Currently, Lee Aiezza is not the most famous bowler in the Aiezza family, but there was a time when this powerful right-hander was among the best in the Capital Region.
Aiezza’s wife, Jessica, gets most of the headlines these days, as she is without doubt one of the top two or three female keglers in the region.
Yet Lee, now 41, had his share of accolades on the lanes. His name popped up out of the blue this week when he shot an 807 triple in the City League at Towne Bowling Academy. That effort was the best scratch performance of the night on the Monday major circuit. He fired games of 279, 249 and 279. He left a 9-pin in the eighth frame of his first game, and left a 10-pin in the fifth frame of his third game. It was his seventh career 800 triple.
“I figured out a little something in my first couple of steps, and it helped my timing tremendously,” Aiezza said of his recent big effort. “It was a matter of timing and footwork. I’m now taking about a two-inch step backward on the approach before I head to the line, and that has helped me get my other steps the right length.”
Aiezza used to bowl three times a week in leagues and also competed in various tournaments on weekends.
“Thankfully, my job doesn’t really keep me from bowling in tournaments on weekends, but I’ve got two kids now, age 3 and 5, and with Jessica getting her feet wet in more tournaments, I’m just as happy to watch them,” he said.
“I’m so proud of the way Jessica is bowling. She’s been outstanding.”
Aiezza, who uses a DV8 Vandal and a Brunswick Melee Jab as his two favorite bowling balls, said he misses the competition, but doesn’t miss bowling as much as he thought he would.
“I just bowl one night a week now. I’m averaging 228 or 229,” he said. “My best average was a 241 about four years ago at Del Lanes.”
Aiezza has 31 perfect games. He’s won five Northern Bowlers Association titles and three Huck Finn crowns.
“Some people see the name Aiezza and don’t think of me any more, but that’s OK,” he said with a laugh.
I’ve known both Lee and Jessica, a former national average champion, for a long time. They are not only fantastic bowlers but part of a super family as well.
STRIKES & SPARES
Dates have been announced for the upcoming sectional bowling tournament next month at Boulevard Bowl. The girls in all classes will bowl Thursday, Feb. 4, while the Class B boys compete the next day. On Monday, Feb. 8, the Class C boys will bowl, followed by the Class A boys on Feb. 9. All bowlers will roll six games, three in the morning block and three more in the afternoon. The sectional teams will be coached by John Dennis (girls) and Lenny Reyngoudt (boys). The Section II bowling chairmen this year are Gary Vanderzee (boys) and Bill Neumann (girls).
This week’s Huck Finn tournament schedule features the combined handicap/scratch show No. 2. The handicap division finals will be Sunday at noon at Playdium. There will be two scratch division squads on Sunday at Spare Time Latham at 9:30 and 11 a.m., followed by the finals at 1 p.m. The TV taping will be Jan. 24 at Spare Time-Latham at 6:30 p.m. That show will air Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. on MY4.
Speaking of Huck Finn tournaments, the finalists in last weekend’s Joe Donato Senior tournament at Uncle Sam Lanes were Jim Patricelli, Rich Strath, Chuck Race and John Riozzi Jr.
Towne Bowling Academy’s $4,000 Handicap Team Tournament continues this weekend. Call 355-3939 for more information.
The Schenectady Bowling Association’s City Tournament also continues this weekend at Rolling Greens.
Parker Bohn III, one of the most popular pro bowlers in history, has moved up to third place on the all-time PBA TV appearance list with 114. He’s won 94 of those matches. The left-hander trails Walter Ray Williams (176) and Pete Weber (136) in all-time PBA TV appearances. Although not from the Capital Region, Bohn is well known to area bowlers. The former Empire State Open, held here at the now defunct Bowlers Club in Latham, was briefly named after him, and he’s made numerous trips locally to both compete and speak. He was the guest speaker at the Schenectady Bowling Association’s annual awards banquet several times.
David Dewesky, a 27-year-old bowler from Dearborn, Michigan, rolled a perfect 900 triple last Sunday at Plaza Lanes in Plymouth, Michigan. He was competing in the Detroit Printcraft league. He became the 27th bowler in history to roll a USBC-sanctioned 900 triple. He recently rolled an 888 triple in the same league.
Delegates will vote on several changes to the USBC bylaws at the United States Bowling Congress annual meeting April 26-29 at The Orleans in Las Vegas. Drawing the most interest from local bowlers will be a vote on raising the national dues for the first time in 10 years. Currently, those national dues can’t exceed $10. The proposal is to raise the dues ceiling to $15. Don’t forget that there are also separate dues for both state and local associations.
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.
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