Apparently, the Capital Region’s top bowlers can’t wait to compete in their first tournament test of the season.
Towne Bowling Academy proprietor Marty Capullo Jr. was thrilled this week when his entries for Sunday’s Towne Bowling Academy Scratch Challenge quickly started to fill up. In fact, as of Tuesday, he already had 57 bowlers out of a maximum field of 60.
That means the first major event of the season should be a sellout. Capullo is even putting bowlers on a waiting list, in case a few pull out at the last minute.
“We were just hoping for 30 or 40, especially with no Northern Bowlers Association tournaments anymore,” said Capullo. “We decided to cut it off at 60, only because I want to get the guys in and out. I would go to 70, but I’ve got kids coming in to bowl at 1 p.m., and I don’t want these guys hanging around that long.”
The format for the Scratch Challenge is a familiar one, because it follows the old NBA format with a five-game sweeper. The PBA Shark oil pattern will be used.
First place will be $800, with prizes awarded on a 1 in 5 ratio. Bowling begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.
“I’m really shocked with how quickly the entries have filled up,” said Capullo. “It wasn’t worth it for me to open the place for 30 bowlers. I’m just blown away. When we did the other tournament, it just wasn’t worth it with so few bowlers showing up. Now, it’s a no-brainer, especially with $800 for first place.”
Capullo previously hosted a different early-season tournament for scratch bowlers with different challenging lane conditions, but not enough competitors showed up to make it worth his while.
Most of the area’s premier bowlers have already signed up, plus several outstanding bowlers from outside the region who visit here from time to time.
Joe Maruryk, who arguably has been the region’s kingpin for the last several years, tops the list, along with former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair.
Other area standouts include Mike Drexel, Nick and Mike Miseno, Tim Banta, Steve Wagoner, R.J. Martinez, Bill, John and Lauren Pulver, Gary Bingham, Jamie and Jay Diamond and Tony Palumbo, just to name a few.
Capullo also has Binghamton regional pro Jim Thomas and Utica regional pro Ray Cyr coming in, along with some other top bowlers from as far away as Malone.
“I’m very happy with the turnout we will have,” Capullo said. “If this tournament jump-starts bowling in this area, I’ll be very happy. This just shows that we do have enough bowlers to have this kind of tournament.”
Capullo, as usual, will be a busy man this season, as Towne will be hosting a variety of big events.
He will host a New Era Senior Tour event on Nov. 17, as well as a Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York Huck Finn Women’s Only championship Nov. 18.
A special Huck Finn event at his place on Dec. 2 will offer $2,000 for first place.
“We are charging $10 more per entry for that tournament, and we are also going to have same-day taping for television right here at Towne,” Capullo said. “That helps me pull in guys like Cyr and Steve Ferraro. They wouldn’t be able to come here to qualify for a Huck Finn event if they had to come back again just for the TV taping for the finals.”
Capullo’s annual Team Handicap Challenge starts Dec. 15 and runs through Jan. 27. He is adding several squads, and has Ebonite as a title sponsor.
He is also planning another major event Feb. 17 with a top prize of $2,000, as well as yet another Huck Finn tournament at his place on March 24.
CHANGES FOR NEST
When the second New Era Senior Tour tournament of the season is held Saturday at Sunset Recreation, there will be a few changes in the format.
Tournament director Jim Burton said there are three alterations planned. First, from now on, although one in four from each age group will qualify for match play, the total number of qualifiers will be one in three of all entries. The additional qualifiers will be classified as wild cards.
Secondly, to pay for the addition of qualifying spots and to avoid diluting the prize fund, the $50 entry fee has been increased to $60.
Finally, all competitors entering match play will be seeded by total pinfall. If a bye is necessary, it will go to the highest qualifier over 50 or over 60.
Art Van Buren won the first NEST tournament at Town ’N Country by defeating Eric Morrell, 300-269, in the finals.
SBA MEETING SET
The Schenectady Bowling Association has scheduled a special board meeting for Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl.
Items on the agenda for what will be part of the SBA’s annual meeting will be the election of a vice president and three new board members. In addition, there will be an audit presentation by Fred Marx.
Preparation for this year’s City Tournament, an update on merging plans with the local women’s organization (SSWBA) and office and bowling center support also will be included.
All league delegates are invited to attend.
PBA’S REYES DIES
PBA Tour member Tony Reyes died last week from injuries suffered in a car accident in California.
The popular Reyes, 38, competed on the PBA Tour for 14 seasons and won his only title in the 2006 Motor City Classic in Detroit, where he bowled the 18th televised perfect game in PBA Tour history during the semifinals against PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III.
Although he cut back on competing full-time on the PBA Tour recently to spend more time in his pro shop business and coaching, he finished sixth in the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions.
Reyes, a graduate of San Jose State University, where he was an All-American, also won eight PBA Regional titles.
STRIKES AND SPARES
u The Huck Finn Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s Capital Region Bowling schedule kicks off with qualifiers at 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Alpha Lanes and two more Oct. 14 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Uncle Sam Lanes. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for reservations.
u Sunset Recreation will host a Junior Edge Clinic, featuring PBA Tour members Joe Ciccone and Doug Kent, Oct. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The cost of the clinic will be $125 and is for bowlers age 11 to 21. Lunch is included. Topics include physical game, accuracy, practice drills, lane play, adjustments and spare making. Call Sunset at 438-6404 for more information.
u Jay Diamond put together one of the top performances of this early season with an 867 triple last Monday in the DV Greco Insurance City League at Towne Bowling Academy. Diamond’s effort included a 300 game in the middle, with a 277 opener and a 290 finale.
u Chris Sutliff of Valatie defeated Casey Schoonmaker of Albany, 214-202, to win the first Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour tournament of the season last Saturday at Spare Time-Latham. Sutliff and Schoonmaker earned scholarships of $275 and $150, respectively. Also earning scholarships from a field of 31 were Chris Hanson of Ballston Lake ($100), Corey Buckley of Albany ($75), Austin Van Buren of Altamont ($50), Lawrence Lang of Rhinebeck ($40), Nicholas Peckowitz of Albany ($35) and Dustin Netolicky of Windsor Locks, Conn. ($30). The next CDYST event will be Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy.
u Town ’N Country Lanes has announced a couple of upcoming tournaments, including the TNC Scotch Doubles, which begins Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. Entry fee will be $25 with a four-game format. Handicap will be 90 percent of a team average of 450.
u The TNC Adult/Child league starts Nov. 4 and runs through Dec. 4. Entry fee is $20 per week per team for the six weeks and includes bowling, shoes, pizza and soda. Call 456-1113 for more information.
u The Rolling Greens Glenville Bowlers Club needs a four-man team for its Wednesday night men’s handicap league. If interested, call Gary at 791-6535.
u The Daily Gazette league, which bowls Tuesdays at noon at Sportsman’s Bowl, picked up a couple of bowlers in the last week but still needs several bowlers to compete in one of the area’s oldest leagues. It’s a 100 percent handicap league, with three bowlers to a team. Dues are $14 per week. Call Bob Weiner at 395-3147 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
u The New York State Women’s Bowling 700 Club Tournament will be held Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. The tournament format will be doubles, and there is a $55 entry fee. One team partic-ipant must be a 700 Club member. The prize fund will be distributed by the teams based on the division in which they qualify: Division A (400 average or higher), Division B (370-398), Division C (368 and under) and Senior Division (60 years of age and older). The 700 Club members also will be competing in their appropriate qualifying divisions for prize money donated by the 700 Club. Entries and new members will be accepted up to the time of bowling. For more information, or an entry blank, contact Diane McGroty at 356-2282.
u The Menagerie league, which bowls at 6:15 p.m. on Fridays, now has six openings. Call Boulevard Bowl for more information.
u The Sportsman’s Bowl Eliminator begins its first week of finals Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. Cost will be $15 per entry when qualifying during league play, and $20 when qualifying outside of league play or during specified qualifying squads. You can qualify as often as you like. There will be qualifying squads every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and every Tuesday at 9:15 p.m., plus any times that lanes can be reserved. To qualify, you can use your league scores or bowl three games. All you need to do is shoot 650, with handicap. Handicap is based on 80 percent of 240. All finalists return the following Monday at 9:15. Averages used will be last year’s book average, unless 10 pins higher this year. Call Sportsman’s Bowl at 355-4330 for more information.