Friday, March 26, 2010

3/26/10 The Big Finish

It's that time once again: comes now the final installment of the N.J. Bowling Blog for the 2009-10 season. You know, for a one-horse outfit in just its second year of operation — even with all the changing alter egos, soft deadlines, crazy hours, negative income factored in — The Messenger had a right good time bringing you a small slice of the small slice of New Jersey sports known as high school bowling. But there will be plenty of time for reminiscing once we get to the sign-off... first, we have one final matter of business to address.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3/25/10 The Grid Of Champions

If you're looking for the definition of irony, we have it here on the NJBB. As per The Messenger's postseason preview entry a couple of weeks ago, yesterday (3/24) was supposed to be the grand launch of our first-ever "Grid Of Champions," and today (3/25) was supposed to be an "off day" of sorts – reason being that TM works on a weekly newspaper deadline of Thursday mornings and has almost no time for extracurricular activities on those days.

Well, this week, TM had to get everything done ahead of time on Wednesday and now has a nice, easy go of things on Thursday. Go figure.

The NJBB is still planning to run its varsity season farewell tomorrow, although with all of the school-budget turmoil going on in the Garden State, TM has heard rumblings that various high schools may be forced to drop their bowling programs... a sad circumstance, indeed, so if any news on such occurrences comes down in the offseason, the NJBB will be sure to update.

Today, though, is a time for happier thoughts and reflections upon the season past. The Messenger already has written up recaps on many of the leagues in North Jersey, and of course the boys team, girls team and individual State finals. For those to whom he was unable to give a salutatory tip of the cap, comes now the inaugural list of all the league and county winners the NJBB could find.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3/23/10 Extra! Extra! Read all about it...

Since the NJBB kind of got on a cross-promoting kick yesterday — and, since today’s “What-if” all-star edition has newspaper ties — The Messenger would like to issue some public service reminders... yesterday (3/22), The Record came out with its postseason bowling feature, and if you weren’t able to pick up a copy in print, here are some linkables (these include video features that did not appear in the newspaper, for obvious reasons):
Boys Bowler of the Year: Priore a natural bowler
Girls Bowler of the Year: Linder focused on fun

You can also visit the boys bowling and girls bowling home pages for All-County teams, Coaches of the Year and Teams of the Year. In addition, the Star-Ledger is running its postseason goodies in today's paper (3/23)
which, if you are unable to obtain, has its own online equivalent at

Now, as for TM's alter ego... he is a mild-mannered reporter for The Ridgewood News (and that's as far as the allusions to Superman will go), a weekly paper that does not have its own bowling all-star team. So, if we may take the liberty, the NJBB proposes to take a look at what the RN All-Suburban bowling teams might look like, if TM was asked to write them.

Monday, March 22, 2010

3/22/10 "GHT All-Area" Teams

As our pal Jon Fass from WGHT Radio told The Messenger earlier today, there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that Sports Overtime will proceed with the unveiling of its Winter 2009-10 All-Area teams as scheduled this week (2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday on 1500 AM or, starting today with wrestling.

The bad news? That's somewhat relative... everyone at the station is okay, as is the station building itself, but all of the GHT Sports archives — old Game of the Week tapes, the Sports OT episode archive, historical binders, brackets, etc. — were completely destroyed by the flood that NONE of our genius meteorologists saw coming two weekends ago. TM does have some copies of old tapes lying around and will try to see how far back they go (particularly in terms of the bowling stuff), but he did not get a copy of this year's "bowling extravaganza" show from Feb. 23. If anyone did get a copy of it, please notify the NJBB at ASAP... we can't recover all of the lost info, but certainly want to do our part to help the GHT guys with what we can.

So, to lift spirits (and take our minds off the 1-2 additional inches of rain they say is going to fall today), we will continue a tradition that started last year. Again, we use the quotes because it's not really official, BUT... if TM could take the liberty, he proposes to take a look at what the GHT All-Area bowling teams might look like, if they had them.

A reminder: Unlike most All-Star selection committees, the Sports Overtime fellows do things a bit differently, in that they pick an actual team of starters and reserves — who they would pick if they fielded a real team — plus year-end awards. P.S. that “Area” in All-Area is Passaic, western Bergen (Mahwah, Indian Hills, Ramapo, Northern Highlands, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook) and northeast Morris (Kinnelon, Butler, Pequannock, Montville) counties.

Without further ado:

2009-10 WGHT All-Area Boys Bowling Team

STARTERS (in alphabetical order)
Rob Andresen, Ramapo (Sr.)* – 213 average; led Ramapo to its first-ever NBIL Division 1 championship, rolled 23 games of 200+ in league play. Tied for fifth at Bergen County tournament with 1,314 series (featuring a high game of 247) to help the Green Raiders finish fifth in Groups 3-4 and eighth overall.

Chris Auld, Fair Lawn (Sr.) – 215 average; carried highest average in NJTCC-Bergen division, having shot the league’s second-highest series (739) and a high game of 277. Tied for fifth a Counties (1,314), where his high game was 256, and helped the Cutters finish second in the league and third in Group 4 at North 1A sectionals.

Greg Corradi, DePaul (Sr.) – 212 average; had second-highest average and highest number (36) of 200+ games in NJTCC-Passaic division, tossing a league-high 803 series and leading the Spartans to a second-place finish (and a league-best total pinfall of over 47,000 in 60 games). Finished runner-up at North 1B sectionals with a 247–712 (2 out of first) and qualified for State singles finals, where he shot a 256–1,332 to place 10th overall.

Jaylin Floyd, Manchester (Sr.)* – 213 average; led the B-PSL in average (210), total wood (6,746) and high series (516; the only league bowler to top 500), boosting a young Falcon squad to second place in the King Division. The four-year starter also placed fifth at the Passaic County tournament with a 253–657 and was named first-team All-Passaic for the second straight year.

Tim Scott, West Milford (Jr.)* – 222 average; one of three members of the ‘300 Club’ on the GHT All-Area team, he amassed the highest average in the NJTCC-Passaic, recording 34 games of 200+ and five series of 700+ (including a high of 782). His 235–651 at the Passaic County tournament gave him sixth individually, and he helped the Highlanders place fifth as a team.

Corey Burtwell, Passaic Tech (Sr.) – 202.9 average; caught fire at the Passaic County tournament, shooting 232-275-234–741 to win the individual title and help the Bulldogs secure the team championship by over 300 pins. Had 31 games of 200+ in NJTCC-Passaic play, notching a high series of 648 as PCT tied Clifton for third in the league.

Matt Guarino, Passaic Valley (Sr.)* – 204 average; led the Hornets in average and 200+ games (25 in league play), rolling a high game of 277 and a high series of 744. His 276–694 at Counties gave him the second-high game and third-high series in the tournament, where PV finished in third place, just 8 pins behind runner-up Lakeland.

Rich Gutches, Passaic Tech (Jr.)* – 207 average; had the Bulldogs’ high average, posting a high game of 289, a high series of 730 and a total of 33 games of 200+ in NJTCC-Passaic action. Added a 237–647 at Counties, good for seventh individually, as PCT won the team championship.

Ryan Kattine, Wayne Hills (So.) – 204 average; with two years still ahead of him, he will have the chance to lead Hills to other league titles, since their NJTCC-Passaic championship was a one-shot deal. Placed eighth at both the Passaic County (215 – 616) and North 1B sectional (665) tournaments.

Kevin Macchia, Ramapo (So.) – 206 average; picked the perfect time to fire his first perfect game, which was part of a 300-237-193-214-192-237–1,373 at the State individual finals. That helped him finish fifth overall, augmenting a list of accomplishments that included seventh at sectionals (237–674) and aiding in the Green Raiders’ first league title.

Dominic Pascucci, Wayne Valley (Sr.) – 202 average; in NJTCC-Passaic action, he produced a high game of 280, high series of 721 and 30 games of 200+. After a so-so County tournament, he rallied the Indians to a second-place score of 2,815 at North 1B sectionals, giving the team its first trip to Carolier Lanes in over a decade.

Jason Scott, Pompton Lakes (Sr.) – 203 average; led the Cardinals to their fourth consecutive B-PSL Carpenter Division title, while fashioning the second-highest average (206), second-highest series (487) and high game (277) in league play.

Zach Zuravner, Lakeland (Jr.) – 200 average; led off the County tournament with a 300 game and ended up second individually with a 701 series. His efforts helped the Lancers finish second in the team standings. In the NJTCC-Passaic, he had Lakeland’s high average and high game (266) and rolled 29 games of 200+.

*Indicates repeat selection from 2009

BOWLER OF THE YEAR: Greg Corradi, DePaul — This was a much tougher call than last year. Others had higher averages, others won more titles, but in The Messenger’s eyes, Corradi was the most consistent all the way through the season from start to finish.

TEAM OF THE YEAR: Passaic County Tech — The only local squad to capture a County or State sectional title, the Bulldogs won big enough at the Passaic Tournament (2,944 to Lakeland’s 2,696) to get the nod.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Michels, Indian Hills — Braves’ senior Bob Klein (197 average) and his classmates deserve a mention to this end as well… Michels rallied his troops from the loss of their anchor bowler late in the season and guided them to a second-place finish at North 1A sectionals and their second trip to the State team finals in three years.

2009-10 WGHT All-Area Girls Bowling Team

STARTERS (in alphabetical order)
Alex Hubelbank, Northern Highlands (Sr.) – 168 average; finished fourth at Bergen County tournament (235–581), earning medal for second-high game. She added a 197–519 at the North Jersey sectional tournament, helping the Highlanders finish sixth in Group 3, and she led them in league play with a high game of 222 and high two-game series of 414.

Colette Malyack, DePaul (So.)* – 200 average; the Passaic County champ (241–680) continued to impress this winter, earning two trips to Carolier Lanes by finishing ninth individually at sectionals (224–614) to propel the Spartans to the North Group 2 title in their first year of existence. Had the second-highest average in the NJTCC-Passaic, with a 267 high game and 715 high series.

Emily Ostapczuk, Indian Hills (So.) – 174 average; led all NBIL girls in average, led the Braves with six games of 200+. Added a high game of 222 and high series of 399 in league action and finished in the Top 25 at the Bergen County Tournament (171–482), then shot a 209–558 at North Jersey sectionals, coming within 4 pins of advancing to the State singles finals.

Bridget Pyryt, Indian Hills (So.)* – 169 average; placed third individually (243–584) at Bergen County tournament, winning medal for high game, as the Braves pushed defending champ IHA to the brink in the Baker semifinals before falling. She tossed a 201–463 at sectionals and finished NBIL play with a high game of 223 and high series of 422.

Sonja Shirak, Clifton (Jr.)* – 209 average; for the second straight year, she was the top finisher from the GHT listening area at the State individual finals, rolling a six-game 1,194 to take 13th, one spot better than last year. She was second at Counties (204–548) and North Jersey sectionals (255–695), tops in the NJTCC-Passaic in average and games of 200+ (35) and helped the Mustangs topple IHA for the North Group 4 title.

Rebecca Dykstra, DePaul (Jr.) – 160 average; finished sixth at Passaic tournament (170–495) while helping the Spartans to the team championship. Her personal bests in NJTCC-Passaic play were a 236 game and 548 series. She shot a 221–565 at sectionals, aiding in the team’s North Group 2 title and placing 15th individually, earning a pair of trips to Carolier Lanes.

Rachel Kammen, Ramapo (Sr.) – 152 average; a big reason why Ramapo tied Holy Angels for second in the NBIL Division 1, she registered a high game of 214 and high series of 386 in the league. Added a 178–456 at the Bergen County tournament, where the Green Raiders finished seventh, and closed with a 172 – 465 at sectionals, where the team was fifth in Group 3.

Nicolette Maggiolo, Ridgewood (Jr.) – 153 average; the Maroons’ anchor helped facilitate somewhat of a “rebuilding” for a team that lost its top two scorers from the previous season. She had a team-leading 616 series in NJTCC-Bergen play, throwing a high game of 214, and she rebounded from a tough County outing to shoot a team-best 209–535 at sectionals.

Rebecca Nemeh, DePaul (Sr.) – 156 average; rolled a fourth-place series of 499 at Passaic tournament, finishing six pins behind younger sister Isabelle and giving the County champion Spartans four individuals in the top six. She had a 203 high game and 538 high series in the NJTCC-Passaic and an 18th-place 218–562 at sectionals, qualifying for the State singles finals.

Michele Sadkin, Passaic Valley (So.) – 169 average; anchored the Hornets to third in Passaic County, taking fifth individually (184–498). She had the third-highest average in the NJTCC-Passaic, notching a 278 high game and 609 high series to help PV finish third. Missed the State singles finals by 1 pin, scoring a 561 at sectionals, but should get two more cracks at Carolier.

Amelia Silvestro, Lakeland (Jr.)* – 160 average; went from bowling with the boys to anchoring a team with two brand-new bowlers and handled it with aplomb. She led the Lancers to third place in the NJTCC-Passaic, where she posted a 221 high game and 552 high series, and fourth in the North Group 2 tournament, where she shot a team-best 203–535.

Adriana Stapelman, Fair Lawn (Sr.) – 162 average; rolled a 188–482 at the FDU Holiday Challenge, helping the Cutters to the semifinals, then finished 16th at the North Jersey Singles Classic with a 493. She was 23rd at Counties with a 177–487, and in the NJTCC-Bergen, she helped the Cutters place fourth, recording a 223 high game and 562 high series.

*Indicates repeat selection from 2009

BOWLER OF THE YEAR: Sonja Shirak, Clifton — A repeat selection in this category, here are a few additional highlights: an FDU Holiday Team Challenge All-Star (220–556), eighth at the North Jersey Singles Classic (210–568), had second-high game at sectionals (255) and had both high game (269) and series (731) in NJTCC-Passaic.

TEAM OF THE YEAR: DePaul — The Spartans won the “Triple Crown”: league, County and State sectional titles, all in the same year (and, point of order, all in their first year of varsity existence!)…

COACH OF THE YEAR: Jerry Fazzio, DePaul — …and this was the man at the helm for the Spartans’ debut campaign. In addition to the trio of titles, he guided them to a fourth-place finish in Group 2 at the State team finals, while three of DePaul’s five starters earned spots in the State individual finals.


There you have it. Any thoughts, complaints, compliments,
comments and general feedback an be sent to Please remember that the above views and opinions are those of the N.J. Bowling Blog and do not necessarily reflect those of any WGHT employee besides the humorously-named "Gutterball Greg."

Tomorrow: What might The Ridgewood News All-Suburban bowling teams look like?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3/17/10 NBIL Champs: It *is* easy being green

Top O' The Blog to you! That's about as Irish as The Messenger gets, since his ancestors hail from other parts of Europe. Happy St. Patrick's Day nonetheless — hope you enjoy the yarn we're about to spin as you enjoy your corned beef & cabbage, bangers & mashed, soda bread or (at the rate we're going) the leftovers thereof.

In a recent post, the NJBB alluded to the magical season had by Ramapo; not only that the Green Raider boys had won their first-ever NBIL Division 1 championship (the girls got one in 1997), but also the tale of sophomore Kevin Macchia's 300 game and fifth place finish in the State individual finals. (This is the last time we're going to link said story, and we do so for those who are as forgetful as The Messenger can be). Both Macchia and head coach Pat Noto gave me a ton of great stuff when I interviewed them for the story
— so to kick off our NBIL recap, I'm simply going to let the Green Raiders give you their story in their own words:
“[At] the beginning of the season, we thought we had a pretty good team. And we started off a little slow – we were in fourth place by the time the Christmas break happened. Then, right before the Christmas break, Ramapo had a pep rally, and everybody goes into the gym… it just so happened that the bowling team sat under the bowling banner. And, I looked up at the banner, and it was the only banner in the gym that did not have a championship on it…
“So the kids went on the break, and then when they came back, this was their mantra: they wanted to win a league championship; nothing else mattered to them. And, actually, from the time we came back from break [on Jan. 4], we only lost one match for the rest of the season.
“The other thing that goes along with this is the fact that everybody on the team participated. Even though Rob Andresen, who’s the captain – and he’s been the best bowler on the team for the last four years – even though he’s the leader, if he had a bad game, Kevin Macchia came through, or even [one of the more inexperienced] bowlers on our team came through…
“It came down to our last two matches. [Against Northern Highlands on Feb. 8], Nick Fasolo was actually the one who saved us. We couldn’t afford to lose any points in this one, and he ended up bowling a 225 and a 185… he’s got a 165 average. And he sort of carried the first game for us, then the kids came through in the second game, and we ended up taking all 5 [points].
“Then, in our last match against Old Tappan [on Feb. 9], it was Paul Singman who came through and bowled a 225, and we won the first game. And that’s all we needed at that point, just to win one game to win the title…
“So then, Kevin got the opportunity to go down to the States for our team. And there we are – all the boys from our team are there, they’re all watching him bowl, and he bowls a 300 in the first game. It was just incredible… and again, that was just like the perfect end to the whole season.”
—Ramapo head coach Pat Noto, as told on 2/24/10
Macchia had plenty to add when TM spoke with him later that day. The stuff that didn't make the paper:
“I was a little nervous at first, because I was going to go practice [at Carolier Lanes] the day before [the State finals on Feb. 17], but I couldn’t because it snowed. So I went into the day not knowing how the lanes would be, because I’d never bowled there before…
“I just kept throwing the ball, not really thinking about what was happening – and then, as it got later in the game, I’m like, ‘Oh geez, I have the first 8 or 9, this could be a 300,’ which would be my first one ever. And our senior captain [Andresen], who came to watch me – [and] who didn’t qualify, which I was very bummed about – he literally grabbed me by my collar and was like, ‘You need to stay focused. This is a normal 10th frame, don’t worry about what happened before, just go up there and throw like you normally do.
“So, I thought, ‘I need to do this, because it’s just a good experience, and it would be a very nice story to tell to my kids.’
“[On the first ball of the 10th frame], I hit the pocket a little light, and the 4 pin knocked over the 9 pin, but it happened so slowly that I didn’t know what was going to happen… the 4 actually fell over toward the 7 and then sort of rolled slowly into the 9, and it just tipped over. I heard all the parents in the background yelling, ‘Get down! Get down!’ And then as soon as it went down, it was just like an uproar…
“It didn’t even feel real after it happened. I literally walked back and sat down at the table with a group of my friends and teammates. And they’re like, ‘Dude, you just bowled a 300!’ I said, ‘I know, but it doesn’t feel like I did, it feels like this is all a dream. It was crazy.”
—Ramapo sophomore Kevin Macchia, as told on 2/24/10
As I said, the words pretty much speak for themselves. So on we go with the recapping...

After tying Indian Hills for the Division 2 title a year ago, the Ramsey boys (91-34) upped their team average by 35 pins and held off Pascack Hills (87-38) to claim this year's NBIL-2 championship outright. The Rams' trio of twins Kyle (league-high 227 average) and Ryan (206) Landau and Jarrett Floyd (200)
— all juniors, btw — was a big reason for that, and if they show the same improvement curve from this season to next, as they did going from 2009 to 2010, this team could be scary good next winter. Remember, they sat in 2nd place in Group 3 through two games at sectionals, and missing out on such a goal often has a way of making returning players that much hungrier to "Git-R-Done" the next time around. Incidentally, Indian Hills (68-57) finished third in this division, so I'm sure it was no small consolation to the Braves that they were the ones who overtook Ramsey to earn a trip to Carolier.

Now to the girls. Trivia question: which team repeated as NBIL Division 1 champion this season? Answer: None of them! Trick question (sorry, had to)... with conference realignment whisking away defending champ Fair Lawn to the NJTCC, there was a shakeup in the NBIL alignment as well. So, after bringing home the Division 2 crown in 2009, the Bergenfield girls (113-22) moved up to Division 1 and cleaned up, taking the title by 20 points over Ramapo and Holy Angels (both 83-52). And, since TM does not recall pointing it out in this corner of the blogosphere before, the Bears' top two bowlers, Cassidy Fiore (173 average) and Sarah Esmenda (163) are both sophomores. Cleary, he has mentioned both of them on the NJBB, he just wasn't aware that they have two more years to carve out a pretty fine legacy
— which, as a matter of fact, they've already begun doing. Lefty Samantha Griffenkranz (150) and Danielle Hayes, both juniors, will also be back next year to help Bergenfield shoot for its third different league title in three seasons (Big North, beware) and seventh straight overall.

Finally, as the boys Division 1 race came down to wire, so did the battle for the NBIL-2 girls championship, which went to Indian Hills (117-18) over Pascack Hills (115-20) by 2 points. The Braves beat Mahwah on the final day of the season
— seriously, it was the final NBIL match to be made up on Feb. 24 due to all the snow — to lock up the title (P.S. that was their sixth consecutive victory via sweep). TM is actually a bit bummed that IH and Bergenfield were not in the same division this year, as his 2009 postseason prediction of a "burgeoning rivalry" between the two teams' anchor bowlers did not necessarily play out head-to-head. (If you didn't feel like clicking, to refresh your memory: Fiore and Indian Hills' Bridget Pyryt were named All-Suburban co-Freshmen of the Year, or at least they would have been if The Ridgewood News had an All-Suburban bowling team.) Come to think of it, I easily could have written the same thing about the Braves' sophomore duo of Pyryt (169 average) and Emily Ostapczuk (174) as I did about Fiore and Esmenda in the previous paragraph. IH seniors Brana Parian, Heather Hoffmann and Tracy Galek chipped in this season, but since only its No. 4 and 5 bowlers are returning next season, it remains to be seen who will have Pyryt and Ostapczuk's collective "back."

A few quick tasty tidbits before we move on (courtesy of NBIL commish Howie Conklin, *HUGE* thanks for the work he does on the stat pack): Galek, Mahwah's Kris Jergensen, Prerna Kunte and Janice Kim and Northern Highlands' Lukas Favale all had their highest game of the year in the very first game of the season, while Jergensen, Kim, Kunte, Highlands' Danielle Wurtzell and Demarest's Jeff Sabo all had their highest series of the year in their first match of the season... Pascack Hills' Bryan Kist and Marina Consalvo, Old Tappan's Charles Clifford and Paramus Catholic's Marcia Gailes all had their highest game of the year in the final game of the season, while Clifford, Old Tappan's Scott Royse, Ramapo's Lauren Scheck, Ramsey's Floyd and Demarest's Kelly Bergman all had their highest series of the year in their final match of the season... Kist averaged 231.5 over a 12-game stretch early in the season, while PC's Steve Natoli averaged 226 over his final 12 games of the winter. Kyle Landau may have taken the cake, though, closing out the season with 25 consecutive 200 games, averaging an other-worldly 234 in that span. As a public service, The Messenger must advise these three gentlemen that Holiday Bowl has requested their help in getting the scorch-marks off its lanes... I'm looking right at the sheet, and I still can't believe it
— Landau's 227 average was not only the highest in the league this season, it ranks as the highest in NBIL history... Also, if I'm reading this correctly, Bergenfield's Brian DeMarco became the first NBIL bowler to shoot a 300 since Bergenfield's Steve Sinko did so in the 2002-03 season. TM meant it when he said beware of the Bears... Props to Pascack Valley's Brian O'Flaherty, too, as his 555 series tied the highest in league history. Also, given his surname and the fact that his team wears green, TM will denote that as the "perfect end" to this St. Patrick's Day wrap-up...

FINAL NBIL STANDINGS - BOYS (Points Won, Points Lost, Team Average)
Division 1 PW PL Avg.
Ramapo 95 25 950
Paramus Catholic 93 27 967
Northern Highlands 81 39 917
Bergenfield 40 80 868
Old Tappan 36 84 850

Division 2 PW PL Avg.
Ramsey 91 34 935
Pascack Hills 87 38 922
Indian Hills 68 57 897
Pascack Valley 65 60 902
Mahwah 14 111 766
Demarest 5 120 754

High games: DiMarco (B'field), 300; O'Flaherty (PV), 297
High series: O'Flaherty (PV), 555; Kyle Landau (Rams), 541 (remember, it's a 2-game league)
High averages: 1. K.Landau (Rams), 227; 2. Kist (PH), 221; 3. Andresen (R'po), 213; 4. O'Flaherty (PV), 212; 5-tie. Macchia (R'po) and R.Landau (Rams) 206; 7. DiMarco (B'field), 205.

Division 1 PW PL Avg.
Bergenfield 113 22 727
Holy Angels 83 52 701
Ramapo 83 52 705
Paramus Catholic 70 65 682
Northern Highlands 55 80 659
Old Tappan 8 127 550

Division 1 PW PL Avg.
Indian Hills 117 18 750
Pascack Hills 115 20 740
Pascack Valley 88 47 682
Ramsey 47 88 625
Mahwah 20 115 562
Demarest 11 124 558

High games: Fiore (B'field), 246; Consalvo (PH), 243
High series: Fiore (B'field), 430; Pyryt (IH), 421
High averages: 1. Ostapczuk (IH), 174; 2-tie. Fiore (B'field), Ana DeLeon (PC) and Megan McNally (PH), 173; 5. Pyryt (IH), 169; 6. Alex Hubelbank (NH), 168; 7. Esmenda (B'field), 163.

Again, a heaping helping of über-thanks to coach Conklin (gratitude for the statitude, perhaps?), a mathman after my own heart... special thanks also to IH coach Mike Michels for running off photo copies of said stat-pack for us and sending them in
— clearly, a messenger after my own heart.


Monday, March 15, 2010

3/15/10 BCSL National/Olympic Champs: the Usual Suspects

Alas! Time did not permit The Messenger to make a stop at Wallington Lanes to catch any Bergen County Scholastic League action this winter (although some who have rolled there ostensibly wish the same fate had befallen them). Pessimistic postings aside, the National and Olympic Divisions of the BCSL have produced some of North Jersey's most consistently outstanding bowlers in recent years — hence, the title. Otherwise, there are very few connections with the 1995 Kevin Spacey crime thriller of the same name... I mean, if you think about it from the pins' perspective, several of the gentlemen we are about to mention could represent a Keyser Söze-type figure in some roundabout way. But then, the pins aren't alive. So let's end the connections there.

Ok, hail to the champs time: one year after finishing a single point behind rival North Arlington for the National crown, Secaucus came back with a vengeance and took the title by 12 points over St. Mary of Rutherford and 13 over NA. Secaucus not only employed bowlers with three of the top seven averages in the entire league (
Dylan Caruso 206, Dante Iyer 196, Corey Czechowski 195), but the North 1-B, Group 1 champ also was led by the BCSL's Sportsmanship Award winner (Caruso). Actually, TM does recall watching Mr. Caruso reach the finals of the North Jersey Singles Classic AND combine with Czechowski to post the team's two highest series at the State boys finals... he now wonders how Caruso and crew would have fared if there was an actual Hudson County tournament that includes the county's BCSL entrants.

We do know this: North Arlington senior Matt Priore (217 average) has very clearly stated his case to be considered one of (if not the) best bowlers ever to come through this league. Although the NJBB has no definite knowledge of the situation, we are convinced it would be a George Mason-esque upset if he were not named the North Jersey Boys Bowler of the Year. FYI, his classmate-slash-teammate
Ashley Johnson (184 average) may well be the best non-IHA girls bowler in Bergen County.

As for the Olympic Division, Wood-Ridge was clearly the head of the class, overtaking last year's co-champs, Leonia and New Milford, for the 2010 title. And, as long as we've opened up the "bowler of the year" can of worms, don't think Blue Devils senior Alex Prell doesn't deserve some consideration as well. Looking strictly at league play, his average (204) was lower than Priore's. Looking strictly at County play, Priore (Bergen champ, 1,399 in six games) gets the nod over Prell (tied for fifth, 1,314) again. Looking strictly at State singles play, Prell decided to play the Vanessa Williams card (saving his best for last) and blast a 1,390, finishing third overall, although Priore's 12th-place 1,330 was, in a word, stupendous — only 43 pins separated him from the stepladder. We could go on for paragraphs, so The Messenger will float this notion in The Record's direction. Can you say, Right-handed Bowler of the Year (Priore) and Left-handed Bowler of the Year (Prell)? Again, just throwin' it out there...

A few last nuggets to chew on: Park Ridge junior Mike Wuhrman, who helped the Owls reach the State team finals in '09, was the third BCSL bowler to average over 200 on the winter (and he had the Olympic's top game, a 279). Wood-Ridge senior Nick Roman (199 average) came within a pin of being the fourth, and he registered the Division's high series, a 503... Let's not forget Wallington junior Chris Ferrara (194), who joined the varsity 300 club this winter. Needless to say, he led both divisions in the high game department... when he finished 8th at sectionals and earned a trip to the State individual finals, Joe Bocage of Becton prompted TM to wonder, "who's that?" Again, things that he could have learned by catching some BCSL play in person: Bocage led the Wildcats in average (184), finished 12th in the league in that category, and helped an underclassmen-dominated squad finish with a winning record (65-50) amid some fairly heady competition... a few entries ago, The Messenger opined that Lyndhurst had the greatest percentage of girl power in the BCSL, with lefty Nikki Villani (173 average), frosh Lexus Lopez (171) and soph Angie Sammarone leading the way. He meant to say "more girl power than anyone in the National Division." Leonia gets the nod in the Olympic Division, thanks to Jess Ragone (172), Kathy Lee (164) and Maleyna Marks (163).

Once again, a reminder: the only BCSL results mentioned in this entry were those of the National and Olympic Divisions because the NJBB has been unable to unearth much info on the league's third division, the American. We would LOVE to recap the action from Lodi Lanes, but TM needs a bit of help. Send any standings and stats from the BCSL-American to If you have them, and you don't send them... well, don't complain.

FINAL BCSL STANDINGS (Points Won, Points Lost, Team Average)
National Division PW PL Avg.
Secaucus 100 15 773
St. Mary-Rutherford 88 27 710
North Arlington 87 28 726
Wallington 83 32 728
Lyndhurst 76 39 705
Becton 65 50 701
Harrison 23 87 573
Weehawken 0 115 466

High game: Ferrara (Wall.), 300
High series: Iyer (Sec.), 493 (remember, 2 games in this league)
High boys average: 1. Priore (NA), 216.80; 2. Caruso (Sec.), 205.64; 3. Iyer (Sec.), 196.24; 4. Czechowski (Sec.), 194.76; 5. Ferrara (Wall.), 193.84.
High girls average: 1. Johnson (NA), 184.43; 2. Villani (Lynd.), 172.72; 3. Lopez (Lynd.), 170.76; 4. Jessica Calabrese (SMR), 169.81; 5. Adrienne Middleton (Harr.), 145.19.
Joe Fiegel Sportsmanship Award: Dylan Caruso (Secaucus)

Olympic Division PW PL Avg.
Wood-Ridge 96 24 741
New Milford 81 34 696
Park Ridge 77 43 732
Leonia 68 47 674
Bogota 52 68 613
Hasbrouck Heights 30 85 567
Ridgefield 27 88 558
Hawthorne Christian 17 98 531
Palisades Park 10 100 534

High game: Mike Wuhrman (PR), 279
High series: Roman (W-R), 503
High boys average: 1. Prell (W-R), 204.17; 2. Wuhrman (PR), 200.47; 3. Roman (W-R), 199.13; 4. Anthony Karalian (NM), 191.02; 5. Matt Lajoie (NM), 184.05.
High girls average: 1. Ragone (Leo.), 171.98; 2. Lee (Leo.), 163.94; 3. Marks (Leo.), 163.41; 4. Sarah Schrenzel (NM), 153.14; 5. Amanda Vittetoe (Ridg.), 130.55.


That's all for today. Since the snail mail came through for us, full NBIL recap on Wednesday! Also, the part of the Kevin Macchia story that you didn't get to hear (well, from the NJBB, anyway). The season wrap-up sequence is underway...


Friday, March 12, 2010

That's NOT all, folks!

Funny thing about the high school bowling season in New Jersey... it ends before all the other winter sports, so after the State finals are over, reporters are often asked to pick up and move right on to covering the games that are still going on. Well, this reporter was asked to do so, anyhow.

Still, wishy-washy excuses for temporarily shifting his focus away from the NJBB aside, The Messenger is prepared
— nay, DETERMINED to put a big ol' bow on the 2009-10 campaign before the sweet spring air lures him back outdoors. He just has to get organized a little bit in order to properly keep the reader's attention for a bit longer. (Note the use of the singular possessive... never forget that you, our lone reader, comprise a very exclusive club!)

Ok, ok, I'll seek help for the self-deprecation deal in the off-season. Right now, the NJBB is seeking to assemble a schedule for its postseason proceedings. At the moment, here are our goals for posting what/when:

Monday, March 15: Recap the BCSL Olympic/National divisions. That was one of the leagues for which TM did not get to see the finale, but our pal Vince the Sports Reporter was kind enough to supply us with the final standings. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain such info from the BCSL American Division... but hey, if you'd like your own NJBB pseudonym, e-mail said information to and we'll name-drop you r
elatively shamelessly.

Wednesday, March 17: In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we'll take you behind the scenes of perhaps the best game that The Messenger covered/did not cover this year, a State-finals 300 by Ramapo sophomore Kevin Macchia. Why? Because he clearly bowls for the Green Raiders (ahem). You can view the originally-published story at that link — however, there is a term in the movie industry, "left on the cutting room floor"... TM simply didn't have enough space to print the entire back-story in the given media, but we sure seem to have plenty of room here! Also, the final NBIL statistics are being sent to us via snail mail, and hopefully they will make it by the 17th so we can conveniently post them along with "the rest of the story," as radio legend Paul Harvey once put it.

Friday, March 19: In case the snail mail lives up to his name, we'll post the NBIL numbers on this day instead. Also, we'll tie up the rest of our loose ends, such as the mysteriously disappearing NJTCC Passaic Division standings chart, plus anything else we might get from a kindly contributor at (Not sounding too desperate, are we? Just checking.)

From there, it's on to Postseason Awards Week, which will follow... the following:

Monday, March 22: We help the WGHT Sports Overtime guys kick off their All-Area week with the first of our "What-If All-Stars" squads: i.e. what would the GHT All-Area Bowling teams look like, if they had them?

Tuesday, March 23: It's the last of our "What-If All-Stars": i.e. what would The Ridgewood News All-Suburban bowling teams look like, if they had them?

Wednesday, March 24: For the first time ever, we are hoping to present The Grid Of Champions: a master list of all the league and county winners to augment the salutes to the State champions we've had here on the NJBB.
(P.S. If you have any info on the following champs: Burlington County Scholastic League, Greater Middlesex Conference, NJTCC-Hudson, Northwest Jersey Conference, Olympic Conference, Shore Conference A Central and B North, Skyland Conference, Super Essex Conference, whatever the Union County conference is called, plus the Hudson County, Monmouth County, Sussex County and Union County tournaments... well, you know what to do.)

Friday, March 26: The Big Finale and varsity season sign-off. In case you're curious, a hint: The Messenger has figured out a solution to our Parker Bohn III/Johnny Petraglia dilemma.

To tide you over until then, here are links to some of the All-County teams that you can see before they get in the newspaper:
If that spoiled any surprises, we're sorry, but you know how the saying goes... um, the "don't shoot The Messenger" saying. That one.