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Extra Frame: Brothers’ bond based on bowling

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Updated: May 11, 2013 6:48AM



In keeping with the family tradition of bowling, brothers Jerry and Ron Brann are a noteworthy duo that have made a name for themselves in the region as solid league and tournament bowlers.

In the Tuesday men’s league at Stardust Bowl III in Dyer over the past 15 years as members of the Kofoid’s Pro Shop team, Jerry is currently carrying a 236 in the league, and brother Ron is posting an equally respectable 229 average — both shooting award series this season.

Their progression as formidable bowlers has been a 30-year plus journey as both first cut their teeth in the sport at the old Hegewisch Lanes on the south side of Chicago, where both hailed from, and bowled with their parents as kids.

“Bowling competitively at Hegewisch Lanes first started out just a friends night out with the guys when I was 18,” said Jerry, who will bowl with Ron at next month’s Post-Tribune Awards Tournament at Stardust III. “When the sport started to change years later, it really came to me. The game became much quicker and it helped me become a much better bowler. But it was still a challenge to bowl good scores at Hegewisch Lanes.”

Ron, who started bowling seriously about four years before Jerry, said equipment advancements helped him his own journey.

“A different shot and different equipment have made a big difference,” Ron said. “I used a Black Angle during my days at Hegewisch, and I bowled a 300 there. Now I use a Trauma ER and all the latest Storm equipment. I buy a new ball each year.”

Jerry, who also used a Black Angle in his younger years, also prefers Storm today. Success has followed him on the lanes. He has rolled 20 career 300 games and 16 800 series, including three this season. He was the Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association bowler of the year in 2011.

“We’re both in our 50s and we love bowling,” Jerry said. “We bowl in the winter and golf in the summer.”

While Ron doesn’t have the same volume of award scores as his brother (four 300s and three 800s), he has achieved a level of success at the Indiana State Tournament, finishing second in doubles in 2009. He has one 800 series this season — an 816, which is one pin behind Jerry’s highest 800 this year and one ahead of Jerry’s second-high of 815.

“Both Jerry and I bowl our share of tournaments,” Ron said. “We definitely look forward to bowling the state tournament every year.”

Ron said that he first met Mark Kofoid at the old Richton Bowl before he and Jerry started bowling leagues at Stardust III.

“Since we live out this way now, this house is our home house the way Hegewisch was,” Ron said. “This is a great house to bowl at, and Mark has been very good to us.”

Even though both brothers followed their parents’ lead in the sport, both admit that none of their children have shown the same interest in bowling.

“I have three daughters, but all of them bowl just for fun,” Jerry said. “Ron’s son doesn’t bowl at all.”



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