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Stockton bowler uses personal tragedy as motivation on PBA Tour

After his brother tragically passed away, Forrest Kritzer used his pain as motivation

STOCKTON, Calif. — Most athletes are motived by something, and for Stockton native Forrest Kritzer, he plays for his brother, who tragically passed away several years ago.

From a young age, Kritzer was drawn to bowling.

"The first time I picked up a bowling ball was when I was 8 years old," said Kritzer. "The rest is history. I feel in love with it."

Born and raised in Stockton, Kritzer attended Lincoln High School, and he bowled his first 300 game before his freshman year.

"I picked it up pretty young, and I practiced it religiously. Probably around 11 years old was when I started competing and traveling and bowling scratch. I guess I picked it up quickly," he said.

Kritzer's journey to greatness took a massive blow when the person who introduced him to the sport tragically passed away.

"My brother and I were closer than ever at the time. It was just a huge loss for my family," Kritzer said. "We always bonded over bowling. We bowled in leagues together."

Kritzer has used his brother's passing as motivation to achieve his dreams, where he is now a PBA bowler on the western regional tour.

"It's also my way of carrying on our tradition. Every time I bowl a tournament, I think of him. Right after his passing, I bowled my second 300. It was an awesome way to dedicate that to him," Kritzer said. 

One of his biggest supporters is his wife, Brittany, who is a fellow bowler as well. He and his wife have their own YouTube channel - named "Forrest Kritzer" - where they have a few thousand subscribers. They often post fun, friendly, bowling battles on that channel. His other biggest fan is his son Bo. 

"He's such a little athlete already, and he absolutely loves bowling so much. He constantly tells us all the time he wants to go bowling. He's obsessed with the sport already. I have no doubt he's probably going to be better than me and my wife," Kritzer said.

Kritzer said his ultimate goal is to make it to the Finals of the U.S. Open.

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