The Favata children bowl so often — and so successfully — that’s it is difficult for their parents to keep track of how well the terrific trio is doing on the lanes, both during the week and on the weekends.
Laura Favata is the mother of the three talented keglers, but she can only keep an eye on two of them at a time. That’s because she’s the new boys’ bowling coach at Niskayuna High School. Senior Tom Favata Jr. and eighth-grader Dominick Favata bowl for the Silver Warriors’ team and are under her watchful eye and tutelage, but sophomore Julia Favata rolls for the Niskayuna girls, who have a different schedule.
The same scheduling difficulties continue in the Joey Schmidt Capital District Junior-Pro Scoring League, where all three Favatas bowl in different bowling centers. Julia leads the girls’ division with a whopping 216 average, while Tom competes in the senior boys’ division and averages 196. Dominick averages 188 in the junior boys’ division. All three compete in the Boulevard Bowl junior program.
Julia Favata’s Boulevard Bowl team leads the girls’ division in the Joey Schmidt CD Junior Scoring league with teammates Victoria Giaquinto, Trena Jones and Lauren Piotrowski.
“On Sundays, we’re in three different bowling centers,” said Laura Favata, a former Catholic Central bowling standout who also competed in the Joey Schmidt league when she was a youngster. “My husband goes and watches one kid bowl, and I go to watch another. The grandparents end up watching the third kid bowl. We’re always going in three directions.”
Laura Favata said all three of her children didn’t have to be coaxed to pick up a bowling ball.
“Honestly, they love it. I never have to wake them up on the mornings they bowl. They are always ready to go,” she said.
“My husband doesn’t bowl, but he’s always been a big supporter of all three.”
Laura Favata, who doesn’t bowl competitively anymore, got back into the bowling picture by accident.
“It was in a twisted way, because Joe Lamb retired as the coach of the school team,” she said. “That’s how I got involved.
Laura Favata is a full-time math teacher at Niskayuna, and although she’s extremely proud of her children, she didn’t go out of her way to promote them.
In fact, two different people gave me a heads-up on the family, and suggested I do this column. Mrs. Favata was quite surprised when I left a message on her answering machine, and she didn’t immediately return the call, because she didn’t notice the message light on.
“When parents coach their children, it can be a problem, sometimes,” she said. “I try to avoid those conflicts.”
All three younger Favatas have strong games, although each one is a bit different in style.
“Julia is a down-and-in bowler. Tommy likes to rev the ball up. He throws a big hook, although Frank DePalma is trying to help him straighten it out a bit. He’s a thinker. He’s going to Cornell next year. He’s a very intelligent boy, and he thinks his way around the lanes,” Laura Favata said.
“Dominick, he’s our youngest. In one year, he has gotten so much stronger, physically. He upped his ball weight and his speed. He pounds the pocket now. He’s bowling varsity as an eighth-grader.”
The older children are a bit more accomplished at this stage of their careers. Julia is on pace to win the girls’ average title in the Joey Schmidt Pro-Scoring League. In fact, she has a huge eight-point lead. She also averages 212 for Niskayuna’s school team and 213 in the junior program at Boulevard.
Tom Jr. carries a 213 average for the Niskayuna boys’ team, and a 222 average in the Boulevard junior program. Dominick averages 188 for the school team and 201 in the Boulevard program.
Don’t be surprised to see all three bowling on the collegiate level. Julia has two years to go before she make her college choice, but she has plenty of talent and is a good bet to earn a scholarship at a major program. Dominick is only an eighth-grader, so he doesn’t have to think that far ahead, but college offers could be coming his way before he knows it.
STRIKES & SPARES
There will be a star-studded lineup in the television finals for the Huck Finn Super Bowl scratch doubles show, which will be taped Sunday at 4 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Steve Wagoner will team up with Nick Miseno, Tim Banta will bowl with Dan Furman, Bob “Goose” Faragon will partner with Mark James and former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair will bowl with his son, Connor. Sounds like a great show, and Sportsman’s is the perfect place to watch it.
This Sunday, the Huck Finn mixed doubles will also be held at Sportsman’s Bowl, with one squad set for 10 a.m. The roll-off finals will follow at 1 p.m., and the TV taping will be at 6 p.m. Top prize for the winning tandem will be $1,400. Entry fee is $100, plus Huck Finn membership if not already paid. The men bowl scratch, and the women receive 100 percent of the difference between their average and 220. One in five teams cash. The field will be cut to the low eight teams for the head-to-head roll-off that determines the final four teams for the TV finals. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for reservations.
Spare Time-East Greenbush, now under new management, hosts the next New Era Women & Senior event Saturday at noon. It will be the CZR Facts Century Doubles tournament, including a women’s division.
There will be a Schenectady Bowling Association board of directors meeting Sunday at 2 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl.
The 12th annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament continues this weekend with qualifying tonight at 6 and 8:30 p.m. at Pin O Rama in Utica and Saturday at 3 p.m. at Hi-Way Recreation. Other upcoming local qualifiers include Feb. 11 at Spare Time-Clifton Park (9 p.m.), Feb. 16 at Spare Time-Latham (6 p.m.), Feb. 19 at Olympic Lanes (7 p.m.) and Feb. 20 at Imperial Lanes (9 p.m.). Qualifying continues through March 2, followed by the finals, which will be held at Towne Bowling Academy. Most of the qualifiers cost $60. One in five bowlers advance. First place is $3,500 guaranteed.
Max Conti, 14, who carries a 175 average, rolled a 290 game in the Boulevard Bowl junior program last week.
Robert O’Connor tossed a perfect game and a 711 series in the Towne Majors at Towne Bowling Academy last week.
Joe Piaseski, who has a 171 average, rolled a 300 game in the TNT Keglers league.
Frank Brown, 63, picked up his first perfect game at Spare Time-Clifton Park.
Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy hosts the next Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event Saturday at 12:30 p.m. It will also be a Junior Gold qualifier.
The Scotia-Glenville Cheerleading no-tap fund- raising tournament will be held Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. at Rolling Greens Lanes, and another squad will be held Feb. 16, if there are enough entries. Handicap will be 75 percent of a 1,100 five-person team average. Entry fee is $60 per team. Call Rolling Greens at 381-4848 for more information.
The Troy Bowling Association’s 39th annual 700 Club tournament will be held at Hometown Lanes on
Feb. 15. Entry fee is $30, and only bowlers who have recorded a 700 in a TBA league or tournament are eligible. There will be two three-game squads, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The top eight bowlers from each squad compete in roll-offs, and then the winner of each squad faces off for the title.
The third annual Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s Adult/Child tournament continues at Green Island Lanes with squads Feb. 10 (6:30 p.m.) and Feb. 16 (1 p.m.). Cost is $25 per team. The semifinals will be held March 2 at Playdium Bowling Center at 2 p.m., and the TV taping will be March 9 at Barbecue Recreation in Hoosick Falls.
John Leone recently became the 40th bowler in Vitalo Classic history to roll 100 career 900 four-game series.
Towne Bowling Academy hosts the Open Doubles Scratch Challenge Sunday, Feb. 14 and Feb. 16, followed by the finals Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. Entry fee is $130 per team. Teams bowl four games of qualifying, and one in five advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, each team bowls two more games, with the top four advancing to the bracket finals. Top prize will be $2,000 per team. Call 355-3939 for more information.
The PBA League season begins Sunday on ESPN.