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In the Pocket: LeClair learning to have fun

In the Pocket: LeClair learning to have fun

Bob Weiner's weekly bowling column
In the Pocket: LeClair learning to have fun
Mark LeClair
Photographer: Photo Provided

Marc LeClair used to take bowling very seriously, but the 47-year-old Scotia native has a different attitude now. He can laugh at his bad shots, as well as the good ones.

That’s why he got a big kick out of his latest performance, when he rolled a perfect game and a league-leading 799 triple in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy. Although he used to grab headlines often a few decades back, scratch leagues haven’t been his priority lately.

“Not getting the 800 hurt a little, but I’ve got plenty of them,” said LeClair, who actually has 21 800 triples to go along with 38 perfect games. “The thing I do now is just enjoy bowling with everyone. I didn’t bowl for six years. I would go watch my friends bowl, but I quit the game and didn’t come back until a year after Tommy Donato Sr. died. If there was anything positive about Tommy’s death, it was the fact that Tommy Donato Jr. and Joel asked me to take their dad’s spot on their team.”

LeClair, a Hudson Valley CC graduate, comes from a bowling family, and he was a phenom as a youngster, bowling at Scotia Lanes, owned at one time by his uncle, and at Sportsman’s Bowl.

“I grew up in bowling,” he said. “My family was into bowling. I started bowling at Skyway Lanes when I was 6 years old. My father, Rick, taught me. I really didn’t want to bowl. I loved baseball, but there weren’t any travel leagues back then, so he made me go bowling Saturday mornings, and then I moved to Sportsman’s Bowl. Then, when my uncle bought Scotia Lanes, I bowled there. We had a blast in the old days. When I was in high school, Scotia didn’t even have a bowling team. We had to petition for it. My junior year was the first year they brought it back.

“I never really realized the pure competition aspect of the sport until I first saw my uncle, Gil Sliker, bowling on TV. He was a professional bowler on the PBA Tour, and watching him for the first time triggered me into taking the game more serious, practicing, and getting better.”

Although he bowls just once a week in league, along with occasional tournaments with good friend Dan Furman, there was a time when bowling consumed him.

“I won three NBAs [Northern Bowling Association], I won my grandfather’s annual Thanksgiving Tournament by rolling back-to-back 300s games, and I must have cashed in 20 to 25 events in PBA regionals,” he recalled. “But I realized that, at least for me, regionals weren’t worth spending an entire weekend in the summer. I never had the money to go out on tour, but when I quit the game, I realized that I never really enjoyed the game the way I should have, because I took league bowling too seriously.”

LeClair had a heart attack two years ago, and he looks at life, and bowling, a lot differently than he used to.

“I kind of learned that the great thing about the game of bowling is to have a night out with friends,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m still competitive, but I have more fun now. I learned from Tommy Donato’s passing away that life is too short not to have fun with your friends. In this league, I get to bowl with people like Liz Kuhlkin and Jim Geiger. I get to bowl with a lot of great bowlers who are also great people.”

BRIAN LECLAIR’S REVOLUTIONS PRO SHOP OPEN PBA50 REGIONAL

Boulevard Bowl hosts the Brian LeClair’s Revolutions Pro Shop PBA50 regional this weekend, beginning with Friday’s practice session (3-5 p.m.) and pro clinic (5:30 p.m.).

Among the bowlers entered in the maximum 100-bowler field, beside LeClair himself, are local standouts Don Herrington of Ballston Lake, Chris Fedden of Albany, David Henderson of Schenectady, Bill Neumann of Rensselaer, Jim Patricelli of Troy, Dan Rotter of Schenectady, Andy Smith of Colonie, Rich Strath of Schenectady, Ron Unser of Castleton, Tom Yadanza of Saratoga Springs.

Qualifying, consisting of eight games, will be held Saturday at noon. The top 16 players advance, with the top four earning byes into the finals. Action continues Sunday morning at 9 a.m. with five more games of semifinals. The top four, plus the top four from qualifying, advance to the eight-game round-robin finals at noon. Bowlers receive 30 bonus pins for each victory.

STRIKES & SPARES

Sorry to hear that former Schenectady USBC president Bill Offenbacker died last Saturday at age 74. A retiree from Schenectady International, Offenbacker served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1966 and was a lifelong New York Yankees fan, as well as a member of the American Legion and the Elks. His bowling family will miss him.

Del Lanes hosts the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour’s opener for its 10th season on Oct. 12. Brunswick bowling products is the organization’s new title sponsor.

The next Brian Boghosian Seniors and Women’s Scratch Tour event will be the Storm Match Up Open Oct. 12 at Hi-Way Recreation in Wynantskill at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $80, and top prize will be $500, based on 36 entries. Qualifying for the senior men will be in four age divisions: 50-59, 60-69, 70-plus and women of any age. The format is four games of qualifying with one in five advancing to the eliminator finals. Call Boghosian at 413-627-2734 for more information.

Sportsman’s Bowl will host the 41st annual New York Open State Senior Championships Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 19-20. Entry fee will be $60 for doubles, $30 for singles and $10 for a six-game combine. Handicap will be 90 percent of 230. Age divisions will be Class E (age 50-54), Class D (55-59), Class C (60-64), Class B (65-69), Class A (70-74) and Super Senior (75 and older). You may bowl with a senior from another age group. For more information, call 585-343-3736 or email [email protected] Send entry blanks to NYS USBC 55 Edgewood Drive, Batavia, N.Y. 14020.

Towne Bowling Academy will host its annual Scratch Challenge Oct. 13 at 10 a.m.. Entry fee is $80, and one in five will cash for a minimum of $160. Top prize is $1,000, based on 60 entries. The format will be a five-game qualifier over 10 lanes. The top five advance to the stepladder finals.

Also at Towne Bowling Academy, the Albany TNBA Senate Trio Tournament will be held Oct. 26-27 over five squads, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. Entry fee is $30 per bowler, and the top prize, based on 100 entries, is $1,800 per team. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 230, with a maximum handicap of 75 pins per game..

The Amateur League Bowlers Association of New York, for bowlers with averages less than 215, has announced its schedule which includes events on Oct. 20 (at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy), Nov. 17 (at Towne Bowling Academy), a doubles tournament on Dec. 15 (back at Uncle Sam Lanes), Jan. 12 (at Town N Country Lanes), March 22 (at Sportsman’s Bowl) and the A.L.B.A.N.Y. Main Event (at Spare Time Latham). All tournaments begin at 9:30 a.m. Handicaps will be 100 percent, but this season, all bowlers will establish a tournament handicap, based on the scores of their first six events.

MAJOR BOWLING

Marc LeClair tossed a perfect game en route to a 799 triple, John Walther III ripped a 788, Mark Kuhlkin recorded a 300 game and women’s division leader Liz Kuhlkin fired a 278-761 to pace the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

In the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl, Jim Bassotti recorded a 267-745, and Andy Smith shot a 279-740.

Ryan Karabin connected for a 908 four-game series, and Anthony Scaccia ripped a 900 to lead the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl. Robin Fredenburgh shot an 832 to lead the women.

Matt Swiatocha registered a  1,040 four-game series, and Jessica Aiezza posted a 946 for the featured performances in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy. Tony Palumbo was the men’s runner-up with a 941, and Kris Impellizzeri was second among the women with a 937.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings
Towne Bowling Academy 9-3, J&F Lawn Care 9-3, DeCrescente Distributing 9-3, 20 North 9-3, Falvey Real Estate 8.5-3.5, Vito Sindoni & Son 7.5-4.5, Broadway Lanes 6-6, Bedrock Construction 6-6, Boulevard Bowl 6-6, Downs Roofing 5.5-6.5, Team 10 5-7, Mohawk Honda 4-8, Rollarama 4-8, D&D Lawncare 3.5-8.5, Kristel Mechanic 2-10, Action Bowling Supply 2-10.
Match summaries
20 North (2)
Marc LeClair 278-300-221 — 799, Kenny Livengood 216-226-184 — 626, Joel Donato 246-217-199 — 662, Tommy Donato 220-247-244 — 711. Totals: 960-990-948 — 2,798.
Vito Sindoni & Son (3)
Scott Chastenay 206-236-191 — 633, Mike Dicerbo 183-194-219 — 596, Rich Strath 230-226-257 — 713, Joe Vanderlinden 225-241-214 — 680. Totals: 844-897-891 — 2,622.
———
Downs Roofing (2)
Chris Tinkle 264-254-178 — 696 Nick Barnes 184-237-234 — 655, Ryan Karabin 263-276-237 — 776, Billy Wigand 196-279-256 — 731. Totals: 907-1,046-905 — 2,858.
Team 10 (3)
 Marc Fowler 194-192-246 — 632, Chuck Schissler 173-202-238 — 613, Bob Faragon 190-233-233 — 656, Paul Bonesteel 269-211-222 — 702. Totals: 826-838-939 — 2,603.
———
D&D Lawncare (0)
Karrie Blake 176-226-191 — 593, Laura Rotter 184-204-182 — 570, Bill Judge 197-207-199 — 603, Carol Crandall 161-228-194 — 583. Totals: 718-865-766 — 2,349
Rollarama (5)
Don Herrington 225-255-234 — 714, Keith Lawyer 203-193-163 — 569, Dan Rotter 189-221-181 — 591, Tony Palumbo 224-214-223 — 661. Totals: 841-883-801 — 2,525.
———
DeCrescente Distributing (3)
Jessica Aiezza 165-172-199 — 536, Mark Kuhlkin 225-300-253 — 778, Scott Rogers 171-198-197 — 566, Liz Kuhlkin 278-238-245 — 761. Totals: 839-908-894 — 2,641.
Action Bowling Supply (2)
Rit Fazzone 168-166-177 — 511, Bob Messick 180-141-211 — 532, Natasha Bidwell  203-225-199 — 627, Matt Fazzone 173-255-222 — 650. Totals: 724-787-809 — 2,320.
———
Towne Bowling Supply (3)
Tom Earl 299-234-209 — 742, Thomas DiBell 269-181-215 — 665, John Askew 224-246-255 — 725, Marty Capullo Jr. 194-278-249 — 721. Totals: 986-939-928 — 2,853.
Mohawk Honda (2)
Ed Gumm 192-247-191 — 630, Chip Tashjian 195-235-191 — 621, Ken LaBelle 234-184-246 — 664, Mark Ray 259-216-223 — 698. Totals: 880-882-851 — 2,613.
———
Bedrock Construction (1)
Jim Geiger 170-207-216 — 593, Keith Livengood 227-167-180 — 574, Steve Wagoner 215-215-279 — 709, Eric Stangle 194-222-217 — 633. Totals: 806-811-892 — 2,509
Boulevard Bowl (4)
PJ Derenzo 206-174-192 — 572, Zach Gravall 221-225-201 — 647, Ken Wilkins 256-258-231 — 745, Derek Foti 257-193-184 — 634. Totals: 940-850-808 — 2,598.
———
Falvey Real Estate (2)
Dan Auricchio 237-259-267 — 763, John Walther III 256-252-280 — 788, Jeff  Young 227-245-208 — 680, Ron Unser 181-240-229 — 650. Totals: 901-996-984 –2,881.
Broadway Lanes (3)
Mark Ross 243-184-205 — 632, Steve Rock 249-248-242 — 739, Roy Vanderbogart 238-218-212 — 668, Justin Barcomb 279-245-258 — 782. Totals: 1,009-895-917 — 2,821.
———
J&F Lawn Care (3)
Jason Brown 248-210-267 — 725, RJ Martinez 241-232-211 — 684, Nick Stricos 246-279-245 — 770, Steve Hallenbeck 194-235-171 — 640. Totals: 929-956-934 — 2,819.
Kristel Mechanic (2)
Mel Kristel 218-223-289 — 730, Jeff Whitehouse 189-216-234 — 639, Ed White 223-235-197 — 655, Bryan Kelley 172-214-211 — 597. Totals: 802-888-931 — 2,621.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings
Muny Grille 15-1, Team No. 5 12-4, Next Level Detailing 12-4, Universal Auto Parts 11-5, Metroland Photo 11-5, Mike’s Hot Dogs 9-7, Madison Grille 8-8, The Appliance Specialist 8-8, IDID 5-11, Team No. 10 3-13, Sauce Baseball LLC 1-15, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 1-15.
Match summaries
Sauce Baseball LLC (0)
Fred McMahon 169-225-213 — 607, John Leone 224-214-191 — 629, Bob Tedesco Jr. 227-237-206 — 670, Mike Smith 180-238-188 — 606. Totals: 800-914-798 — 2,512.
Universal Auto Parts (4)
Andy Smith 214-247-279 — 740, Dave Henderson 247-227-190 — 664, Chris Smith 258-216-206 — 680, Chris Fedden 203-285-209 — 697. Totals: 922-975-884 — 2,781
———
Team No. 5 (1)
Jason Deitz 296-203-203 — 702, Kalynn Carl 184-178-194 — 556, Bill Carl 202-225-206 — 633, Justin Carl 243-227-216 — 686. Totals: 925-833-819 — 2,577.
Next Level Detailing (3)
Tom Siatkowski 204-211-269 — 684, Jim Bassotti 267-213-265 — 745, Mike Piotrowski 194-206-223 — 623, Matt Swiatocha 246-236-254 — 736. Totals: 911-866-1,011 — 2,788.
———
Muny Grille (4)
Jay Diamond 226-171-202 — 599, Seth Adams 197-248-180 — 625, John Musto Jr. 274-238-163 — 675, Jamie Diamond 189-221-234 — 644. Totals: 886-878-779 — 2,543.
IDID (0)
Tony Fernandez 193-199-135 — 527, Flash Gordon 193-180-149 — 522,  Jim Valentino 169-202-205 — 576, AJ Perone 208-269-208 — 685. Totals: 763-850-697 — 2,310.
———
Team 10 (0)
Ernie Costello Sr. 218-185-164 — 567, Rob Mengel 193-244-220 — 657, Cory Buckley 165-195-203 — 563, Tyler Mochrie 214-207-214 — 635. Totals: 790-831-801 — 2,422.
Mike’s Hot Dogs (4)
Doug Semerad 215-236-224 — 675, Tammy Sader 226-255-224 — 705, Mike Giaquinto 201-224-189 — 614, Kevin Palmer 270-246-204 — 720. Totals: 912-961-841 — 2,714.
———
Klonowski’s Pro Shop (1)
Doug Bywater 189-159-195 — 543,  Jason Lott 185-163-204 — 552, Vince Simoni 192-209-194 — 595, Jim Petronis 274-162-246 — 682. Totals: 840-693-839 — 2,392.
The Appliance Specialist (3)
Melissa Bogholtz 170-246-205 — 621, Steve Fawcett 190-214-203 — 607, Chris Fawcett 193-186-221 — 600, Ricky Wark III 190-246-247 — 683. Totals: 743-892-876 — 2,511.
———
Metroland Photo (1)
Lee Quivey 214-185-219 — 618, Steve Renzi 248-189-195 — 632, Mike Gallitelli 244-212-247 — 703, B.J. Smith Jr. 247-215-193 — 655. Totals: 953-801-854 — 2,608.
Madison Grille (3)
Nick Kallner 231-236-244 — 711, Eric Hilton 217-211-249 — 677, Len Reyngoudt 253-187-237 — 677, Chris Mazzone 224-266-222 — 712. Totals: 925-900-952 — 2,777.

FRANK DEPALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings
Masons Automotive 15-5, Team 8 15-5, Kalpro 11-9, Ledies 10-10, Boulevard Bowl 9-11, D.A. Parisi & Co. 9-11, Town & Country Lanes 8-12, Bye 3-17
Match summaries
Bye (0)
No bowlers.
Town & Country Lanes (3)
Terry Ray 235-195-199-182 — 811, Morgan Lindsey 247-23-247-169 — 896, Anthony Scaccia 269-197-201-233 — 900. Totals: 751-625-647-584 — 2,607.
———
Boulevard Bowl (1)
Mike Scaccia 197-186-257-214 — 854, Brian Hart 189-230-214-245 — 878, Derek Foti 223-197-183-204 — 807. Totals: 609-613-654-663 — 2,539.
D.A. Parisi & Co. (4)
John Mecca 217-253-201-212 — 883, Jeff Williams 172-257-212-139 — 780, Ken Wilkins 247-215-246-186 — 894. Totals: 636-725-659-537 — 2,557.
———
Kalpro (2)
Keith Lawyer 225-171-179-225 — 800, Kyle Wilkins 163-235-210-175 — 783, Joe Carusone 202-191-212-171 — 776. Totals: 590-597-601-571 — 2,359.
Ledies (3)
Kathy Bryk 197-180-27-141 — 725, Mark Hansen 242-194-208-231 — 875, Dan Bryk 249-210-194-187 — 840. Totals: 688-584-609-559 — 2,440.
———
Team 8 (4)
Ryan Karabin 237-245-236-190 — 908, Tony Bianchi 175-245-183-181 — 784, Phil Kilmartin 245-179-217-179 — 820. Totals: 657-669-636-550 — 2,512.
Masons Automotive (1)
Ron Williams 251-167-248-172 — 838, Robin Fredenburgh 233-215-187-197 — 832, B.J. Smith Jr. 238-193-187-178 — 796. Totals: 722-575-622-547 — 2,46.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings
Next Level Detailing 81-19, Revolutions Pro Shop 69-31, Towne Bowling Academy 64-36, DeCrescente Distributing 61-39, A Touch of Country Florist 61-39, Sindoni Sausage 59.5-40.5, Sportsman’s Bowl 57-43, 15 Church 54.5-45.5, Strike & Spare Pro Shop 50.5-49.5, Capital District Mobile Vet 50-50, Team 17 50-50, Pete’s Auto Parts 49.5-50.5, GPC Solar Control 47-53, Solid Surface Craftsman 45.5-54.5, Boulevard Bowl 44.5-55.5, Never Enough Performance 36.5-63.5, Bellevue Builders 32.5-67.5, Team 5 31.5-68.5, Team 4 28-72, A Plus Heating & Cooling 27.5-72.5.
Match summaries
Boulevard Bowl (16)
Lisa Rathbun-Read 213-171-258-227 — 869, Cliff Ruth 190-196-215-189 — 790. Totals: 462-426-532-475 — 1,895.
Strike & Spare Pro Shop (4)
Jackie Malone 185-187-191-154 — 717, Paul Dumas 231-182-206-239 — 858. Totals: 453-406-434-430 — 1,575.
———
Revolutions Pro Shop (15)
Lindsey McPhail 216-203-246-210 — 955, Don Herrington 195-266-236-187 — 884. Totals: 431-489-502-417 — 1,839.
Team 17 (5)
Nicole D’Amario 136-144-138-182 — 600, Tom Rogers 236-194-208-221 — 859. Totals: 416-382-390-447 — 1,459.
———
Next Level Detailing (20)
Kim Swiatocha 268-214-224-226 — 932, Matt Swiatocha 268-266-270-236 — 2,068.
Solid Surface Craftsman (0)
Cheyanne McPhail 214-214-171-224 — 823, Austin Zullo 149-181-213-212 — 843. Totals: 408-440-429-481 — 1,578.
———
15 Church (12.5)
Aliyah Liberatore 158-164-176-194 — 692, Lee Quivey 220-196-226-226 ‑868. Totals: 437-419-461-479 — 1,796.
Sindoni Sausage (7.5)
Liz Kuhlkin 232-177-212-257 — 878, Joe Vanderlinden 224-203-218-237 — 882. Totals: 462-386-436-500 — 1,784.
———
Team 4 (6)
Kaitlyn Goodermote (absent) 176-176-176-176 — 704, Nick Barnes 224-248-224-235 — 931. Totals: 455-479-455-466 — 1,855.
A Touch of Country Florist (14)
Janelle Irwin 192-189-210-266 — 857, Steve Irwin 236-206-278-213 — 933. Totals: 462-429-522-513 — 1,926.
———
Capital District Mobile Vet (6)
Chris Allen-Valenzuela 214-213-233-224 — 884, John Askew 215-215-258-221 — 909. Totals: 443-442-505-459 –1849.
Pete’s Auto Parts (14)
Jenn Schissler 191-201-194-198 — 784, Chuckie Schissler 212-226-253-217 — 908. Totals: 456-480-500-468 — 1,904.
———
Team 5 (7)
Amber Dominic 216-223-205-214 — 858, Vinny Struffolino 178-203-202174 — 757. Totals: 456-488-469-450 — 1,863.
Sportsman’s Bowl (13)
Erike Poje 202-258-191-169 ‑820, Joe Wolf 226-198-265-227 — 916. Totals: 469-497-497-437 — 1,900.
———
Never Enough Performance (9)
Kate Clark 163-225-11-215 ‑814, Dave McLear 190-267-179-220 — 856. Totals:  397-536-434-479 — 1,846.
GPC Solar Control (11)
Laura Rotter 191-195-258-248 — 892, Gabe Criscuolo 225-202-171-214 — 812. Totals: 447-428-460-493 — 1,828.
———
A Plus Heating & Cooling (0)
Michelle Largeteau 133-140-128-132 — 533, Tony Pasquerella 164-170-158-157 — 649. Totals: 417-430-406-409 — 1,662.
DeCrescente Distributing (20)
Jessica Aiezza 268-247-219-212 — 946, Scott Rogers 258-225-194-257 — 934. Totals: 541-487-428-484 — 1,940
———
Bellevue Builders (0)
Ursula Pasquerella 206-237-201-185 — 829, Bill Nolan 203-210-192-168 — 773. Totals: 455-493-439-399 — 1,786.
Towne Bowling Academy (20)
Kris Impellizzeri 246-269-212-210 — 937, Tony Palumbo 221-249-216-255 — 941. Totals: 490-541-451-488 — 1,970.

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

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