Sontz fulfills promise to his late father

Marv Sontz promised his dying father in June that he would make a Huck Finn Capital Region bowling s

Marv Sontz promised his dying father in June that he would make a Huck Finn Capital Region bowling show.

He kept his promise Sunday at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Sontz, who is not only the proprietor of Del Lanes in Delmar, but also the president of the Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York — which presents the weekly television program — teamed up with Liz O’Brien to edge Hugo McGroty and Ursula Pasquerella and win one of four spots on the Huck Finn Mixed Doubles show.

Other teams to earn spots were Mike Neumann with Jenifer Strom, Shawn Harris with Nicole Persico and Don Baker with Denise Taber.

It’s been several decades since Sontz, 54, has made an appearance on television.

“I was on TV Tournament Time twice, once as a youngster and once as an adult,” Sontz said. “My father passed away in June, and I told him that I would make the show this year. Looks like I did. I’m sure Kenny Hall [the show’s color commentator] will have a few choice words about me and my game.”

Sontz rarely competes in area tournaments because he’s so busy running his bowling center, but he does have 15 perfect games and two 800 triples on his resume.

His partner bowled extremely well all day, and made several clutch shots in the match play roll-off.

“This will be my first time on television,” said O’Brien, who carries a 168 average, which gave the team 50 pins of handicap. “I think I was more nervous in the first game of qualifying than I was in the roll-off, but it was a lot of fun.”

The men bowled scratch, but the women received 100 percent hand-icap based on a 220 average. The maximum handicap was 50 pins.

Sontz fired a 676 triple during the three-game qualifier, and O’Brien added a 639, including a 255 finale, to help the team gain a second seed. The top eight teams qualified for the match play roll-off that determined which four teams would make the TV show.

Sontz and O’Brien had the closest match in the roll-off, edging McGroty and Pasquerella, 447-431.

Neumann and Strom crushed John DiMarco and Wendy DiMarco, 555-379, in the roll-off after earning the third seed. Neum-ann shot a 698 triple, and Strom clicked for a 643. Strom then fired a 268 in the roll-off.

“I’ve never done anything really great in bowling before,” said Strom, who carries a 180 average. “About the only thing worthwhile I did was when I was a member of the Albany City Tournament championship team. I kind of got in the zone in that last game, and I didn’t think about what was going on. This will be my first time on television.”

Baker slammed a 716 triple, while Taber chipped in with a 571 during qualifying. They eliminated top-seeded Josh Shepard and Chrissy Onderdonk, 507-441, in the roll-offs.

“This will be my second time on television,” said Baker, who has three perfect games and one 800 triple. “I lost to Russ Hunter in a scratch single show. You know, I still get nervous, even though I’m 44 and have been bowling for a long time. I threw my last 300 game a few weeks ago in Ravena, and I was extremely nervous.”

Harris, who shot a 279-742 in the qualifier, and Persico, who ripped a 268-697, ousted Bill Brouillette and Patti O’Connor, 448-416.

Shepard, John DiMarco and Mike Drexel shot 300 games. DiMarco’s 783 was the high triple for the men during qualifying, while Sue Wolf fired a 279-733 for the women’s high triple.

Fifty-six teams competed.


Qualifiers — Josh Shepard (770)-Chrissy Onderdonk (699) 1,487, Marv Sontz (676)-Liz O’Brien (639) 1,465, Mike Neumann (698)-Jenifer Strom (643) 1,461; Bill Brouillette (779)-Patti O’Connor (593) 1,453; Shawn Harris (742)-Nicole Persico (697) 1,451; John DiMarco (783)-Wendy DiMarco (510) 1,443, Hugo McGroty (706)-Ursula Pasquerella (723) 1,441, Don Baker (716)-Denise Taber (571) 1,437.

Roll-offs — Baker-Taber def. Shepard-Onderdonk, 507-441; Harris-Persico def. Brouillete-O’Connor, 448-416; Neumann-Strom def. DiMarco-DiMarco, 555-379; Sontz-O’Brien def. McGroty-Pasquerella, 447-431.

Other top teams — Jeremy Yando (650)-Naomi Yando Perkins (636) 1,436; Jack Scaccia Jr. (690)-Jessica DeVellis (722) 1,436; John Alix (759)-Diane Denue (523) 1,432; Bob Smith (725)-Patti Tenyenhuis (690) 1,415; Paul Mondenaro (697)-Jean Marie Jablonski (646) 1,406; Tom Walsh-Dana Roberts 1,404; Scott Zalud (719)-Kara Struffolino (671) 1,399; Craig Smith (700)-Darlene Pearce (565) 1,397; Mark Ray (751)-Denise Johnson (644) 1,395; Ron Zadrozny (611)-Jessica Brockmyer (690) 1,385; Chuck Schissler (683)-Jennifer Schissler (689) 1,378; Rich Rogaski (717)-Jenean Bailey (651) 1,377; Ken Stroud 724-Joanna Furbeck (576) 1,372; Bob Kavanaugh (673)-Val Smith (659) 1,371; Joe Mazuryk (678)-Katie Duncan (691) 1,369; Paul Dumas (665)-Mary Beth Ketzer (560) 1,366; Darrel Coonrad (681)-Rita Heffern (610) 1,366; Mark Huerter (659)-Danielle Harley (556) 1,365; Fred Blake (709)-Karrie Romanowski (653) 1,362; Brett Samboy (641)-Jennifer Filuta (575) 1,345; Mike Drexel (670)-Julie Drexel (615) 1,342; Brad Oudt (689)-Debbie Oudt (513) 1,340; Nunzi Manuli (594)-Danielle Manuli (698) 1,340; Mark Kepner (640)-Jennifer Kryzak (628) 1,340.

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