In the Pocket: Derenzo not letting age slow him down

Photo providedPJ Derenzo still going strong in a pair of local major leagues at age 67.

Photo provided

PJ Derenzo still going strong in a pair of local major leagues at age 67.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Sports

As a longtime tax service consultant, PJ Derenzo knows a lot about numbers. Age just happens to be one of them.

The 67-year-old lefty is off to another great start on the lanes this season, and he sees no point in backing off from his love of competition — even if it’s against much younger men with more powerful releases.

“Not too bad for an old man,” Derenzo said. “If I get to the point where I feel I can’t compete with the younger guys, I’ll go to a less competitive league. But I enjoy it. I love it. I like the competition. When we got to the first week of bowling on Saturday nights, I wanted to bowl The Zoo [perennial Vitalo Classic powerhouse] the very first week.”

Derenzo and his son, “Spark,” bowl together in both the Vitalo Classic and the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday nights at Boulevard Bowl.

“I feel we can hold our own,” Derenzo said. “I really enjoy bowling with my son twice a week.”

Derenzo’s 257-990 four-game series topped the season-opening Vitalo Classic card, and he also paced the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic in its second week with a 938 series. Not bad for an “old guy.”

“I’m a down-and-in guy. Accuracy and spare-making are the keys in my opinion,” Derenzo said. “If I miss a 7-pin, I’m not very happy. I don’t like to hear people complain about the lanes. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are. I’m pretty good at adjusting.”

Derenzo still uses a 16-pound ball, and he likes to use mostly Hammer equipment.

“Right now, I’ve got a Hammer Rip’d. I’ve always liked the Hammer products, but I do have one Storm ball, the IQ, that I got from Mike [Boulevard Bowl proprietor Mike Scaccia],” he said. “I buy a new ball maybe every three years or so. I’ve also got the Taboo and the Hot Sauce. I mainly make my adjustments by moving on the lanes, but I will change balls if I start leaving too many half-7s.”

The Linton High School and Hudson Valley CC product bowled as a youngster but gave up the game in 1982.

“I was averaging maybe 185-190 at the time, and the conditions were a lot different than they are now,” he explained, “I had family obligations, and my kids got into sports, so I just stopped bowling.”

But the bowling bug returned, and family ties had a lot to do with it.

“In 2002, my son got a job working at Boulevard, and I started to watch him bowl at the lanes,” Derenzo recalled. “He was bowling with JP Harrell, and the Union College Alumni League had some openings. I subbed in the league, using an old Black Hammer, and I really liked it. I was in my 40s when I got back into it, and I found that I really liked the game again, especially with all the new equipment.”

Derenzo said one of his favorite local bowlers to watch and emulate is fellow lefty Jay Diamond.

“He’s a fun guy to watch. He’s very humble, and he’s accurate,” Derenzo said.

Derenzo didn’t have many big honor scores when he stopped bowling back in 1982, but since his return, he’s rolled 19 perfect games.

“My best score when I first quit was a 279,” he noted.

Derenzo once rolled back-to-back perfect games after a 248 for an 848 triple, and one of his most noteworthy performances was an 845 triple in the City Catholic league on games of 299, 267 and 279. His best four-game series to date is a 1,092. He estimates that he’s put together 11 800 triples.

“When I find the spot, I can put together a good score,” he said. “I finished as high as a 234 average in 2010, but I usually average between 220 and 225 most of the time. I think my capabilities are averaging at least 225 or in the high 220s. I stay fit, and I’ve weighed about the same for the last 40 years. My wife and I are very active.”

Derenzo worked briefly for the Post Office before starting a long career as a branch manager for several local OTB centers. He and his brother have run a tax service business for years, and although he’s been retired from OTB for almost a decade, he still keeps his hands in the tax business.

“We had our best year ever in the tax business. We were booked through July 15. Usually, my busy season ends in April,” Derenzo said.

When Derenzo is not on the lanes, he’s on the links.

“I’m a much better bowler than golfer, but I’d much rather play golf,” Derenzo said with a chuckle. “I’ve got three holes-in-one and my low round in golf was a 78. I just enjoy playing.”

Derenzo said he loves to compete but doesn’t want to take it too seriously.

“I’m just out there to have fun and compete, win or lose,” he said. “I love the friendships I’ve made in bowling. But it’s different for me now. When I first started bowling, I was in some mixed leagues. It was just a night out to have fun. I wasn’t good enough to bowl in the scratch leagues. But now, there are pressure situations. When I first started bowling again, I choked in those pressure situations a few times, but I obviously got better at it. I’m very glad I got back into the game.”

SCHENECTADY USBC NOTES

The Schenectady USBC Bowling Association held its first meeting over the weekend since last December because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its scheduled meeting in March was canceled.

To keep the local game in order with all the chaos involving shutting down for six months, as well as all the new rules for sanitation, social distancing, etc., the association has followed USBC suggestions and will retain all of its board of directors until the next election in July.

Other news from the meeting:

  • Sanction dues will remain at $21 ($13 national dues, $1 NYS dues and $7 local dues) for Schenectady USBC members.
  • The Schenectady Bowling Association office at Boulevard Bowl is now open on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6-9 p.m.
  • Local centers will host two state events this season that were canceled at the end of last season because of the pandemic. The NYS Open Championship will be held in April and May, while the NYS Women’s 600 Championship will be held June 11-13. Both major events will be held at Boulevard Bowl.
  • Schenectady USBC president Bill Nolan reminds all local bowlers to follow state guidelines while bowling. That includes keeping your mask on over both your nose and mouth at all times while in the bowling center. Also, when eating or drinking, bowlers should be seated. Sportsman’s Bowl was fined last Monday for violations that included a pair of mask-related issues.
  • Sportsman’s Bowl will host the Schenectady USBC Open Championship this season, with the other two association centers holding the women’s and junior events, respectively.

STRIKES & SPARES

Congratulations to EJ Adams Jr., who shot his first perfect game in the City Catholic league last week. It was only his second outing in an adult league.

The Blizzard Bowl, which was interrupted by the pandemic last March, will hold another squad at Boulevard Bowl this Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Albany TNBA’s Trios Tournament will be held Oct. 24-25 at Towne Bowling Academy. Bowlers must be Albany TNBA members to compete.

Congratulations to Savannah Swiatocha for earning her spot in the 2021 Junior Gold championship with her recent performance in a DJBT junior tournament at Chicopee Lanes in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Sportsman’s Bowl and Chris Fawcett are holding a special elimination “Sweeper’ Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. Entry fee is $30. There will be a three-game qualifier, with half the field bowling another game and the field being cut in half until the final two bowlers remain. Walk-ins will be allowed until 10 minutes before the tournament starts. There will be 50-50 raffles and $5 jackpots available. For more information, contact Fawcett (518-852-9372) or by Facebook messenger, or Sportsman’s Bowl (518-355-4330). Payments will be accepted in cash only.

Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls is offering a Scratch Baker Doubles tournament Oct. 17 at noon and 4 p.m. with the finals set for the next day at 10 a.m. There will be an eight-game qualifier, followed by round-robin match play. Entry fee is $160 per team, with the winning tandem guaranteed $2,500. One in six teams advance to the finals from each qualifying squad. Call 518-793-9606 for more information.

Town & Country Lanes has announced a special Sweeper Series on Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13. Entry fee is $40 per event, which starts at 10 a.m. each day. There will be a 60-bowler limit. Four bowlers will bowl on one pair, and handicap will be 90 percent of 215. There also will be a membership fee of $5. Top prize will be $240.

MAJOR BOWLING

Don Herrington fired a 289-847, Rich Strath rolled a perfect game en route to an 834, Billy Wigand slammed a 300 game and an 809 triple and Ken LaBelle Jr. also rolled a perfect game on a high-scoring Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League card Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Jim Bassotti recorded a 280-762, Justin Carl delivered a 297-761 and Dave Bingham rolled a 258-742 to lead the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

B.J. Smith (299-952), Ryan Karabin (266-940), John Mecca (246-927) and PJ Derenzo (255-905) topped the 900 four-game series mark in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

Tom Earl produced a 299 game on the way to a 1,044 four-game set, Don Herrington slammed a 279-1,008, John Askew put together a 999, Matt Swiatocha and Kaitlyn Barnes recorded perfect games and Liz Kuhlkin shot a 279-987 to pace the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Mike Bellinger fired a 300 game en route to a 1,047 four-game series to lead the Amsterdam Men’s City League Monday night at Imperial Lanes. Billy McGaffin was runner-up on the card with a 263-958.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings

J&F Lawn Care 6-0, 20 North 6-0, Syron’s Meat Market 5-1, DeCrescente Distributing 5-1, Vito Sindoni 4-2, Towne Bowling Academy 3-3, Team 8 3-3, Team 4 3-3, Team 13 2-4, Downs Roofing 2-4, Action Bowling Supply 2-4, Team 5 0-6, D&D Lawncare 0-6, Rollarama 0-6.

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Match summaries

Team 8 (3)

Dwayne Coonrad 195-244-222 — 661, Paul Dumas 245-223-190 — 658, Rick Speckhardt 234-181-204 — 619, Steve Wagoner 180-255-2445 — 680. Totals: 854-903-861 — 2,618.

Team 5 (0)

Nick DiCerbo 194-205-236 — 635, Vinny Struffolino 207-222-180 — 609, Jackie Malone 164-181-167 — 512, Bob Faragon 245-245-185 — 675. Totals: 810-853-768 — 2,431.

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J&F Lawn Care (3)

Jason Brown 242-224-193 — 659, RJ Martinez 208-213-225 — 646, Nick Stricos 242-237-299 — 778, Steve Hallenbeck 195-223-209 — 627. Totals: 867-897-926 — 2,710.

D&D Lawncare (0)

Karrie Blake 190-201-166 — 557, Jacob Rotter 181-236-222 — 639, Bill Judge 240-201-192 — 633, Carol Crandall 226-202-162 — 590. Totals: 837-840-742 — 2,419.

———

Action Bowling Supply (0)

Rit Fazzone 197-149-139 — 485, Bob Messick 165-217-219 — 601, Natasha Bidwell 182-224-182 — 588, Matt Fazzone 194-244-235 — 673. Totals: 738-834-775 — 2,347.

Towne Bowling Academy (3)

Tom Earl 299-257-213 — 769, Tom DiBell 226-245-259 — 730, Marty Capullo Jr. 238-191-167 — 596, Debbie Capullo 236-249-228 — 713. Totals: 999-942-867 — 2,808.

———

DeCrescente Distributing (0)

Jessica Aiezza 226-259-184 — 669, Mark Kuhlkin 279-244-206 — 729, Scott Rogers 179-210-226 — 615, John Askew 279-214-183 — 676. Totals: 963-927-799 — 2,699.

Downs Roofing (1)

PJ Derenzo 188-233-246 — 667, Nick Barnes 205-210-258 — 673, Ryan Karabin 234-209-222 — 665, Billy Wigand 244-265-300 — 809. Totals: 871-917-1,026 — 2,814.

———

Rollarama (0)

Ryan Gahan 183-188-179 — 550, Keith Lawyer 205-169-201 — 575, Dan Rotter 187-151-204 — 542, Tony Palumbo 216-247-193 — 656. Totals: 791-755-777 — 2,323.

Team 4 (3)

Marc Fowler 234-210-224 — 668, Cassius Boyd 211-197-185 — 593, Chris Jones 221-206-212 — 639, Chad Propper 219-183-187 — 589. Totals: 885-796-808 — 2,489.

———

20 North (3)

Matt Kallner 244-246-201 — 691, Joe Marro 116-164-179 — 459, Joel Donato 224-225-257 — 706, Tommy Donato 196-234-220 — 650. Totals: 780-869-857 — 2,506.

Team 13 (0)

Randy Fickert 204-154-164 — 522, Chuck Schissler 148-215-185 — 548, Ronnie Zadrozny 169-227-253 — 640, Gabe Criscuolo 212-229-243 — 684. Totals: 724-825-845 — 2,394.

———

Vito Sindoni (1)

Scott Chastenay 232-234-232 — 698, Mike DiCerbo 225-205-278 — 708, Rich Strath 300-255-279 — 834, Joe VanDerLinden 243-225-182 — 650. Totals: 1,000-919-971 — 2,890.

Syron’s Meat Market (2)

Ken Wilkins 244-242-258 — 744, Brandon Wolf 214-231-256 — 701, Don Herrington 279-289-279 — 847, Ken LaBelle Jr. 259-216-300 — 775. Totals: 996-978-1,093 — 3,057.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings

Muny Grille 7-1, Rollin’ Smoke BBQ 6-2, Mike’s Hot Dogs 6-2, Next Level Detailing 5-3, Universal Auto Parts 5-3, The Appliance Specialist 4-4, Metroland Photo 4-4, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 4-4, Team No. 10 3-5, IDID 3-5, Bob’s Pro Shop 1-7, Team No. 12 0-8.

———

Match summaries

Metroland Photo (1)

Lee Quivey 189-161-200 — 550, Steve Renzi 182-218-212 — 612, Mike Gallitelli 223-194-212 — 629, B.J. Smith Jr. 205-245-227 — 677. Totals: 799-818-851 — 2,468.

IDID (3)

Tony Fernandez 202-216-289 — 707, Flash Gordon 212-181-161 — 554, Jim Valentino 189-205-183 — 577, Mike Piotrowski 247-208-258 — 713. Totals: 850-810-891 — 2,551.

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Mike’s Hot Dogs (2)

Doug Semerad 229-248-203 — 680, Tammy Sader 187-241-236 — 664, Richard Rogaski 173-246-194 — 613, Kevin Palmer 255-237-191 — 683. Totals: 844-972-824 — 2,640.

The Appliance Specialist (2)

Melissa Bogholtz 212-238-203 — 653, Steve Fawcett 195-188-171 — 554, Zach Gravell 227-204-213 — 644, Chris Fawcett 212-205-268 — 685. Totals: 846-835-855 — 2,536.

———

Team 12 (0)

Jason Deitz 149-202-115 — 466, Harley Stefanick 196-147-166 — 509, Earnest Laduke Jr. 115-131-123 — 369, Connor Shoemaker 161-189-203 — 553. Totals: 621-669-607 — 1,867.

Universal Auto Parts (4)

Andy Smith 213-194-201 — 608, Bill Heaphy III 175-233-196 — 604, Chris Smith (absent) 226-226-226 — 678, Chris Fedden 225-215-248 — 688. Totals: 839-868-871 — 2,578.

———

Muny Grille (4)

Jay Diamond 226-246-249 — 721, Dave Bingham 228-258-256 — 742, John Musto Jr. 241-197-252 — 690, Jamie Diamond 248-223-150 — 621. Totals: 943-924-907 — 2,774.

Klonowski’s Pro Shop (0)

Ted Klonowski Jr. 131-141-114 — 386, Jackelynn Noble 169-212-157 — 538, Jim Petronis 242-173-211 — 626, Ted Klonowski III 178-210-198 — 586. Totals: 720-736-680 — 2,136.

———

Rollin’ Smoke BBQ (4)

Bill Carl 211-199-191 — 601, Kalynn Carl 237-215-246 — 698, John Leone 232-246-183 — 661, Justin Carl 247-297-212 — 761. Totals: 927-957-837 — 2,721.

Bob’s Pro Shop (0)

Fred McMahon 191-217-200 — 608, Earl Lawrence Jr. 267-258-168 — 693, Bob Tedesco Jr. 192 game, Mike Smith 238-248-161 — 647, BJ Rucinski Jr. 174-255 — 429. Totals: 888-897-784 — 2,569.

———

Team No. 10 (2)

Joe DiBiase 154-226-226 — 606, Joe O’Toole 245-214-168 — 627, Cory Buckley 164-233-203 — 600, Tyler Mochrie 266-257-216 — 739. Totals: 829-930-813 — 2,572.

Next Level Detailing ({2)

Mike Guidarelli 186-199-226 — 611, Jim Bassotti 258-224-280 — 762, Jim Parker 212-213-246 — 671, Matt Swiatocha 179-201-234 — 605. Totals: 826-837-986 — 2,649.

FRANK DePALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings

Downs Roofing 12-3, D.A. Parisi & Co. 10-5, Derenzo’s Tax Service 9-6, Mason’s Automotive 6-9, Boulevard Bowl 5-10, Kalpro 3-12.

———

Match summaries

Derenzo’s Tax Service (4)

PJ Derenzo 255-225-202-223 — 905, Spark Derenzo 199-244-206-215 — 864, Bob Tuttle 1979-212-223-223 — 855. Totals: 651-681-631-661 — 2 ,624.

Kalpro (1)

Keith Lawyer 181-190-206-172 — 749, Kyle Wilkins 146-222-212-18 — 758, Joe Carusone 189-199-233-152 — 773. Totals: 516-611-651-502 — 2,280

———

D.A. Parisi & Son (1)

John Mecca 235-236-246-210 — 927, Jeff Williams 175-158-187-233 — 753, Ken Wilkins 194-211-196-197 — 798. Totals: 604-605-629-640 — 2,478.

Downs Roofing (4)

Ryan Karabin 247-236-191-266 — 940, Tony Bianchi 234-167-242-224 — 867, Lee Quivey 162-226-177 — 565, Phil Kilmartin 190 game. Totals: 671-565-659-667 — 2,562.

———

Boulevard Bowl (1)

Mike Scaccia 206-204-237-194 — 841, Brian Hart 238-184-219-235 — 876, Vacant 190-190-190-190 — 760. Totals: 634-578-646-619 — 2,477.

Masons Automotive (4)

Mark Hansen 201-214-215-214 — 844, Robin Fredenburgh 236-246-153-159 — 794, B.J. Smith Jr. 226-190-237-299 — 952. Totals: 663-650-605-672 — 2,590.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings

Team 19 50-10, Team 6 44.5-15.5, Boulevard Bowl 43.5-16.5, Team 13 41-19, Team 5 38.5-21.5, Team 11 38.5-21.5, Next Level Detailing 31-29, Team 9 30.5-29.5, Team 4 30-30, Team 17 30-30, Team 20 29-31, Towne Bowling Academy 28-32, Team 8 828-32, Team 14 27-33, Team 16 26-34, Team 10 21-39, Team 15 19-941, Team 3 17-43, Team 1 15-45, Team 12 14-46.

———

Match summaries

Team 8 (12)

Elizabeth Criscuolo 177-165-178-141 — 661, Gabe Criscuolo 258-222-196-237 — 913. Totals: 511-463-450-454 — 1,878.

Team 13 (8)

Kate Clark 178-213-191-257 — 839, Jamie Duncan 178-161-254-224 — 817. Totals: 405-423-494-530 — 1,852.

———

Team 11 (3)

Kris Impellizzeri 226-161-194-216 — 797, Scott Rogers 257-246-247-225 — 975. Totals: 506-430-464-464 — 1,864

Team 19 (17)

Liz Kuhlkin 279-231-219-258 — 987, Joe VanDerLinden 259-268-256-211 — 994. Totals: 540-501-472-471 — 1,989.

———

Team 15 (13)

Amber Dominic 243-232-156-289 — 920, Vinny Struffolino 180-241-233-242 — 896. Totals: 472-522-438-580 — 2,012.

Towne Bowling Academy (7)

Debbie Capullo 257-194-227-223 — 901, Tony Palumbo 235-191-225-213 — 864. Totals: 513-406-473-457 — 1,849.

———

Team 10 (7)

Renee Earl 189-178-171-200 — 738, Tom Earl 289-214-242-299 — 1,044. Totals: 515-429-450-536 — 1,930.

Team 6 (13)

Lindsey McPhail 242-232-244-223 — 941, Don Herrington 214-279-259-256 — 1,008. Totals: 476-531-523-499 — 2,029.

———

Team 20 (11)

Chris Allen-Valenzuela 205-205-187-205 — 800, John Askew 214-258-259-268 — 999. Totals: 442-486-469-494 — 1,891.

Boulevard Bowl (9)

Amy Janetsky 202-194-197-227 — 810, Cliff Ruth 214-223-234-195 — 866. Totals: 460-451-475-466 — 1,852.

———

Team 3 (9)

Jenn Schissler 188-230-170-233 — 821, Chuckie Schissler 183-223-172-235 — 813. Totals: 417-499-388-514 — 1,818.

Team 17 (11)

Ursula Pasquerella 226-172-216-201 — 815, Joe Venduro (absent) 211-211-211-211 — 844. Totals: 477-423-467-452 — 1,819.

———

Next Level Detailing (14)

Kim Swiatocha 192-248-269-216 — 925, Matt Swiatocha 244-300-244-206 — 944. Totals: 462-574-539-448 — 2,023.

Team 16 (6)

Aliyah Liberatore 179-179-181-168 — 707, Ben Empie 224-187-218-183 — 812. Totals: 479-442-475-427 — 1 ,823.

———

Team 14 (4)

Kelly Chrzanowski 193-213-203-182 — 791, Tom Rogers 184-152-205-212 — 753. Totals: 425-413-456-442 — 1,736.

Team 5 (16)

Jessica Aiezza 173-257-267-259 — 956, Paul Dumas 221-216-246-213 — 896. Totals: 415-494-534-493 — 1,936.

———

Team 9 (12)

Kaitlyn Barnes 300-167-157-235 — 859, Nick Barnes 259-223-225-278 — 985. Totals: 604-435-427-558 — 2,024.

Team 18 (8)

Janelle Irwin 183-209-245-270 — 907, Steve Irwin 192-210-203-210 — 815. Totals: 409-453-482-514 — 1,858

———

Team 1 (5)

Michelle Largeteau 134-148-126-112 — 520, Zach Porter 205-204-267-225 — 901. Totals: 410-423-464-408 — 1,705.

Team 4 (15)

Erika Poje 201-224-216-256 — 897, Joe Wolf 202-213-149-194 — 758. Totals: 450-484-412-497 — 1,843.

AMSTERDAM MEN’S CITY LEAGUE

Standings

JLD 23-4, Skyview Lounge 21-6, Excellent Auto 16-11, Team Majewski 14-13, RJ Sheetmetal 14-13, Team Bryk 11-16, Imperial Lanes 11-15, Team Mason 9-15, Liberatore Electric 8-19, Team Schultz 8-19.

Leaderboard

Mike Bellinger 300-1,047, Billy McGaffin 263-958, Justin Lansing 267-938, Tim Grant 287-934, Dan Bryk 237-903, Brendan McGillin 246-900, Larry Banta 278-889, Dave Pangburn 247-884, Nick Cummings 279-884, Billy Schmidtmann 236-880.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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