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Two Bishop High grads have put their heads together and come up with the answer to sports trophies.
Design Your Ball, owned by former Bronco athlete Patrick Bustos with Bishopâ€™s Jacki Kruse as the local sales manager, incorporates anything from a football to a home plate replica with personalized graphics, a unique and unbreakable memento for players and coaches.
In addition to the more traditional sports, hockey pucks, lacrosse and bowling balls are also customizable.
Bustos got the ball rolling last fall in Bakersfield where he owns an insurance agency and is involved with his sonâ€™s sports activities.
Kruse, who has kept in touch with Bustos through Facebook, tells the story. â€śPatrick sponsored Player of the Week awards for the football teams at his sonâ€™s school,â€ť she said. â€śHe bought 30 custom-designed footballs to give out and the kids liked them so much, he decided to get the equipment to make them himself.â€ť
His first Design Your Ball was a volleyball for a business associate. The associate came back the next day and ordered five more. Bustos knew he was onto something.
He started designing and handing out the functional trophies and put the finished products on his Facebook page. Thatâ€™s where Kruse comes in.
She spotted the custom volleyball on Bustosâ€™ web page and knew her daughter Callie, a member of the Lady Broncos varsity volleyball team, would like it.
Then her imagination kicked into high gear. Kruseâ€™s husband Mark coaches their youngest sonâ€™s Little League team. Baseballs with the team photo were ordered, as were custom soccer balls for the Kruseâ€™s grandchildren. In this youth-sports-oriented community, the potential is nearly endless, she realized.
â€śPatrickâ€™s focus is on his insurance business,â€ť said Kruse, â€śbut he loves designing the sports balls and is excited about the possibilities.â€ť Bustos asked Kruse to rep for Design Your Ball in the area and she hasnâ€™t stopped figuring out new applications since.
â€śItâ€™s like Christmas at my house,â€ť she said, â€śorders and samples keep coming in.â€ť Which reminds her, wouldnâ€™t custom basketballs be perfect for Bishopâ€™s Christmas Classic; and, Design Your Ball can do Christmas tree ornaments.
â€śThis is something new, itâ€™s fun and you canâ€™t get it just anywhere,â€ť she said.