12/02/16 – Tryouts for the various high school bowling programs throughout North Jersey have finished and over the next week, the new season will swing into action in both the Big North and the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference. Before the league schedules commence, Bergen Catholic will host the 6th Annual Tom Irwin Memorial Crusader Classic at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon at Bowler City in Hackensack; the participating schools will have an opportunity to see the strength of their rivals and how they match up against each other. Last season, there was an impressive number of entries [twenty-two boys teams and ten girls squads] entered in this popular team tournament and Bergen Catholic coach Larry Fierro expects another fine turnout this year.

The Bergen Record posted staff writer Greg Tartaglia’s season preview this past Tuesday and other than the absence of North Arlington in the Boys Top Ten, there were few surprises. Once again, powerful Indian Hills is top-ranked, despite losing two of its top bowlers to graduation. The Braves will be led by seniors Jon Mormando and southpaw Jared Duncan, both of whom roll in the prestigious Stan Niemiec Youth Traveling League. Rounding out the top five are West Milford, Pompton Lakes, Hawthorne and Clifton. NJIC Meadowlands Division power Lyndhurst is sixth, but will likely be in the top five by the Holiday Break. AHA [Holy Angels] tops the girls with Paramus Catholic, Westwood, Wayne Valley and Hackensack following in that order. Most of the ranked schools are expected to play in the Crusader Classic tomorrow, including other entries from outside Bergen-Passaic.

Some of the high school leagues have already begun competition. The Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Southern Division sprung into action on Thursday with perennial powerhouse Montville sweeping to victory behind all-star senior Erik Kattermann 232: 632. Denville’s Morris County School of Technology [MCST] also grabbed seven points as the Devils overwhelmed Delbarton behind the excellent threesomes from John Wrebel 244: 700 and Matt Marletta 247: 621. Morris Hills had deuces from Mike Sperry 242, Andre Trujilio 225: 625 and Shaun Ireton 211 in its whitewash of Butler. In the tightest, although lowest scoring encounter of the day, Madison edged past Chatham, 5-2 [2056-2031]; top score on the pair was Chatham’s Evie Stiner 220.

Good luck and great bowling to all the entrants in the Crusader Classic.

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2016-2017 Stan Niemiec Youth Travel League


Montvale, NJ 11-27-16 – As a group, the Stan Niemiec youth travelers fared almost as well at Montvale as the previous week in Oakland. Matching the Holiday Bowl total, twenty-seven bowlers scored at least one of the fifty-five deuces Sunday, mercilessly bullying Montvale’s maples. The high rollers’ leaderboard included three “700s”, five “650s” and eleven “600s”. At the head of the pack were Hi-Tor I’s Nick Sparta 215-267-269: 751, teammate Johnny Toscano 235-243-238: 716 and Bowler City III’s Steven Defabiis; the latter, a 15-year-old Warwick H.S. sophomore, found the lanes appealing, carving out 223-268-232: 723; rolling out of the anchor slot, Steve punctuated an outstanding 958: 2622 scratch outing by Bowler City III in its 22-10 victory over a tough Holiday I quartet. His teammates followed his lead: David Grant 267-214: 662, Nathan Tombo 253-201: 648 and Peter Bondy 223: 589. Holiday I pressed the winners throughout the contest, thanks to the concerted efforts of Jon Mormando 246-252: 689, Frank Magyar 214-224: 626 and Alex McGuire 247: 600.

As for the aforementioned Nick Sparta and Johnny Toscano, the two 17-year-old North Rockland H.S. seniors had help from 16-year-old Brandon Smith 227-223: 649 in engineering Hi-Tor I’s blistering 2647 net in a 24-8 [3082-3008] hard-earned victory over Bowler City I. Putting up fine numbers for BC I were  Kristen Kane 218-220-202: 640, Kristen Benavente 214-206-202: 622 and Janina Santoro with a middle game 212.

Led by 15-year-old Wade Chamberlain’s 231-226-225: 682, Holiday II parlayed a bevy of deuces to overwhelm Bowler City II, 28-4. The victors’ other deuces came from Justin Milligan 207-235: 625, Esteban Garcia 200-204 and Michael Milligan 203. Three of BC II’s points were earned by 14-year-old Louis Ferrante who scorched the pin decks with 232-234: 653; teammate Matt Burzynski posted scores of 202-217.

In the remaining encounters, Montvale stormed back in the finale to edge Hi-Tor II, 17-15 [2782-2746] behind Nick Fabiano 201-235: 625 and impressive over-average games from Michaella Raab 195 and James Reagan-Ward 187. Rolling well for Hi-Tor II were 11-year-old Dylan Bulusan 208-224, newcomer Akira DeLoatch 211 and Mercedes Morel 208. Mostafa Saleh bowled his best game of the season, a mammoth 62 pins over average 171 and coupled with anchor Tommy Luchetta’s 231-200: 610, helped short-handed T-Bowl earn six opening game points against Lodi which took the match, 21-11 [2930-2850]. Lodi profited from huge sets from Nick Greco 235-208-233: 676, Madison Perry 212-213: 611 and Tyler Nappi 226-205: 602.


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2016-17 H.S. Bowling Preview: Dates to remember



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2016-17 H.S. Boys Bowling Preview



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2016-2017 Stan Niemiec Youth Travel League


Oakland, NJ 11-20-16 – There were those Cheshire cat grins again from the Stan Niemiec youth travelers when they learned this past Sunday’s venue was bowler-friendly Holiday Bowl. When the smoke cleared from the talented young keglers’ assault on the plastic-coats, there were six “700s”, eight “650s” and six “600s” to go along with a perfect game, two 289s, a 279, two 278s and fifty-one other deuces. Twenty-seven of the thirty eight bowlers [71%] managed at least one “200”.

Perhaps inspired by the presence of their big sister, professional bowler Danielle McEwan, Hi-Tor II’s 12-year-old Victoria Varano exploded for a second game 278 [683 set], but not wishing to be upstaged, her 14-year-old brother Nicholas smoked a perfect score in game three, his first, to finish with 768, the morning’s high threesome. Tor, however, had the satisfaction of topping him with the handicap, 325-315. Regarding their respective teams, Tor’s squad followed her lead: 11-year-old Dylan Bulusan 211-206-236: 653, Nicole Cona 229-243: 643 and Vinny Avallone 204 as Hi-Tor II pummeled Bowler City I, 30-2; garnering the two points for BC I were John Behr [+25] and Kyle Schellberg 205-213-235: 653. In a record-setting match punctuated by twenty “200+” games, Bowler City III and Hi-Tor I combined for an incredible 5367 pinfall [223.63 average/player], with the former stopping Hi-Tor I, 19.5-12.5; For the victors: Derek Lewandowski flirted with perfection, coming up short in his third game eleventh shot 236-225-289: 750 while David Grant had a clean set 225-227-279: 731, Peter Bondy 231-205: 630 and Nathan Tombo 216-202. For Nick Varano’s Hi-Tor I mates: Johnny Toscano stroked a triple deuce 217-215-233: 665, Matt Cona 250-216: 655 and Mark Shapiro 216-206.

Elsewhere, Montvale whipped shorthanded T- Bowl with power numbers: Matt Russell 267-224-240: 731, Joseph Mahoney 278-212: 676, Chris Torres 216-225: 630 and Henry Tipping 215. In a nail-biter, Holiday II edged Holiday I, 17-15; for the winners: Jared Duncan strung the front ten in his final game before falling shy of a perfecto 203-289: 673, Devin Crowley 203-204-234: 641 and Tom Chamberlain 232. Fueling Holiday I were: Jonathan Mormando 241-266: 702, Nick Cilento 259-227: 671, David Neil 236-224: 644 and Alex McGuire 216.

Rounding out match play, Lodi overwhelmed Bowler City II, 26-6 despite a dominant outing from the latter’s southpaw anchor Matt Burzynski who pounded the maples with 225-246-233: 704. Lodi’s best came from Steve Plaszky 246: 626 and Hunter Perry 233.



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2016-2017 Stan Niemiec Youth Travel League


Hackensack, NJ 11-13-16 – Dumont H.S. senior Kyle Schellberg continued blitzing the plastic-coats, shelling the pin decks to the tune of 256-223-249: 728 and Kristen Kane added a 208 single as Bowler City I took over first place by outslugging Holiday II, 20-12 [2770-2704]. Kyle, considered to be one of the state’s top-ranked high school keglers, has been dominant in travel play, lifting his league-leading average to 231.73 with his latest gem. Holiday II salvaged the finale, 964-910 behind Justin Milligan’s stellar 243 and a 202 from anchor Wade Chamberlain.

After dropping a thrill-packed opener, 1012-1001, Montvale rode the concerted efforts of Nick Fabiano and Joseph Mahoney to a 22-10 [2886-2773] triumph over Bowler City III. When Nick wasn’t stringing strikes, he was covering his spares, resulting in his filling all thirty frames for an impressive clean set: 258-227-216: 701; with the stellar performance, he raised his average to a squad-best 212; Mahoney, positioned as anchor, assisted by punishing the pins with 246-206: 607. Spearheading BC III’s offense were Derek Lewandowski’s 242-202: 617 and 13-year-old George Ferguson’s 230 single.

The session’s top net numbers were posted by Holiday I in its surprising 27-5 [2855-2559] drubbing of Hi-Tor I. Lighting up the leaderboard for the victors were Frank Magyar 248-236: 681, Nick Cilento 241-217: 648 and Alex McGuire 214-206: 600. As a unit, Hi-Tor I was unable to solve the lanes, with only Johnny Toscano 217-200: 610 and Brandon Smith 214 managing to strike deuces.

In a nail-biter match where neither team could shake the other, Lodi outpointed Hi-Tor II, 20-12 [2785-2768]. The winners were buoyed by Fair Lawn H.S. sophomore Nick Greco who struck early and often, posting a pair of 234s and finishing with 662 while teammate Hunter Perry fired 210-200. Despite a failure to produce a deuce, the Hi-Tor II quartet used balanced scoring to earn their twelve points: Mercedes Morel 199, 11-year-old Dylan Bulusan 190-194 and Nicole Cona 194.

Closing out the day’s face-offs, Bowler City II, receiving a huge lift from Paramus Catholic freshman Louis Ferrante’s 236: 621, walloped T-Bowl, 27-5 [2849-2698]; newcomer Samantha Bruno struck out in the tenth frame of the finale to earn her second point of the match for BC II. T-Bowl’s best scores came from 14-year-old Dylan Herold 195 and anchor Tom Luchetta 193.


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2016-2017 Stan Niemiec Youth Travel League


Lodi, NJ 11-06-16 – The Stan Niemiec YTL’s young bowlers’ initial appearance this season at Lodi produced some impressive numbers. Leading the pack was Nick Cilento whose 245-255-244: 744 coupled with David Neil’s 261-204-226: 691 and a closing 202 from Frank Magyar powered Holiday I to a 20-12 win over Montvale. Tripping the pins for the Montvale quartet were Matt Russell 210: 594, Nick Fabiano 225: 585 and 14-year-old Chris Torres 215: 574.

The afternoon’s most intriguing match was the faceoff between the Hi-Tor boys and girls squads, captured by the latter 23.5-8.5 [2930-2880]. The opening game was classic as Hi-Tor l’s anchor Johnny Toscano, having strung the first ten, needed the eleventh to put the game out of reach, but left the 10-pin which he then converted for current league high 289. Hi-Tor II’s anchor Mercedes Morel covered her spare and needed a strike for a victory, but also left a 10-pin, resulting in a tie, a fitting result for a well-played game. Hi-Tor II’s distaff players were led by Nicole Cona 224: 596, 12-year-old Victoria Varano 224: 595 and a chip-in 201 from Mercedes. As for the league-leading boys’ team, Toscano added scores of 225-211 to finish with 725 while 14-year-old Nick Varano blasted a triple deuce 217-233-249: 699 and Brandon Smith 249-245: 670.

Kyle Schellberg, who leads the youth travelers with a 229 average, exploded for 238-246-223: 707, Clifton H.S. senior Gabby Pangaro pounded the pin decks with 233-199-228: 660 and Janina Santoro closed with an outstanding 255 single [609 set] as Bowler City I, closing with an 882 net, overwhelmed T-Bowl, 29-3. T-Bowl’s best came from Chris Rysz 200 and Tom Luchetta 187-186.

Sparked by southpaw anchor Matt Burzynski’s 236-226-190: 652, Bowler City II romped past Bowler City III, 27-5 [2783-2616]. Top scorer for BC III was Bergenfield H.S. junior Peter Bondy 201-234: 613.

In a tightly contested match, spearheaded by anchor Tom Chamberlain’s 222-213-218: 653, Devin Crowley’s 218: 606 and Jared Duncan’s 211, Holiday II outpointed Lodi, 21-11 [2717-2697]. Rolling well for the Lodi team were Nick Greco 203-211: 599, Hunter Perry 200-210 and Jake Nappi 202.



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