Solid season for Benner
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Jason Bennershows off his form recently as he bowls a game at Haja Lanes in Palmerton, where he currently sports an average of 236, that if he were to maintain, would be a house record.
He's a strike machine.
Set up the pins, and watch as Jason Benner knocks them down with the slightest of ease.
The proof is in the numbers: Benner has now shot four 300 games this season at Haja Lanes in Palmerton.
Benner, of Palmerton, currently bowls in two leagues, and carries averages of 236 and 228, respectively.
If that isn't impressive enough, he is also a member of the Professional Bowling Association, where he currently bowls in the Eastern region, and has recently finished as high as fourth place in a regional PBA event in North Adams, Massachusetts.
An avid bowler since the age of 16, Benner said he first dabbled in the sport as "something to do after school."
From that point, Benner said he bowled juniors at Haja Lanes for two years, before he entered adult leagues.
Benner, of Palmerton, attributes a large amount of his success to his work ethic.
"A lot of practice, and a lot of hard work," said Benner, 31. "I'm pretty much here five to six days a week."
While there, Benner said he's received guidance from Jimmy Haja, owner of Haja Lanes, as well as Steve Dieter, owner of Steve's Pro Shop, located inside the bowling alley. Both Haja and Dieter are PBA members.
Benner says he utilizes a simple five-step form before each shot.
"It's based on stuff others have done in the past," he said. "I like to stand around the 25 board, and throw the ball anywhere from 13 at the arrows to six or seven down lane."
When asked what a typical game is for him, Benner replied "mostly strikes; about seven to eight per game."
Benner said that over the years, he's noticed an increase in participation in the sport.
"The level of interest," he said. "It's pretty much something anybody else can do."
As for future goals in the sport, Benner named one in particular.
"If any goal, it would be to win the PBA tour title," he said. "I came close last year."
Haja said the house record at the bowling alley is 232, set by Don Kichline, formerly of Walnutport, in the early 1990s.
With his current 236 average, Haja noted Benner could best that mark.
"We've produced several professionals," Haja said. "Anybody can do it; it's just a matter of learning the right way to do it."
To become a member at Haja Lanes, call (610)-826-2450.