by Jonathan Garza
DOWNEY – On March 28, Stephanie Zavala of Downey, Calif. signed a World Staff Member contract with Global Manufacturing, LLC, which allows her to professionally throw equipment manufactured by 900 Global, 3G and AMF bowling.
Zavala, 23, is a familiar face around the Southern Los Angeles County USBC region, bowling multiple leagues at Del Rio Lanes, Keystone Lanes and Cal Bowl, and also drilling for The Professional Approach pro shops located at the three centers.
Her resume is quite impressive. She is an alumna of Sam Houston State University’s (Huntsville, Texas) bowling team, where she competed from 2015-18, finishing with multiple all-tournament selections over the collegiate career. Her team was national semifinalists in 2015, 2017 and 2018. In 2017 she earned a spot-on bowling junior and adult Team USA bowling squads at the 2017 USBC Team USA Trials. After placing second place in qualifying with a 218 average for 30 games across five days, she would narrowly fall to Julia Bond in the women’s amateur finals.
She returned to California and kept adding on to her list of feats and accomplishments, throwing seven perfect games and three 800 series. Perhaps the icing on the cake was when she shot an 859 series on July 7, 2019 during the Mexican-American Bowlers Association league at Del Rio Lanes in Downey, posting games of 279, 300, 280, a new house record; but most importantly, the high set of 2019 by any female bowler in the USBC.
Zavala is one of eight bowlers from California to bowl in the PWBA tour when it resumes (as of publication of this article, there has been no indication as to when the tour plans on competing). But the interesting thing is that she joins just Tish Johnson and Missy Bellinder (now Parkin) as bowlers known to hail from Southern California. The former from Northridge, and the latter from Fullerton (now Laguna Hills).
The other California bowlers on the tour this season include Parkin, Stephani Cooksey (Wheatland), Jill Creamer (Folsom), Michelle Duncan (Lincoln), Betty Morris-Laub (Citrus Heights), Lili Robles (San Ysidro) and Cynthia Sutherland (San Jose).
Ever the bold person, Zavala has set quite the goal for herself. “My goal is to get out on the PWBA tour and make a name for myself by becoming PWBA Rookie of the Year,” she said.
Should she do that, she would become Southern California’s first ever PWBA Rookie of the Year. She would definitely make a name for herself, joining other notable PWBA bowlers such as Daria Pajak (fellow Global staffer; 2017), Kelly Kulick (2001) and Liz Johnson (1996).
It should be noted that the PWBA tour ceased operations in 2003 and was relaunched in 2015 by the USBC and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America. For those wondering, the PBA entered into a partnership with the PWBA as a result of this, and it was because of this partnership that women are allowed to bowl in PBA tournaments, themselves.
Next time the PWBA tour is in town, go check them out – chances are Zavala will be there bowling and representing her new sponsors. Best of luck to Stephanie on all her future endeavors and keep making Southern California proud!