Mike Miseno follows the beat of a different drummer. The fiery competitor on the lanes teaches sixth grade social studies in the Amsterdam school system, and he’s also a talented musician, excellent golfer and lifelong New York Yankees fan.
Although his skills on the lanes are unquestioned — he won the 2014 Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show’s Jack Scaccia Memorial championship — he let his emotions get the best of him during the Super Bowl Doubles at Boulevard Bowl in February of 2016. Frustrated with his game at the time, he hurled a bowling ball against the wall, putting a small dent in it. Tournament director Jeff Segel suspended him for the rest of the season.
Miseno, now 39, was embarrassed and devastated. He received plenty of unwanted publicity in several media outlets, and he apologized profusely to everyone involved for his actions. He’s worked hard ever since to put the incident behind him.
“I deserved a dose of humble pie for sure. The only problem is, I ended up getting the whole bakery,” he stated in a text he sent me a few days after the incident.
Now Miseno, who came back to make what could be the final Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show TV finals last spring, is trying to give back to the game he loves. He’s been named the new bowling coach at Amsterdam High School, and he can’t wait to get started with his new gig.
“Joe Scott was the bowling coach for several years. I always wanted to do it some day,” Miseno said. “He relinquished the team this year, and I found out the job was open. I applied, and I got it. I always wanted to give something back to the game. I enjoy helping somebody be better mentally and physically in the game. I’d love to be the guy that helps bowlers reach their potential.”
Miseno comes from a strong bowling background. His father bowled, and so does his older brother, Nick, 49, who has been one of the Capital Region’s best players for three decades. “I’ve been bowling since I could walk,” he said. “My father, Harry Polomaine and Karl Wolf taught me how to take a five-step approach and just throw it.”
Known for his power game and big hook, Miseno admitted that he’s slowed down a little. “Knee problems forced me to straighten it out a little and be more accurate,” he said. "I can still hook it when I need to.”
Miseno started bowled on the varsity bowling team at Amsterdam when he was in seventh grade. His team won the sectionals when he was in eighth grade. “To be honest, that’s still probably my favorite achievement on the lanes” he said. “I still get goose bumps thinking about it. Shaun Scott and I led the team to victory. I left a solid 10-pin and had to make the spare to clinch it.”
Miseno has 60 perfect games and 12 800 triples. His highest league average was a 238 in the City League at Towne Bowling Academy. He’s currently averaging 229 in a league at Imperial Lanes.
But Miseno is equally talented in the music field. “I’ve been into music all of my life,” he said. “I’m a drummer by trade, and I’m also the lead singer in our band. We’ve been in a band called Kill the Jukebox for about two years now but before that I was in a band called Blacktooth Grin for more than 10 years. We played all around the area. It’s a great part-time job. We’ve played in places like Turning Stone, or wherever people will have us.”
Miseno used to be a heavy metal fan, and his favorite group was Metallica. Now, he’s more into playing classic rock.
“I found my passion for music in our marching band at Amsterdam,” Miseno explained. “I was the drum section leader and the president of the marching band. I give most of the credit to my love of music to our band teacher, Stephanie Boice. We only had her for one year, as a senior, but she gave me the responsibility I needed and honed my leadership skills. She had faith in us, and she let us govern ourselves in the band.”
As far as Miseno’s love for the Yankees? “We had no other option in my house,” he said with a chuckle.
STRIKES & SPARES
The first Double “J” scratch singles bowling tournament will be Sunday at 10 a.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. There will be one squad with a maximum of 60 bowlers – 30 in the senior division and 30 in the non-senior division. The top six seniors and the top six non-seniors, along with four wild cards (the highest remaining scores from the field of non-qualifiers, regardless of division) advance to single- game elimination matches
until a winner is decided. Entry fee is $80. Top prize is $1,000. Call Towne at 518-355-3939 for more information.
The third Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event of the season will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls.
George Gorman III defeated Steve Forbes 243-213 in the championship game of the 22nd annual Troy Bowling Association 800 Club Tournament at Barbecue Recreation in Hoosick Falls. Gorman won $450, and Forbes won $225. Tim McCart and Artie Hoffmann made the semifinals and earned $130 each.
CBS Sports Network and the USBC have reached a two-year deal to televise major bowling events. The stepladder finals of the 2018 U.S. Open and the 2018 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour majors — USBC Queens, U.S. Women’s Open, PWBA Players Championship and PWBA Tour Championship, also will be televised in 2018. In addition, the finals of three standard PWBA events will be televised.