Frank DePalma’s recent knee surgery has kept him off the lanes for eight weeks, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been making plans for his favorite event, the 18th annual Blizzard Bowl.
Sponsored by Garelick Farms, the Blizzard Bowl begins March 9 and continues through April 20, splitting its six-week team format between Saturday nights and Sunday mornings at Boulevard Bowl. The singles and doubles portion of the tournament will be held at Burnt Hills Lanes for the second year in a row.
The 70-year-old DePalma can’t wait to get a bowling ball in his hands, and he might jump the gun, ignoring doctors’ orders, to get a few games in soon.
But more important to this longtime scratch bowler and pro-shop operator is the tournament that is so near and dear to his heart.
Proceeds from the tournament go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady, which helped keep DePalma off the streets when he was a youngster.
What sets this charity tournament apart from so many others is that it’s a fine mix of scratch and handicap bowlers who compete for a decent prize fund, especially considering the price, which remains just $15 a head for the team event.
“We have a mix of bowlers who are there to bowl and have a good time because it’s a benefit event, but we also have some serious bowlers who compete because there is prize money out there, and they can win some money in the brackets,” said DePalma. “To have a chance to win $2,000 for the team, which breaks down to $500 a man, for just $15, you can’t beat it.
“Plus, the scratch bowlers really have an advantage in the brackets, because they are scratch brackets. I’m really surprised that more good bowlers don’t compete. In the last four years, two scratch teams have won the team event. Last year’s winning team was from out of town. They came in from Catskill, and enjoyed the lane conditions.”
DePalma said that he has new sponsors this year to go along with Garelick Farms, and he’s hoping to add a few more once the tournament begins.
“Our sponsors are doing a little more for us this year, and as usual, [Boulevard Bowl proprietor] Mike Scaccia has kept the price down so that we didn’t have to raise the entry fee,” he said. “Hopefully, we will have more sponsors come on board to help with the 50-50s and the raffles.”
Among the supporters are Ninety Nine Restaurant, Realty USA.com and Vincy’s Printing.
“I don’t think you can beat the price in our tournament,” he said. “I know there are a lot more tournaments out there all the time. Competition is very tough, but I think that at the price, our tournament is the best.”
DePalma said he starts putting together the next season’s Blizzard Bowl with meetings during the summer and then fine-tunes his plans in early September. He’s been preparing for this year’s tournament for months.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but I have a lot of help,” he said. “I care about this tournament more than most, because of what it means to me. But we’ve been fortunate that we’re bowling for a good cause, and everyone who competes has a good time.”
Squads will be March 9 at 9:45 p.m., March 16 at 9:45 p.m., March 24 at 11:45 a.m., April 7 at 11:45 a.m., April 14 at 11:45 a.m. and April 20 at 9:45 p.m. Single and doubles squads at Burnt Hills Lanes will be March 23 at 12:30 p.m., April 6 at 12:30 p.m., April 13 at 12:30 p.m. and April 20 at 12:30 p.m. The singles and doubles prize funds will be based on the number of entries. Entry fee is $15 per bowler for each event, plus $5 for all-events. All singles and doubles events include a salad and pizza lunch after bowling.
I’ve been competing in this worthwhile event for many years with a bunch of my friends. Hope to see you there.
Call Boulevard Bowl at 374-4171 for more information.
STATE TOURNEY UPDATE
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Bowling Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday at AMF Strike ’n Spare Lanes in Syracuse.
Bowling on Saturday will be the school teams, while the sectional teams compete on Sunday.
Representing the Section II boys will be Bill Carl’s Colonie High School squad, which posted a 15-2 record and includes junior Noah Burke (207 average), junior Justin Carl (224), senior Justin Frey (196), senior Eric Kaminski (178), senior Charles Moeske (218), senior Nick Peckowitz (215), junior Ricky Rovelli (207) and junior Nick Shaw (212).
The Section II girls will be represented by 12-2 Mohonasen, coached by John Dennis. The Mighty Warriors’ lineup includes sophomore Erika Bollock (199), sophomore Meggin Brooks (170), senior Rebecca Brown (195), sophomore Caitlin Buonome (180), senior Chenya D’Arcangelis (200), freshman Alyssa Enlow (154), senior Jennifer Iagrossi (187) and senior Courtney Weiler (180).
The boys’ sectional team, coached by Catskill’s Len Reyngoudt, includes Guilderland junior Austin Van Buren (215), Johnstown junior Jimmy Marshall (218), Bethlehem senior Pat DeVoe (219), Guilderland senior A.J. Indovina (215), Mohonasen junior Jovanni Scaccia (224) and Queensbury junior Marc Lambert (215).
The girls’ section team is also coached by Dennis and includes Columbia junior Sarah Morris (200), Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk senior Micaela Bullis (196), Bethlehem eighth-grader Jenna Lemke (192), Saratoga Springs junior Alyssa Pancake (209), Colonie eighth-grader Amanda Chrzanowski (189) and Colonie junior Hannah Mochrie (196).
HUCK FINN CORNER
Qualifying for this week’s Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York Huck Finn’s “Capital Region Bowling Show” will be held Saturday at Tippy Bowl in Ballston Spa at 3 p.m. and Sunday at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., respectively. Entry fee on Saturday will be $35, while entry fee on the Sunday squads will be $40.
Top prize will be $600, and second place will be worth $200. For more information, contact Jeff Segel at 439-7628.
Meanwhile, TV taping Sunday at Hi-Way Recreation produced two great shows, with some of the most exciting action I’ve seen this year.
Warning, if you don’t want to know the results, stop reading now!
In the junior show, Jacob Rivers Jr., Tori Burkins and Pat DeVoe put on quite a performance, with the hard-revving Rivers looking like he was heading for a perfect game until he faltered late. The smooth-stroking DeVoe rallied to win.
In the scratch show that was competed on a challenging USBC Women’s U.S. Open condition, lefty Alex Weglarz edged Bill Heaphy, 215-212, in one semifinal, while Nick Miseno turned back Matt Barkman, 237-212. Miseno, a former regional pro from Amsterdam who has four PBA regional victories under belt, then strung 10 strikes en route to a 287 in the championship game to beat Weglarz’s 197. Miseno, using his favorite outside line, sent his 11th shot a bit wide right, or he could have posted the first perfect game in Huck Finn TV history. Miseno now has four Huck Finn victories.
In-house qualifying for the Huck Finn handicap division begins next week.
STRIKES AND SPARES
u Qualifying for the 11th annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament, sponsored by Towne TV and Park Building Supplies, continues tonight at 9:30 at Saratoga Strike Zone, Saturday at 6 p.m. at Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn., Sunday at Towne Bowling Academy at 6 p.m., Monday at Imperial Lanes in Amsterdam at 9 p.m., Tuesday at Spare Time Clifton Park and next Friday at Playdium. Call Tom Donato at 496-7812 for more information. Qualifiers so far include Jim Parker and J.P. Harrell from the Sportsman’s Bowl qualifier and Eric Copping, Steve Violette, Brian Sumner, Wayne Stewart and Ken Charbonneaux from the Barre, Vt., qualifier.
u Jessica DeVellis (968 four-game series) and Jessica Brockmyer (791) combined for a 1,759 total to win the 43rd annual Women’s Doubles Invitational Saturday at Boulevard Bowl. They split $600. Lori Claus and June Champagne (1,729, $350); Kelly Brush and Kate Messemer (1,721, $250), Mary Lynn Lasch and Tina Goldstein (1,719, $150), Stacy DiStefano and Stephanie Chiera (1,683, $100), Kyle Pasquerella and Shelby O’Neill (1,678, $80) and Denise Lamphere and Robin Fredenburgh (1,672, $70) rounded out the cashers.
u Destiny Crandall, 13, never had a 500 triple before, but she rolled her first 600 with a 613 in the Towne Bowling Academy junior program last week.
u Ricky DuPont rolled his first career 600 in the Atlas Copco Mixed league, finishing with a 214-601.
u There will be a Schenectady Bowling Association board of directors meeting Sunday at 2 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. The priority topic will be this year’s 80th annual City Tournament, which is co-sponsored by The Daily Gazette. The tournament begins March 16 at Towne Bowling Academy.
u Bill Neumann, Columbia High School bowling coach and Section II coordinator, rolled his 62nd and 63rd career perfect games recently at Del Lanes. He finished with triples of 813 and 793, respectively. His second 300 was rolled with a new Gold IQ ball that he just had drilled up while he was bowling.
u Local bowlers fared well at the 14th annual Brockmyre Classic at Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes. Amsterdam’s Jim Geiger earned $400, while Rotterdam’s Joe Mazuryk took home $250. Broadalbin’s Steve Wagoner and former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair won $190 each. LeClair also picked up $1,700 at last weekend’s USBC Masters.
u Ursula Pasquerella shot a 719 to win the Open division in the Electric City 600 tournament Sunday at Sportsman’s Bowl. Fredenburgh was second with a 676. In the A division, Joni Petronis won with a 620, while Jackie Oliveira (550) and Gail Browning (537) finished 1-2 in the B Division. Anne Torak (613) and Debra Taber (503) were the top bowlers in the C Division, and Debbie Truelove (525) captured the D Division.
u Schenectady County Community College’s men’s and women’s bowling teams, coached by Ray Ross, are competing in the NJCAA national championships this weekend in Buffalo.
u The next Schenectady/Scotia Women’s 500 Club tournament will be a Mixed Doubles Sunday at 3 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Both bowlers must be USBC certified. One of the bowlers must be a member of the 500 Club. There will be a buffet following the tournament for an additional fee. Extra forms will be left at the bowling centers. For an entry form, contact Marie Moorhead on 399-3063 or Marianne Hogle on 393-8907.
u Playdium Bowling Center will host the Bowl for Our Veterans 3-6-9 tournament Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. Entry fee is $12. Proceeds help provide recreational and entertainment services to hospitalized veterans in VA Medical Centers. Food, baked goods and raffles will be available. Call Kathy Nucci at 458-7639 for more information.