It’s time to shoe it up for one of the busiest weekends of the bowling season for scratch, recreational and scholastic bowlers.
Depending on your skill level, there is definitely a tournament available for you to either pull out your bowling balls and compete, or find a good seat and watch the action.
For the scratch bowlers, there are two major events on the schedule. The 13th annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament, always one of my favorites, wraps up Saturday and Sunday at Towne Bowling Academy with qualifying squads at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and at 9:30 a.m. and noon on Sunday, followed by the semifinals, which will start roughly at 3:30 p.m.
First place is $3,200 guaranteed, and one in five bowlers from each qualifying squad — there were nearly 20 starting back on Feb. 21 — advance to the semifinals. All semifinalists are guaranteed at least $120.
Mike Rose, one of the most talented bowlers in the state, is the defending champion and a two-time winner of this popular event, which is even more special this year after the passing of founder and tournament chairman Tom Donato a few weeks ago. Tom put his heart and soul into this tournament every year, and most of the best bowlers from not only the Capital Region, but also from around the state came here to support the event named after Tom’s father, Joe, one of the greatest bowlers in Schenectady history. Call Tommy Donato Jr. (788-0771) for a reservation. Entry fee for these last few qualifiers is $70.
As of Monday, there were 132 entries and the following people had qualified: Brad Lawyer, Dan Kryzak, Matt Sherman, Tim Hunt, Steve Rock, Rick Fredette, Todd Reichenberger, Eric Copping, Ryan Ladlee, Kris Negus, Mark Ross Jr., Craig Clemons, Mike Otakari, Ron Commette, Kevin Williamson, Steve Steele, Joe Labarr, Chad Rottier, Mike Watts, Brad Kelsey, Robby Knowles, Bill Heaphy, Ron Gardner and Bill Rice.
The same caliber of bowler who will test his or her game at Towne in the Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament will most likely want a shot at the 25th New York State Masters Championship Saturday at Spare Time-Latham.
There are two squads, at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., followed by two-game head-to-head matches at roughly 4:30 p.m. Entry fee is $100. The winner is guaranteed $2,500, plus a paid entry into the 2016 USBC Masters.
The last time the New York State Masters was held locally, Joe Mazuryk won at Boulevard Bowl. An all-star field is expected, including Liz Johnson, a professional and one of the best female bowlers in state history.
For reservations or more information, call Mike Pettinella at 585-343-3736 or 585-861-0404. Defending champion is Alex Cavagnaro of Long Island.
For those of you who love to compete but are perhaps not on the elite level individually, there is the annual Blizzard Bowl, a team handicap event which kicks off its six-squad run Sunday at 11:45 a.m. at Boulevard Bowl. There will be five Sunday squads (Sunday, March 15, March 22, March 29 and April 12), along with one Saturday night squad April 18. The Sunday squads include a continental breakfast at 11 a.m., while the Saturday night squad includes a 9:45 p.m. buffet dinner after bowling.
All proceeds for the four-person event will go to the Schenectady Boys and Girls Club.
As usual, Frank DePalma will run the show, but he’s been battling some tough health issues lately, and he needs everyone’s help to make this year’s Blizzard Bowl one of the best.
I haven’t bowled in a tournament all year, but I might make an exception for this one, because it’s always a lot of fun. DePalma and his gang of volunteers always put on a great event.
Call DePalma at 331-3837 for a reservation.
The Section II boys and girls will be competing at AMF Strike & Spare Lanes in Syracuse in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association bowling championships.
Christian Brothers Academy, which won the boys’ sectional crown at Boulevard Bowl the day the Brothers’ coach, Tom Donato, died, will represent the area in the team event on Saturday. The CBA roster includes Dom Savona, Zeph Kozakiewicz, Zack Terry, Chris Radliff and Dan Skiba. The all-section team, which bowls on Sunday, includes Kyle Hudson (Ballston Spa), Andrew Hernandez (Averill Park), Josh Galusha (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk), Jonathan Smith (Columbia), Alex Alesio (Mohonasen) and Nick Pondillo (Lansingburgh), who won a playoff for the final spot with Johnstown’s Ben Empie.
The Colonie girls, led by Tiera Gulum, will compete on Saturday in the team event, and the all-section team of Jenna Lemke (Bethlehem), Julie Favata (Niskayuna), Shannon Bristol (Lansingburgh), Lauren Piotrowski (Schenectady), Melanie Lemke (Bethlehem) and Katie Lynch (Lansingburgh) will roll on Sunday.
Follow the action at www.section3bowling.com/nysphsaa/results.php.
STRIKES & SPARES
Patty Starr (891) and Kylie Pasquerella (919) combined for an 1,810 scratch total to win the 45th annual Women’s Doubles Invitational Saturday at Boulevard Bowl. The winning tandem split $600. Other cashers included Loretta Turner with Meg Fountain (1,783, $350), Leighann Libertucci with Danielle Manuli (1,753, $250), Amanda Sczepkowski with Denise DeCarlo (1,698, $150); Denise Lamphere with Jenean Bailey (1,654, $100), Jean Cunningham with Sue Neumann (1,643, $70) and Kelly Bush with Ursula Pasquerella (1,641, $60).
Amy Janetsky and Robin Fredenburgh teamed up to win the A division of the Schenectady/Scotia 500 Club Snowball Scotch Doubles at Sportsman’s Bowl. Connie Gerardi and Lena Becker finished second. Donna Frederick and Laurie LaDuke won the B division.
John Walther III and Steve Wagoner defeated Kenny Hall and Deb Capullo, 438-366, to win the Digger Doubles at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. Walther and Wagoner split $1,700, while Hall and Capullo split $800. Other cashers included Jim Geiger with Eddie Gumm $400), Rich Strath with Tim Banta ($400), Bill Neumann with Mike Neumann ($250), Barry Brockway with Steve Rock ($250), Matt Sherman with Mike Sherman ($250) and Craig Clemons with Mike Cleamons ($250).
The Schenectady-Scotia USBC Women’s Bowling Association will hold its annual membership meeting March 14 at 1 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. On the agenda will be the election of officers and directors, the tournament report and the adoption of the annual budget.
Chris Hanson of Ballston Lake defeated Jonathan Bowman of Peru, 202-198, to win the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour tournament at Towne Bowling Academy Saturday. Hanson earned a $250 scholarship, while Bowman took home a scholarship worth $150. Justin Carl of Albany earned a $100 scholarship, and Niskauna’s Dom Favata picked up a $75 scholarship. In the girls’ division, Heather Allen of Rensselaer ($150), Gulum ($90), Janelle Irwin of Schenectady ($50) and Julia Favata ($15) won scholarships. The next event will be March 15 at Sportsman’s Bowl.
Sportsman’s Bowl will host a Tavern tournament March 15 at 12:30 p.m. Five-person men’s, women’s and mixed teams are eligible. Entry fee is $120 per team, and first place will be $550 per team, based on 28 teams. One in six teams will cash. Call Sportsman’s at 355-4330 for more information.
The Menagerie league, which bowls Friday nights at Sportsman’s Bowl, has one opening on its league-leading team. Anyone wishing to bowl the last six weeks of the season should call Sportsman’s.