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In the Pocket: Capullo's road back to form has been painful

In the Pocket: Capullo's road back to form has been painful

Bob Weiner's weekly bowling column
In the Pocket: Capullo's road back to form has been painful
Debbie Capullo recently rolled the 29th 300 game of her career.
Photographer: Photo Provided

All bowlers go through slumps, but for Debbie Capullo, her long road back to peak performance was a painful one, both physically and mentally.

One of the Capital Region’s all-time greats, the 46-year-old Capullo is a two-time New York State Queens champion, and she just missed out on a third tiara when she lost in the finals. The wife of Towne Bowling Academy proprietor Marty Capullo Jr., Debbie is a multiple NYS USBC Tournament champion, winning a pair of team tournament titles, two doubles crowns and a pair of singles trophies. She was the runner-up in the now-defunct Huck Finn Women’s Championship, and she also teamed up with Marty to win a Huck Finn doubles championship.

Capullo became only the sixth woman in the country to roll back-to-back perfect games in 1998, and then she repeated that feat last year.

But after a banner 2017-18 campaign, the Mohonasen High School and College of Saint Rose graduate has been struggling this season. She finally broke out of her funk last week, tossing her 29th career perfect game, and she’s recorded a pair of solid 700 triples recently. She’s rolling the ball with authority, and for the first time in a long time, without pain.

“Last year was one of the best years I’ve had in a long time, and I was really happy with that, but it didn’t come without pain. I’ve been bowling in pain for a lot of years. My performances were good, but I’ve had physical pain for a long time in my shoulder,” said the Mohonasen math teacher.

Capullo decided to do something about her shoulder pain — and what she felt were a few holes in her physical game — so she took a vacation to the Kegel Training Facility in Florida at the end of last season. She spent a half-day with former PBA star and well-known coach Del Warren, who helped her make a few changes.

“Everybody kept telling me I was throwing the ball really well last year, but I knew something wasn’t right with my release,” she explained. “I wasn’t clearing the ball at the line. We decided to change the thumb pitch in my ball. Del’s recommendations seemed to help get rid of a lot of my shoulder pain.”

Although Capullo picked up a lot of valuable information from Warren, she still was having problems this season until she contacted former PBA Tour competitor and recently retired coach/pro shop operator Kenny Hall.

“I have to thank Kenny Hall. When times got tough, I gave him a call, and he’s always been in my corner,” Capullo said. “He got me back physically and mentally in about 15 minutes. He put things back into perspective for me, and I’ve been so much better the last month and a half.”

Capullo also got aid from Towne Bowling Academy Action Bowling Supply pro shop operator Matt Fazzone, who drilled some new equipment for her.

“Bowling is so different these days,” she said. “It used to be you could make most of your adjustments by moving your eyes and your feet on the lane. Now, you’ve often got to make an equipment change. Matt made sure the spans in all of my new bowling balls were consistent, so I could transition from ball to ball with ease.”

With plenty of new equipment, knowledge and support, Capullo appears to finally be back in top form. She once put together averages of 236 and 235, respectively, in league play, and is slowly moving back toward her old dominating self.

“For me, it’s my ability to repeat my shots. My accuracy has always been my strength,” she said. “When I went to the Kegel Training Facility, it was interesting to see the three-point accuracy system that tracked your ball. My accuracy was good in the front and the mid-lane, but I had inaccuracies down the lane. I’ve started to control the back part of the lane, as well, now.”

Capullo was the main force behind the tremendous popularity of Towne Bowling Academy’s Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles League, which took the place of the former Women’s Doubles league on Wednesday nights.

“I miss the women’s league, but I truly love that we took the opportunity to try this. I’m so thankful to all the bowlers that have made this league a success,” she said. “I’m so excited to see the interest in this league thrive. We have an amazing group of people, not only talent wise but also personality wise. You can talk to everyone in the league. They are very competitive, but they also want to have fun and enjoy the game. I’ve already got three groups on a waiting list for net year. It’s been fantastic.”

Capullo also mentioned the support of her husband, Marty, who is a talented bowler in his own right. Marty’s Facebook Live clips of league bowlers during honor scores have been a huge hit. When he tracked Liz Kuhlkin’s national women’s record triple 890 a few years ago, it received 1,000 hits. He’s tracked plenty of Kuhlkin’s top performances recently, and also showed his wife’s perfect game last week.

“I really like Marty’s Facebook Live a lot,” Capullo said. “Not everybody gets a chance to see what goes on in a bowling center. He showcases a lot of the local bowlers and their talents. His commentary is a lot of laughs. He always leaves you guessing what comes next.”

As for Capullo’s future in the game, don’t expect her to slow down soon.

“My passion for the sport will never change,” she said. “It’s brought me so man things, both on and off the lanes. I’ve met so many great people, and it’s given me so much enjoyment.”

STRIKES & SPARES

The Schenectady USBC Open Championship at Towne Bowling Academy the last two weeks drew 77 three-person teams, including many from outside the Capital Region. It was the best supported event for the local bowling association in 15 years. A huge pat on the back for Towne Bowling Academy’s staff, led by Marty Capullo Jr., tournament director Keith Lawyer and the Schenectady USBC board of directors, led by president Bill Nolan and association manger Lloyd Denny.

Meanwhile, the Schenectady USBC Women’s Championship Singles Tournament is set for March 2 at 2 p.m. and March 3 at 3 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $25. Handicap will be 90 percent of 240. The prize ratio will be one out of every eight bowlers. Contact tournament director Jackie Oliveira at 518-370-1006 or Lloyd Denny (518-355-5832) for more information.

Congratulations to Nick Galusha and Matt Sherman, who captured the Scratch Doubles tournament last week at Kingpin’s Alleys Family Fun Center. Galusha and Sherman defeated Jim Comette and Eric Copping in the finals 381-337.

Following are the winners of the Capital District 600 Tournament held at Boulevard Bowl last weekend: Division A (Ursula Pasquerella 670, Melissa Mackey 665), Division B (Julie Collins 639, Rita Heffern 612, Laura Scriven 596, Connie Canfield 583); Division C (Linda Cortese 544, Lori Friguletto 543), Division D (Tammy Palmucci 530, Debbie Truelove 476, Connie Nagy 471).

Hometown Lanes hosts the next Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The Women’s 500 Club Snowball Scotch Doubles Tournament is set for Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry forms are available at all three Schenectady USBC bowling centers. They must be returned to Marie Moorhead before Feb. 17.

Boulevard Bowl’s second annual Baker Team Tournament will be held Sunday at noon. Entry fee is $30 per person for the five-person event. Handicap is based on the total of the five averages divided by five and is 80 percent of 240. There will be 12 games of qualifying, followed by a best two-of-three stepladder final. Call Boulevard Bowl at 518-374-4171 to reserve your spot.

The 24th annual Blizzard Bowl, in memory of the late Jack Scaccia and Frank DePalma, will begin its five-squad run at Boulevard Bowl on March 3 at 11:45 a.m. Entry fee is $80 per four-person team. Other squads, all starting at 11:45 a.m., will be March 10, April 7, April 14 and April 28.

Former Colonie High School standout Tiera Gulum rolled the Tulane women’s program’s first-ever 300 game at the Sunshine State Classic.

MAJOR BOWLING

Rich Strath rolled a 781, Ken Wilkins slammed a 767, and Debbie Capullo ripped a 728 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Mike Guidarelli recorded a 285-766, BJ Smith Jr. tossed a 300 game and a 753 triple, and BJ Rucinski fired a 279-749 in the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Proprietor Mike Scaccia delivered a 1,038, John DeVarnne tossed a 1,005 and B.J. Smith Jr. tossed a 300 game en route to a 1,000 in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

PBA50 touring pro Don Herrington registered a 1,041, and Jordan Byrnes fired a 1,034 to pace the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Joe VanDerLinden (990) John Askew (983) and Jessica Aiezza (976) also excelled on that card.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings
Vito Sindoni 15.5-2.5, Falvey Real Estate 13-5,  Downs Roofing 11.5-6.5, Towne Bowling Academy 10-8, Driveline Motors 10-8, Mohawk Honda 9.5-8.5 J&F Lawn Care 9-9, Bedrock Construction 8-10, Kristel Mechanic 8-10, DeCrescente Dist. 7.5-10.5, 20 North 7-11, Boulevard Bowl 7-11, Action Bowling Supply 6-12, D&D Lawncare 4-14.
———
Bedrock Construction (2)
Don Herrington 160-225-227 — 612, Ed McGaffin 201-245-238 — 684, Eric Stangle 235-263-212 — 710, Jody Becker 196-238-219 — 653. Totals: 792-971-896 — 2,659.
Kristel Mechanic (1)
Mel Kristel 223-245-202 — 670, Jeff Whitehouse 223-218-215 — 656, Ed White 233-191-233 — 657, Matt Kallner 232-276-214 — 722. Totals: 911-930-864 — 2,705.
———
20 North (0)
Marc LeClair 183-218-196 — 597, Bob Faragon 200-194-192 — 586, Joel Donato 243-174-190 — 607, Tommy Donato 267-226-247 — 740. Totals: 893-812-825 — 2,530.
Falvey Real Estate (3)
Dan Auricchio 234-218-187 — 639, Ron Unser 195-202-225 — 622, Jeff Young 259-235-246 — 740, Craig Taylor 238-256-257 — 751. Totals: 926-911-915 — 2,752.
———
DeCrescente Dist. (2)
Jessica Aiezza 239-245-236 — 720, Mark Kuhlkin 216-235-246 — 717, Scott Rogers 219-211-220 — 650, Liz Kuhlkin 181-184-237 — 602. Totals: 855-895-939 — 2,689.
D&D Lawncare (1)
Karrie Blake 231-247-207 — 685, Laura Rotter 226-193-223 — 642, Bill Judge 246-215-179 — 640, Brandon Wolf 157-213-194 — 564. Totals: 860-868-803 — 2,531.
———
Downs Roofing (2.5)
Chris Tinkle 268-245-250 — 763, Nick Barnes 258-246-222 — 726, Ryan Karabin 266-25-205 — 728, Billy Wigand 217-288-247 — 752. Totals: 1,009-1,036-924 — 2,969
Vito Sindoni (1)
Scott Chastenay 205-213-245 — 663, Mike Dicerbo 215-236-214 — 665, Rich Strath 244-279-258 — 781, Joe VanDerLinden 269-247-207 — 723. Totals: 933-975-924 — 2,832.
———
Driveline Motors (2)
Rob Beedleson 256-245-179 — 680, Keith Lawyer 220-207-222 — 649, Dan Rotter 226-278-232 — 736, Tony Palumbo 228-210-229 — 667. Totals: 930-940-862 — 2,732.
Towne Bowling Academy (1)
Tom Earl 228-239-234 — 701, Nunzi Manuli 180-231-220 — 631, Marty Capullo Jr. 247-213-219 — 679, Debbie Capullo 224-248-256 — 728. Totals: 879-931-929 — 2,739.
———
Action Bowling Supply (0)
Rit Fazzone 108-181-198 — 487, Bob Messick 224-247-165 — 636, Natasha Bidwell 206-254-189 — 649, Matt Fazzone 248-235-214 — 697. Totals: 786-917-766 ‑2,469.
Mohawk Honda (3)
Ed Gumm 269-250-202 — 721, Chip Tashjian 267-214-217 — 698, Ken LaBelle 269-226-203 — 698, Gary Bingham 214-257-244 — 715. Totals: 1,019-947-866 — 2,832.
———
Boulevard Bowl (1)
PJ Derenzo 170-184-180 — 534, Ken Wilkins 232-257-278 — 767, Mike Scaccia 247-261-205 — 713, Derek Foti 239-220-247 — 706. Totals: 888-922-910 — 2,720.
J&F Lawn Care (2)
Jason Brown 256-233-203 — 692, RJ Martinez 215-299-199 — 713, Nick Stricos 223-242-267 — 732, Steve Hallenbeck 237-226-224 — 687. Totals: 931-1,000-893 — 2,824.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings
Muny Grille 25.5-6.5, Mazone’s Heating 24-8, Guidarelli’s Liquor 21-11, Madison Grille 21-11, Metroland Photo 20-12, Sauce Baseball 15.5-16.5, Universal Auto Parts 15-17, Mike’s Hot Dogs 14-18, Mohawk Tap Room 14-18, The Appliance Specialist 8-24, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 8-24, IDID 6-26.
The Appliance Specialist (0)
Steve Alexander 213-244-253 — 710, Mike Liberatore 234-177-244 — 655, Steve Fawcett 227-203-158 — 588, Chris Fawcett 191-243-246 — 680. Totals: 865-867-901 — 2,633.
Mazone’s Heating (4)
Joe Paone 214-245-224 — 683, Chris Mazone 205-258-204 — 667, Len Reyngoudt 240-258-234 — 732, Ryan Gahan 256-213-247 — 716.  Totals: 915-974-909 — 2,798.
———
Metroland Photo (3)
Lee Quivey 212-214-205 — 631, B.J. Smith Jr. 236-217-300 — 753, Steve Renzi 167-212-235 — 614, Mike Gallitelli 229-214-246 — 689. Totals: 844-857-986 — 2,687.
Klonowski’s Pro Shop (1)
Doug Bywater 167-278-225 — 678, Cliff Ruth 194-234-248 — 676, Vince Simoni 195-211-235 — 641, Jim Petronis 249-255-191 — 695. Totals: 805-978-899 — 2,682.
———
Madison Grille (3)
Nick Kallner 266-201-220 — 687, Eric Hilton 233-202-207 — 642, Bill Carl 195-224-184 — 603, Jason Deitz 279-204-213 — 696. Totals: 973-831-824 — 2,628.
Mohawk Tap Room (1)
Brett Rozniewski 223-28-193 — 694, Walt Jones 184-160-184 — 528, Joe Rozniewski Jr. 188-220-193 — 601, Christian Chiarito 203-194-189 — 586. Totals: 798-852-759 — 2,409.
———
Guidarelli’s Liquor (4)
Mike Guidarelli 236-285-245 — 766, Jim Bassotti 237-203-193 — 633, Jim Parker 236-248-185 — 669, Matt Swiatocha 166-236-258 — 660. Totals: 875-972-881 — 2,728.
IDID (0)
Tony Fernandez 190-217-184 — 591, Flash Gordon 181-178-186 — 545, Jim Valentino 233-195-223 — 651, AJ Perone 245-223-175 — 643. Totals: 849-813-768 — 2,430.
———
Mike’s Hot Dogs (1)
Doug Semerad 196-201-191 — 588, John Leone 269-225-201 — 695, Mike Giaquinto 225-246-194 — 665, Kevin Palmer 217-206-199 — 622. Totals: 907-878-785 — 2,570.
Universal Auto Parts (3)
Andy Smith 179-209-238 — 626, Dave Henderson 216-259-234 — 709, Keith Livengood 204-259-201 — 64, Chris Fedden 238-210-206 — 654, Totals: 837-937-879 — 2,653.
———
Muny Grille (1.5)
Jay Diamond 235-232-207 — 674, Dave Bingham 177-256-257 — 690, John Musto Jr. 256-226-227 — 709, Jamie Diamond 166-201-255 — 622.  Totals: 834-915-946 — 2,695.
Sauce Baseball (2.5)
Fred McMahon 258-245-225 — 728, BJ Rucinski Jr. 212-258-279 — 749, Bob Tedesco Jr. 212-194-232 — 638, Mike Smith 207-195-210 — 612. Totals: 889-892-946 — 2,727.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings
Pete’s Auto 112-48, Sindoni Sausage 104.5-55.5, A Touch of Country Florist 104-56, Towne Bowling Academy 93-67, GPS Transport 91.5-68.5, Bellevue Builder 88-72, Action Bowling Supply 87.5-72.5, Capital District Mobile Vet 85-75, Strike & Spare Pro Shop 84.5-75.5, DeCrescente Dist. 77.5-82.5, Limitless Plumbing 77-83, Next Level Detailing 77-83, Battenkill Motor 75-85, Marcella’s Appliance 74-86, Home Town Pub 73-87, Debra Lamay Agency 70.5-89.5, MAC Tools 70.5-89.5, Fifteen Church 52.5-107.5, A Plus Heating & Cooling 51-109, DeNooyer 48-112.
———
Fifteen Church (7)
Aliyah Liberatore 206-202-134-172 — 714, Ben Empie 157-204-171-180 — 712. Totals: 363-406-305-352 — 1,426.
Debra Lamay Agency (13)
Amber Dominic 209-146188-233 — 776, Chris Charron 248-222-192-268 — 930. Totals: 457-368-380-501 — 1,706.
———
Towne Bowling Academy (12)
Debbie Capullo 245-232-238-191 — 906, Ryan Gahan 220-195-193-257 — 865. Totals: 465-427-431-448 — 1,771.
Bellevue Builder (8)
Ursula Pasquerella 220-215-213-204 — 852, Bill Nolan 201-243-213-183 — 840. Totals: 421-458-426-387 — 1,692.
———
DeNooyer (4)
Michelle Largeteau 107-147-160-129 — 543 Vinny Struffolino 198-193-188-201 — 780. Totals: 305-340-348-330 — 1,323.
Home Town Pub (16)
Nicole D’Amario 181-244-165-194 — 784, Tom Rogers 255-251-234-203 — 943. Totals: 436-495-399-397 — 1,727.
———
Battenkill Motor (13)
Laura Rotter 226-231-258-191 ­ 954, Dan Rotter 173-257-227-226 — 883. Totals: 399-488-485-417 — 1,789.
Limitless Plumbing (7)
Lindsey McPhail 206-214-205-248 — 873, Dave McLear 201-251-244-227 — 887. Totals: 407-429-449-475 — 1,760.
———
Action Bowling Supply (13)
Jordan Byrnes 251-255-239-289 — 1,034, Kenny Livengood 200-164-267-258 — 889. Totals: 451-419-506-547 — 1,923
Sindoni Sausage (7)
Liz Kuhlkin 247-250-214-192 — 903, Joe VanDerLinden 234-258-257-241 — 990. Totals: 481-508-471-433 — 1,893.
———
DeCrescente Dist. (15)
Jessica Aiezza 243-248-258-227 — 976, Scott Rogers 227-247-253-227 — 954. Totals: 470-495-511-454 — 1,930.
GPS Transport (5)
Kris Impellizzeri 213-205-215-200 — 833, Matt Swiatocha 245-233-259-200 — 937. Totals: 458-438-474-400 — 1,770.
———
Marcella’s Appliance (6)
Jessica Brockmyer 215-193-212-239 — 859, Don Herrington 238-278-256-269 ‑1,041. Totals: 453-471-468-508 — 1,900.
Capital District Mobile Vet (14)
Chris Allen-Valenzuela 277-221-221-218 — 937, John Askew 240-277-254-212 — 983. Totals: 517-498-475-430 — 1,920.
———
Strike & Spare Pro Shop (8)
 Jackie Malone 189-178-299-181 — 847, Paul Dumas 182-159-169-221 — 731. Totals: 371-337-468-402 — 1,578
Pete’s Auto (12)
Jenn Schissler 188-227-212-199 — 826, Chuckie Schissler 236-181-212-189 — 818. Totals: 424-408-424-388 — 1,644.
———
A Touch of Country Florist (17)
Janelle Irwin 258-194-268-215 — 935, Anthony Scaccia 267-226-240-190 — 923. Totals: 525-420-508-405 — 1,858
A Plus Heating & Cooling (3)
Felicia Campanella 175-256-184-169 — 784, Tony Pasquerella 167-181-139-146 — 633. Totals: 342-437-323-315 — 1,417.
———
MAC Tools (2)
Kylie Pasquerella 158-189-163-167 — 677, Keith Diamante 210-192-212-199 — 885. Totals: 368-381-375-366 — 1,490.
Next Level Detailing (18)
Rebecca Barringer 186-226-191-170 — 773, RJ Martinez 245-183-244-267 — 939. Totals: 431-409-435-437 — 1,712.

FRANK DEPALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings
Boulevard Bowl 16-4, D.A. Parisi & Co. 13-7, Masons Automotive 12-8, Karner Auto 11-9 Town N Country Lanes 11-9, Ledies 9-11 Kalpro 5-15, Team 8 3-17.
———
Boulevard Bowl (4)
Mike Scaccia 268-255-268-247 — 1,038, Brian Hart 234-207-186-226 — 853, Derek Foti 217-196-259-196 — 868. Totals: 719-658-713-269 — 2,759.
Ledies (1)
Kathy Bryk 203-233-236-191 — 863, Mark Hansen 193-247-245-182 — 867, Dan Bryk 255-194-176-210 — 835. Totals: 651-674-657-583 — 2,565.
———
Team 8 (1)
Spark Derenzo (absent) 190-190-190-190 — 760, Ray Haupt 208-206-252-222 — 888, Tony Bianchi 224-192-233-186 ‑835. Totals: 622-588-675-598 — 2,483.
Town N Country (4)
Jake Shank (absent) 190-190-190-190 — 760, Terry Ray 247-215-244-258 — 964, Jack Scaccia Jr. 213-204-236-204 — 857. Totals: 650-609-670-652 — 2,581
———
Karner Auto (5)
Larry Janetsky 279-256-216-236 — 987, Bryan Delehanty Jr. 157-203-205-204 — 769, John DeVarnne 226-276-258-245 — 1,005. Totals: 662-735-679-685 — 2,761.
Kalpro (0)
Keith Lawyer 214-189-246-235 — 884, Chet Ciembronowicz (absent) 190-190-190-190 — 760, Joe Carusone 206-213-223-129 — 771. Totals: 610-592-659-554 — 2,415.
———
Masons Automotive (4)
Lee Quivey 202-205-185-238 — 830, Robin Fredenburgh (absent) 190-190-190-190 — 760, B.J. Smith Jr. 267-300-212-221 — 1,000. Totals: 659-695-587-649 — 2,590.
D.A. Parisi & Co. (1)
John Mecca 182-221-236-246 — 885, Jeff Williams 225-192-212-147 — 776, Ken Wilkins 247-244-234-162 — 887. Totals: 654-657-682-555 — 2,548.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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