It’s quite an unusual accomplishment for a small school like Mechanicville to produce two Division I bowlers — especially when they are girls.
The Red Raiders have been extremely successful on the lanes over the last five years, and the performance and leadership of Allison Carola and Lindsey Rosen are the main reasons why.
Since both girls joined the program as seventh-graders, the Red Raiders have captured three Section II Class C-D championships to go along with one runner-up finish. They won the Colonial Council title for the first time a year ago, and both Carola and Rosen have been Colonial Council all-stars three times.
Carola is headed to Monmouth next year, while Rosen will study at Louisiana Tech.
“I’m thrilled for both Lindsey and Allie,” said Mechanicville bowling coach Joe Yankowski in a press release this week. “No one has worked harder for their success than these two young women. They are truly dedicated to the sport, and have spent hour upon hour at the lanes trying to improve their games. Allie and Lindsey are true ambassadors, and definitely deserve all of the success they are having. Monmouth and Louisiana Tech are gaining two outstanding young women who are completely determined to succeed.”
I was intrigued to find two Division I scholarship athletes on the same small-school bowling team, so I gave Yankowski a call to find out more about his dynamic duo.
“They have very different personalities and styles. They are about as different as you can get,” said Yankowski. “Allison is very low-key and laid back. She has that internal intensity, and you don’t see much of an emotional reaction from her. Lindsey is more of a vocal leader, and you are more likely to see some emotion pop out. They are a nice counter balance.
“We’ve got kids on the team who can relate to one or the other. Some of the quiet kids go toward Allie, while some of the more emotional kids go to Lindsey. I’ve been with them since they were seventh-graders, and I taught them Social Studies. It’s been a lot of fun watching them develop and hone their skills. They’ve put in literally hundreds of hours to improve their games, and they’ve sought outside help for coaching. They deserve a lot of credit.”
Carola, a left-hander, averaged 195 a year ago, while Rosen averaged 187.
Rosen was recruited by both Delaware State and Louisiana State and will study the equine/business program there. Carola decided on Monmouth because of its excellent graphic design program.
“They both like to hook the ball, but their games are different,” said Yankowski. “Lindsey’s game is more analytical. She’s always studying which boards to use and which line to use. Allie just lets the ball roll. Her strength is getting a feel for what the lanes are doing and then adjusting to the lanes. Lindsey is more mathematical.”
Yankowski said both girls are excellent team leaders and like to help the younger players, just as they were helped when they first broke into the program.
“We won the sectionals by over 400 pins last year, and by more than 150 pins the year before,” said Yankowski. “Both Lindsey and Allie are great team players. Some matches, Allie is No. 1, and other matches it’s Lindsey. There is no competition really as to who is No. 1. They are so equal statistically.”
Matt Sherman, who will turn 32 next week, dominated the 30-player field in the first Northern Bowlers Association tournament of the season Sunday at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy.
Sherman not only won three of the five individual game jackpots, but he shot a 1,154 total to beat runner-up Gene Speenburgh by 91 pins. Former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair was third with a 1,056 total pinfall. It was LeClair who drilled Sherman’s new Totally Defiant bowling ball from Roto Grip, and it worked extremely well from Sherman’s usual deep inside line.
Only five bowlers averaged 200 or better on the challenging conditions, but Sherman seemed to be oblivious to the tough pattern.
“It was my favorite scoring pace,” said Sherman. “I love it when the scores are like 218 or 220 every game. When you shoot a 240 and win a jackpot on those conditions, that’s the way it should be. I don’t like all the super high scores.
“The shot was inside, just the way I liked it. When the shot is like that, I can play just soft enough to get the ball to carry. It’s been a good year so far. I won a tournament at Towne Bowling Academy, and I did well in another tournament in Buffalo.”
The next NBA event will be Stockade Open at Boulevard Bowl Dec. 1.
STRIKES & SPARES
Ed Dockal with Jessica Brockmyer, B.J. Rucinski with Peg Broady, Chris Eggleston with Lisa Stegle and Mike Stein with Angel Stein advanced to the TV finals in the Huck Finn Family Mixed Doubles tournament last weekend at Sunset Recreation They will bowl at Iroquois Lanes Dec. 1, and that show will be televised on MY 4 TV on Dec. 8. One of the intriguing story lines is the Rucinski-Broady team. Broady is Rucinski’s 87-year-old grandmother.
Steven Schott, 13, rolled a career-best 246 single en route to his first 600 triple, a 603, in the Sportsman’s juniors program last weekend.
Speaking of the Sportsman’s juniors program, Zach Porter fired a 298 game and an 801 triple en route to a 1,027 four-game series in the Saturday morning Classic league, where Mike Dwyer added a 278-961.
Green Island Lanes will host a Thanksgiving Doubles tournament Wednesday night at 9:15 p.m. Entry fee is $40 per team, and handicap is 80 percent of 220. First place is $350. Call 273-2322 for more information.
The Red Richards Memorial Thanksgiving Day tournament will be held Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $20 if paid by Sunday, $25 if paid by Wednesday or $30 on the day of the event. Handicap will be 90 percent of 230. The field will be limited to the first 130 paid entries. Top prize, based on 100 bowlers, will be $300 for the top handicap series and $200 for the high scratch series. Call 271-7800 for more information.
With high school bowling starting just this week, it’s not too early to make plans for the sectionals. This year, all four divisions will bowl at Boulevard Bowl. The girls will bowl Thursday, Feb. 6, followed by the Class A boys on Feb. 7, the Class B boys on Feb. 10 and the Class C boys on Feb. 11.
PBA Hall of Famer Billy Hardwick, 72, died Saturday of an apparent heart attack. Hardwick was voted as the PBA’s 12th greatest player in 2009. Despite being diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis at age 10, he went on to win 18 PBA Tour titles, including three majors that earned him the PBA’s Triple Crown. He won the 1963 PBA National, the 1965 PBA Tournament of Champions and the 1969 Proprietors Association of America All-Star, which is now the U.S. Open.
The second Huck Finn Morris Cramer King of the Hill scratch show will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry fee is $70, plus the Huck Finn membership. First place is $900 guaranteed, and second place will be $500 guaranteed. The format will be five games, with the field being cut to 10 if there are 48 entries or more, or cut to six if there are less than 48 in the field. The top two will receive byes. The finals will follow at 1 p.m. TV taping will be Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at Iroquois Lanes. That show will air on MY 4 TV on Dec. 15. Call Jeff Segel for reservations at 439-7628.
The next New Era Seniors and Women tournament will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Town 'N Country Lanes.
Sportsman’s Bowl will host the next Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour tournament Saturday at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the usual scholarships offered, some of the bowlers will earn an entry into the USBC Junior Gold Championships to be held in Buffalo next July.
Hannah Diem of Seminole, Fla., became the youngest United States Bowling Congress member to roll a certified 300 game over the weekend. Diem is 9 years, six months and 19 days old. She broke the previous overall record of 10 years, two months set by Chaz Dennis of Columbus, Ohio, in 2006.