In the Pocket: Change in timing helps Piotrowski improve game

Photo providedMike Piotrowski with daughter Lauren May, center, and wife Lynn, is averaging over 200 in three different leagues.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Photo provided

Mike Piotrowski with daughter Lauren May, center, and wife Lynn, is averaging over 200 in three different leagues.

Michael Piotrowski has enjoyed reading his family’s name in print quite often over the last several seasons, thanks to the many bowling exploits of his talented daughter, Lauren May.

But recently, the 52-year-old lefty is putting up some impressive numbers himself, and he can thank his daughter, at least in part, for the revival in his game.

Piotrowski, a Webster native and an Alfred State College graduate, led the Vitalo Classic at Sportsman’s Bowl with a 289-1,028 four-game series last Saturday night, and then fired a 269-763, good for second on the card, in Monday’s Sportsman’s Majors league. It’s been quite a while since the Schenectady resident shot numbers worthy of headlines.

“It’s all because of a change I made in my timing,” Piotrowski explained. “I changed to a 4-step approach last year, and I’m just now getting comfortable with the change. Before, I would use a 5-, 6- or even 7-step approach, and although I could average 220-230, it’s always been a struggle for me,” he said.

Although his daughter, a former Schenectady High School and SUNY Schenectady standout, bowls right-handed, Piotrowski decided to emulate his daughter’s effortless timing that helped her earn the NAIA Women’s Bowler of the Year award while bowling for the University of Pikeville (Kentucky) last season.

“I watched how smooth she is with her 4-step approach. I watched her bowl on videos, and then I went to Sportsman’s and began working on a 4-step approach, slowing my speed down at the line. It’s helped me become much more consistent and to carry the corner pins,” Piotrowski said. “The whole thing is all about timing. It’s just like golf. If you have the right timing, you can be more successful without trying so hard.”

Piotrowski was no slouch on the lanes before the recent changes in his game.

“My dad and mom taught me how to bowl, and I never really worked with anybody except that I went to Kenny Hall once when I first came to the area,” he explained. “I’ve been bowling for 38 years.”

Piotrowski averaged as high as 237 in the Capital District All Star league and owns 12 perfect games and 12 800 triples. His high triple is an 855 rolled in the City Catholic league back in 2005.

“I didn’t have a 300 in that triple,” he recalled. “I shot 299, 277 and 279.”

Once a fan of Brunswick equipment, Piotrowski switched to Storm and Roto Grip bowling balls because his daughter’s team at Pikeville used those brands exclusively.

“I use all hand-me-down bowling balls now,” he said with a chuckle. “I get them from Lauren after she uses them. I bring them home, take them to Matt [Towne Bowling Academy pro shop operator Matt Fazzone] and he cleans them up and re-drills them for me left-handed. They are just like new.”

Piotrowski had quite a scare three years ago when he had heart surgery to correct a valve which created a longtime heart murmur.

“When Lauren was born, we took her for a 6-month checkup, and the doctor noticed that she had a heart murmur. I had a heart murmur, as well, for the previous 20 years, and I had been seeing my cardiologist every six months. He saw that my heart was starting to enlarge, and that the heart was working harder. The doctor felt it was a good time to have the surgery. My wife [Lynn] works at St. Peter’s, so it didn’t really cost me anything.”

Originally, Piotrowski’s wasn’t going to need open-heart surgery, but the doctors decided it was safer to cut him open and hook him up to life-support machines.

“It was a little scary,” Piotrowski admitted. “But the following year, I was fine. I didn’t bowl the next season until that summer, and the following year after that, I got back into the league. I just subbed the first year back.”

Piotrowski is feeling healthier than ever now, and he hopes he can keep rolling some high scores. Currently, he’s averaging 229 in the Capital District All Star league, 233 in the Vitalo Classic and 239 in the Sportsman’s Majors.

A MAJOR LOSS

The Capital Region lost one of its legendary bowlers, proprietors and pro-shop operators when Bob Daubney, known as “The Bowling Professor,” died last week at age 85 after suffering a stroke.

Daubney owned Bob Daubney’s Bowling and Billiards for more than 63 years.

Born in Watervliet, he was a graduate of La Salle Institute in Troy. He was a member of the Albany USBC Bowling Association Hall of Fame as well as a member of the Professional Bowlers Association.

Daubney started selling bowling trophies in the 1950s, and he set pins at the Bowl-la-Tourium in Troy during high school. After working as a lane mechanic in Albany, he started working for AMF, building new lanes throughout the Northeast United States.

Daubney was the pro at Bowling Green Lanes before opening up his first sports equipment store on Pearl Street in Albany in 1959. He moved his store to several locations over the years, eventually settling in Latham. He purchased the now defunct Bowlers Club lanes in 1985.

Daubney was once the bowling columnist for the Troy Record newspaper, as well as a color commentator for both the “Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show” and the old “TV Tournament Time” programs. He once had his own bowling show on radio. In 1956, he bowled on the three-man team that set the national record for high single. He won the U.S. Armed Forces bowling title in 1956.

Daubney joined the PBA Tour in 1960. At one time, he also owned the national record for highest triple (844). Owner of seven perfect games, Daubney was a huge supporter of junior bowling and sponsored the junior trophies for the “Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show.”

STRIKES & SPARES

Nick Miseno teamed with Jon Wilbur to win the NYSCOPBA Over/Under 50 doubles tournament Sunday at Towne Bowling Academy. They defeated Art and Austin VanBuren 447-396 and split $3,000. The VanBurens split $1,500. The third- and fourth-place teams were Rich Strath with Steve Wagoner and Don Herrington with Craig Taylor. Those teams each split $750. Finishing fifth through eighth, each splitting $440, were the teams of Ray Cyr with Dave Jecko, Ed Gumm with Marty Capullo Jr., Sammy Ventura with Brett Cunningham and Debbie Capullo with Joe VanDerLinden. There were 66 doubles teams entered.

The next major event at Towne Bowling Academy will be the 11th annual Handicap Team Tournament, with $4,000 guaranteed to the winning team. The first squads will be Saturday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. Those who enter any of the first six squads will receive a free entry to a future squad. The tournament continues through Jan. 24. There also will be an optional singles tournament, using your team score, as well as 3-6-9 and scratch jackpots. Entry fee is $40 for the team event and $15 for optional singles. Handicap is 90% of 225 with a maximum handicap of 50 pins per game. Call Towne Bowling Academy (518-355-3939) for more information.

Congratulations to Pete Dougherty of the Daily Gazette league at Sportsman’s Bowl, who rolled his ninth career perfect game. Speaking of the Daily Gazette league, Doug Hopkins rolled a 296 game en route to an 809 triple. It was his third 800 triple in his last five matches.

The first Frantic Junior Scratch Challenge will be held Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. There will be four games of qualifying before three games of match play and then a four-person stepladder finals. Entry fee is $45.

The next Albany League Bowlers Association of New York event will be a doubles competition Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Spare Time Latham. There is a limit of 50 teams. Only bowlers with averages less than 215 are eligible. Handicap will be 100% with a maximum of 75 pins per game. Call Burton at 518-209-4748 for more information.

We are saddened to hear that longtime local bowling standout, secretary and Schenectady USBC Hall of Famer Davey Mennillo is battling some serious health concerns. We wish him a speedy recovery.

MAJOR BOWLING

Mark Kuhlkin slammed a pair of 279 games during a 784 triple, Steve Wagoner tossed a 772, Ryan Karabin ripped a 280-769, Billy Wigand rolled a 300 game and Liz Kuhlkin shot a 268-702 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Zach Gravell put together a 258-781, Mike Piotrowski rolled a 269-763, Chris Fawcett ripped a 274-762 and Mike Gallitelli recorded a perfect game in the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

B.J. Smith produced a 300 game during a 1,062 four-game series, Spark Derenzo delivered a 296-1,030 and Ryan Karabin hammered a 969 to pace the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

Mike Bellinger shot a 258-957, and Tim Grant put together a 268-945 to lead the Amsterdam Men’s City league Monday night at Kelly’s Imperial Lanes.

Tom Earl posted a 1,003 four-game series, Joe VanDerLinden registered a 980, and the trio of Don Herrington, Cliff Ruth and Liz Kuhlkin rolled 974 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings

DeCrescente Distributing 22-8, J&F Lawn Care 22-8, Towne Bowling Academy 19-11, Syron’s Meat Market 19-11, Downs Roofing 18-12, 20 North 18-12, TSS Printing & Awards 17-13, Vito Sindoni & Son 16-14, Team 4 15-15, Action Bowling Supply 11-19, KKV Recovery 10-20, D&D Lawncare 9-21, Home Tech Electric 8-22, Rollarama 6-24.

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Match summaries

DeCrescente Distributing (2)

Jessica Aiezza 279-225-194 — 698, Mark Kuhlkin 279-226-279 — 784, Scott Rogers 248-191-246 — 685, Liz Kuhlkin 268-239-195 — 702. Totals: 1,074-881-914 — 2,869.

Syron’s Meat Market (1)

Ken Wilkins 168-181-170 — 519, Brandon Wolf 181-258-193 — 632, Don Herrington 248-238-173 — 659, Ken LaBelle Jr. 210-205-222 — 637. Totals: 807-882-758 — 2,447.

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Towne Bowling Academy (3)

Tom Earl 231-277-237 — 745, Tom DiBell 203-208-200 — 611, Marty Capullo Jr. 253-224-225 — 702, Debbie Capullo 213-198-183 — 594. Totals: 900-907-845 — 2,652.

Home Tech Electric (0)

Randy Fikert 148-181-136 — 465, Chuck Schissler 180-183-199 — 552, Austin Zullo 162-215-174 — 551, Gabe Criscuolo 227-177-167 — 571. Totals: 717-756-676 — 2,149.

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J&F Lawn Care (2)

Jason Brown 235-243-189 — 667, R.J. Martinez 222-221-287 — 730, Nick Stricos 193-236-265 — 694, Steve Hallenbeck 237-211-182 — 630. Totals: 687-911-923 — 2,721.

Downs Roofing (1)

Chris Tinkle 211-193-223 — 627, Nick Barnes 242-169-205 — 616, Ryan Karabin 245-280-244 — 769, Billy Wigand 300-239-209 — 748. Totals: 998-851-881 — 2,760.

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20 North (2)

Tommy Donato 206-176-244 — 626, Kenny Livengood 210-165-213 — 588, Joel Donato 257-227-225 — 709, Chris Radliff 185-189-184 — 558. Totals: 858-757-866 — 2,481.

Rollarama (1)

Craig Taylor 276-222-258 — 756, Keith Lawyer 206-222-180 — 608, Dan Rotter 169-225-151 — 545, Tony Palumbo 203-221-227 — 651. Totals: 854-890-816 — 2,560.

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KKV Recovery (1)

Nick DiCerbo 164-213-222 — 599, Vinny Struffolino 197-180-153 — 530, Jackie Malone 210-223-175 — 608, Bob Faragon 245-194-195 — 634. Totals: 816-810-745 — 2,371.

Action Bowling Supply (2)

Rit Fazzone 200-198-188 — 586, Bob Messick 246-179-158 — 583, Natasha Bidwell 258-224-204 — 686, Matt Fazzone 211-196-217 — 624. Totals: 915-797-767 — 2,479.

———

Vito Sindoni & Son (1)

Scott Chastenay 181-202-234 — 617, Mike DiCerbo 244-180-236 — 660, Rich Strath 180-224-236 — 640, Joe VanDerLinden 279-219-184 — 682. Totals: 884-825-890 — 2,599.

Team 4 (2)

Marc Fowler 219-237-268 — 724, Mike Liberatore 183-229-223 — 635, Chris Jones 234-217-244 — 695, Chad Propper 220-167-196 — 583. Totals: 856-850-931 — 2,637.

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D&D Lawncare (0)

Tom Rogers 220-170-203 — 593, Jacob Ritter 235-197-189 — 621, Bill Judge 203-269-208 — 680, Patti Tenyenhuis 213-243-182 — 638. Totals: 871-879-782 — 2,352.

TSS Printing & Awards (3)

Paul Dumas 248-257-218 — 723, Rick Speckhardt 156-189-219 — 564, John Askew 213-200-200 — 622, Steve Wagoner 269-258-245 — 772. Totals: 886-904-891 — 2,681.

FRANK DePALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings

Derenzo’s Tax Service 5-0, Masons Automotive 3.5-1.5, Downs Roofing 3-2, Kalpro 2-3, D.A. Parisi & Co. 1.5-3.5, Boulevard Bowl 0-5.

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Match summaries

Boulevard Bowl (0)

Mike Scaccia 211-226-183-234 — 854, Brian Hart 193-181-205-207 — 786, Cory Bennett 1909-172-204-198 — 764. Totals: 594-579-592-639 — 2,404.

Derenzo’s Tax Service (5)

P.J. Derenzo 236-247-191-203 — 877, Spark Derenzo 248-244-242-296 — 1,030, Bob Tuttle 236-172-244-213 — 865. Totals: 720-663-677-712 — 2,772.

———

D.A. Parisi & Co. (1.5)

John Mecca 225-220-187-250 — 882, Jeff Williams 242-216-179-235 — 872, Ken Wilkins 206-223-190-203 — 822. Totals: 673-659-556-688 — 2,576.

Masons Automotive (3.5)

Mark Hansen 212-219-222-205 — 858, Robin Fredenburgh 191-173-215-213 — 792, B.J .Smith Jr. 237-267-258-300 — 1,062. Totals: 640-659-695-718 — 2,712.

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Downs Roofing (3)

Ryan Karabin 265-200-257-247 — 969, Tony Bianchi 191-162-206-204 — 763, Phil Kilmartin 226-311-247-197 — 881. Totals: 682-573-710-648 — 2,613.

Kalpro (2)

Keith Lawyer 186-224-205-256 — 871, Kyle Wilkins 202-205-220-234 — 861, Zach Mecca 202-230-190-179 — 801. Totals: 590-659-615-669 — 2,533.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings

Sindoni Sausage 153-67, Revolutions Pro Shop 128.5-91.5, Never Enough Performance 126-94, Team 11 124-96, Towne Bowling Academy 120-100, Rogers MotorSports 119.5-100.5, Boulevard Bowl 117.5-102.5, Team 20 116.5-103.5, Team 9 115.5-104.5, EARRRRL’S 111.5-108.5, Next Level Detailing 108-112, Team 3 107-113, TSS Printing & Awards 104.5-115.5, Team 12 104.5-115.5, Loyal Nutrition 102.5-117.5, Team 17 98.5-121.5, Sportsman’s Bowl 94-126, 15 Church 91-129, Team 8 89-131, A-Plus Heating & Cooling 65-155.

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Match summaries

Sportsman’s Bowl (14)

Erika Poje 192-158-202-202 — 754, Chris Claus 174-215-225-214 — 828. Totals: 404-411-465-454 — 1,734.

A-Plus Heating (6)

Michelle Largeteau 117-167-125-131 — 540, Tony Pasquerella 190-182-140-144 — 656. Totals: 423-465-381-391 — 1,660.

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Sindoni Sausage (19)

Liz Kuhlkin 200-290-256-228 — 974 Joe VanDerLinden 218-259-257-246 — 980. Totals: 422-553-517-478 — 1,970.

Never Enough Performance (1)

Kate Clark 173-162-155-195 — 685, Jamie Duncan 148-228-215-242 — 833. Totals: 351-420-400-467 — 1,638.

———

Team 11 (5)

Kris Impellizzeri 211-238-188-207 — 844, Scott Rogers 224-264-249-224 — 961. Totals: 452-519-454-448 — 1,873.

Revolutions Pro Shop (15)

Lindsey McPhail 225-212-222-279 — 938, Don Herrington 215-248-275-236 — 974. Totals: 453-473-510-528 — 1,964.

———

Rogers MotorSports (8)

Kelly Chrzanowski 203-181-178-226 — 860, Tom Rogers 223-205-222-254 — 904. Totals: 459-419-433-513 — 1,824.

Towne Bowling Academy (12)

Debbie Capullo 175-219-243-198 — 835, Ryan Gahan 239-192-213-278 — 922. Totals: 441-438-483-503 — 1,865.

———

EARRRRL’S (7)

Renee Earl 221-205-204-162 — 792, Tom Earl 237-268-257-241 — 1,003. Totals: 493-508-496-438 — 1,935.

Team 20 (13)

Chris Allen-Valenzuela 266-235-252-205 — 958, John Askew 186-276-220-246 — 928. Totals: 471-530-491-470 — 1,962.

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Boulevard Bowl (14)

Melissa Bogholtz 205-190-209-225 — 829, Cliff Ruth 193-247-278-256 — 974. Totals: 422-461-511-505 — 1,899.

Next Level Detailing (6)

Kim Swiatocha 278-213-188-157 — 836, Matt Swiatocha 255-205-224-202 — 886. Totals: 553-438-432-379 — 1,802.

———

TSS Printing (4)

Jackie Malone 174-193-185-181 — 733, Paul Dumas 203-198-257-165 — 823. Totals: 411-425-476-380 — 1,692.

Team 9 (16)

Kaitlyn Barnes 185-201-233-237 — 856, Nick Barnes 181-279-249-227 — 936. Totals: 388-502-504-486 — 1,880.

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Team 12 (13)

Janelle Irwin 191-179-208-178 — 756, Dan Rotter 222-185-236-217 — 860. Totals: 457-408-488-439 — 1,792.

Team 17 (7)

Ursula Pasquerella 169-203-174-193 — 739, Joe Venduro 169-181-204-222 — 776. Totals: 381-427-421-458 — 1,687.

———

Team 3 (16)

Jenn Schissler 205-171-206-206 — 788, Chuckie Schissler 204-214-200-215 — 833. Totals: 457-433-454-469 — 1,813.

15 Church (4)

Aliyah Liberatore (absent) 180-180-180-180 — 720, Ben Empie (absent) 180-180-180-180 — 720. Totals: None.

———

Loyal Nutrition (15)

Amber Dominic 225-242-238-248 — 953, Vinny Struffolino 202-201-246-183 — 832. Totals: 473-489-530-477 — 1,969.

Team 8 (5)

Cheyanne McPhail 279-203-245-236 — 963, Gabe Criscuolo 157-269-182-205 — 813. Totals: 469-505-460-474 — 1,908.

AMSTERDAM MEN’S CITY LEAGUE

Standings

JLD 71-28, Skyview Lounge 64-35, Excellent Autos 62-37, Imperial Lanes 55-44, RJ Sheetmetal 53-46, Team Schultz 46-53, Team Bryk 43-56, Team Mason 40-59, Team Majewski 33-66, Liberatore Electric 28-71.

Leaderboard

Mike Bellinger 268-957, Tim Grant 268-945, Chad Chiara 289-940, Billy McGaffin 244-930, Mike Miseno 247-904, Brendan McGillin 248-899, Jon Schultz 242-899, Dan Bryk 268-893, Jeremy McGaffin 244-891, Billy Schmidtmann 236-876.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings

Next Level Detailing 32-8, Muny Grille 28-12, Universal Auto Parts 26-14, Rollin’ Smoke BBQ 26-14, Metroland Photo 26-14, Bob’s Pro Shop 23-17, Mike’s Hot Dogs 21-19, Café One-Eleven 18-22, The Appliance Specialist 18-22, IDID 10-30, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 10-30, Gigernti’s Café & More 2-38.

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Match summaries

Mike’s Hot Dogs (1)

Doug Semerad 212-201-224 — 637, Tammy Sader 243-243-245 — 731, Rich Rogaski 199-253-247 — 699, Kevin Palmer 222-224-178 — 624 Totals: 876-921-894 — 2,691.

Rollin’ Smoke BBQ (3)

Kris Impellizzeri 194-235-202 — 631, Bill Carl 180-249-209 — 638, Kaylnn Carl 290-208-224 — 722, Justin Carl (absent) 236-236-236 — 708. Totals: 900-928-871 — 2,699.

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The Appliance Specialist (3)

Melissa Bogholtz 226-202-193 — 621, Steve Fawcett 147-171-192 — 510, Zach Gravell 255-258-268 — 781, Chris Fawcett 258-274-230 — 762. Totals: 886-905-883 — 2,674.

Klonowski’s Pro Shop (1)

Jason Lott 192-278-228 — 698, Ted Klonowski Jr. 196-201-187 — 584, Jackielynn Noble 258-195-159 — 612, Jim Petronis 278-201-192 — 671. Totals: 924-875-766 — 2,565.

———

Next Level Detailing (4)

Mike Guidarelli 164-259-180 — 603, Christian Chiarito 248-212-213 — 673, Jim Parker 257-277-215 — 749, Matt Swiatocha 225-235-176 — 636. Totals: 894-983-784 — 2,661.

Girgenti’s Café & More (0)

Connor Shoemaker 213-249-172 — 634, Ernest Laduke Jr. 127-142-155 — 424, Rich Ellis 211-216-234 — 661, Jason Deitz 148-175-161 — 484. Totals: 699-782-722 — 2,203.

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Universal Auto Parts (4)

Andy Smith 216-219-211 — 646, Bill Heaphy III 258-227-264 — 749, Chris Smith 236-243-258 — 737, Chris Fedden 224-212-203 — 639. Totals: 934-901-936 — 2,771.

IDID (0)

Tony Fernandez 226-194-225 — 645, Joe Gordon 200-163-173 — 536, Jim Valentino 164-201-180 — 545, Mike Piotrowski 269-237-257 — 763. Totals: 859-795-835 — 2,489.

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Metroland Photo (0)

Lee Quivey 195-188-204 — 587, Cliff Ruth 236-176-214 — 626, Mike Gallitelli 172-242-300 — 714, B.J. Smith Jr. 254-221-213 — 688. Totals: 857-827-931 — 2,615.

Muny Grille (4)

Jay Diamond 242-247-268 — 757, Dave Bingham 203-183-216 — 602, John Musto Jr. 224-238-265 — 727, Jamie Diamond 258-244-205 — 707. Totals: 927-912-954 — 2,793.

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Bob’s Pro Shop (3)

Fred McMahon 193-200-204 — 597, Earl Lawrence Jr. 224-276-257 — 757, Bob Tedesco Jr. 241-249-213 — 703, Mike Smith 225-218-258 — 701. Totals: 883-943-932 — 2,758.

Café One-Eleven (1)

Joe DiBiase (absent) 215-215-215 — 645, Cory Buckley (absent) 217-217-217 — 651, Tyler Mochrie (absent) 218-218-218 — 654, Jason Palmer 258-212-256 — 726. Totals: 908-862-906 — 2,676.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Sports

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