all these nonmembers got bumped. It really speaks to how Joe Zokal and Eric Acuncius do a good job promoting the event and making it what it is.
“Next year, we hope to have two squads so there will be even more entries. I’m very excited about this weekend. It’s good to see the talent level.”
Bowlers have a practice session from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday with Pro-Ams at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The tournament begins with the 60 bowlers rolling seven qualifying games starting at 8 a.m.
The top eight players advance to round-robin match play at 1 p.m.
The field then is cut to four players who will compete in a stepladder roll-off with the No. 4 seed facing the No. 3 seed with the winner advancing to play the No. 2 seed and that winner taking on the No. 1 seed.
After this weekend, Stubler plans to bowl in a couple amateur tournaments before turning his focus to his CPA exams.
“If anyone wants to come out and support [this weekend], it’s a lot of fun, especially in the afternoon when you get to match play. It’s exciting,” said Stubler, who plans to go out on the PBA Tour full time in January 2023.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of friends and familiar faces. I hope it’s a fun weekend.”