Christian Chiarito recently joined the club, and it’s done wonders for his confidence on the bowling lanes.
The club? It’s the winner’s club, of course.
The Schenectady High School senior captured his first noteworthy tournament win, a Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour victory at Playdium Bowling Center. Although regarded as one of the top up-and-coming youth bowlers in the area, Chiarito didn’t break into the winner’s circle until excelling in the CDYST finals two weeks ago. He earned a $400 scholarship.
Spoiler alert! You can see Chiarito’s performance Sunday at 10 a.m. on the Huck Finn’s “Capital Region Bowling Show” on MY4.
“It felt great to finally win something,” Chiarito said. “I really like bowling in the CDYST events because the oil patterns are different every week, and they are very challenging. I know bowling in these tournaments will make me a better bowler in college because I will have competed on so many tough oil conditions and not just a house shot.”
To show you how demanding the CDYST patterns are, Chiarito is averaging just 195 in those tournaments, compared to 220 for his high school team and 235 in the Sportsman’s Bowl Saturday junior program.
Chiarito admitted that bowling on television was a nerve-wracking experience.
“I never bowled on television before,” he said. “I kind of had to fight off the nerves, and it was very warm on the set.”
Chiarito’s game is conducive to difficult conditions.
“I’m more of a down-and-in kind of bowler who doesn’t hook the ball much. I keep the ball in play and make my spares,” he said. “Straighter is better for me, and it usually works pretty well on tougher scoring conditions.”
He used to throw Storm bowling equipment exclusively, but now Chiarito also is rolling Ebonite equipment. Although straight shooters usually have fewer problems than power players when it comes to making spares, he takes no chances.
“I use a plastic ball on all my spares. That way I can go right at them,” he said. “Mike Guidarelli and Bob Tedesco Jr. [Sportsman’s Bowl proprietors] taught me how to bowl, and using a plastic ball for spares is something they stressed to me.”
Chiarito’s goal is to bowl in college. To that end, he’s already signed on to bowl for Ray Ross’ Schenectady County Community College program, and then, hopefully, to transfer to a four-year school known for bowling. Robert Morris is a possibility, as well as several big-time bowling programs in the Midwest.
Aside from bowling in as many CDYST events as possible, the biggest tournament Chiarito has ever competed in was last year’s Junior Gold.
“I finished 600th out of about 1,400 bowlers. I didn’t do badly for my first time,” he said.
Chiarito has four perfect games (one sanctioned) and one 800 triple on his resume so far. He’s looking forward to bowling in next week’s Section II Bowling Championships at Boulevard Bowl. The boys’ Class A competition will be a week from today beginning at 9 a.m. There will be two three-game squads.
“I’m hoping my Schenectady High School team makes the state tournament, but if not, I’d like to bowl well enough as an individual to advance to the states. I’ve never been to states before,” he said. “I’ve already practiced on the condition they will use at Boulevard.”
By the way, the sectionals kick off with the girls’ championship on Thursday. The boys’ Class B event is set for Feb. 13, followed by the boys’ Class C-D event on Feb. 14.
STRIKES & SPARES
The Huck Finn Mixed Doubles qualifiers will be tonight at 9:15 and then Sunday at 9 and 11:30 a.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. The Sunday squads are nearly full. Call Towne Bowling Academy at 355-3939 for reservations. The TV taping will be Feb. 12.
It will be a big weekend for the Schenectady County Community College bowling program, which hosts the Boulevard Bowl Collegiate Classic Saturday at 11 a.m. and the 23rd annual SCCC Invitational Sunday at 8:30 a.m., also at Boulevard.
Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy is sponsoring its Superbowl Bakers Doubles Tournament Sunday at noon. Entry fee is $30 per bowler with advanced entry or $35 the day of the event. The format will be an eight-game sweeper. One in six teams will cash. Top prize will be $800, based on 25 teams. Call Tom Walsh at 378-4695 for reservations.
Alex Weglarz finished first, and R.J. Martinez was the runner-up in last weekend’s Troy Bowling Association Plastic Ball Tournament at Hometown Lanes in Mechanicville.
Unofficial results of the seventh annual Ebonite Towne Bowling Academy Handicap Team Tournament are in. The Good Hair Club (2,968) won the team event, followed by Strath Mix Them Up (2,923) and Towne Rock N Bowl (2,909). Phil Kilmartin (824), Joe VanDerLinden (803) and Debbie Capullo (797) were the top three singles.
Playdium Bowling Center in Albany hosts the New Era Senior Tour Saturday at 10 a.m. Bowlers are asked to check in by 9:45 a.m.
The 15th Annual Joe & Tom Donato Scratch Singles Tournament, one of the most lucrative events in the Capital Region, will conduct its semifinals and finals March 19 at Towne Bowling Academy. A full schedule of qualifiers will be announced shortly.
The 500 Club Snow Ball Scotch Doubles Ladies Tournament will be held Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Both partners must be members of the 500 Club. Applications are available at Towne Bowling Academy, Boulevard Bowl and Sportsman’s Bowl. Contact Marie Moorhead (399-3063) or Marianne Hogle (393-8907) for more information.