2017-18 H.S. Bowling Preview: On a Roll

Area bowling teams off to strong starts

Gloversville’s Mark Sgambato warms up prior to a Nov. 17 Foothills Council match against South Glens Falls at Arterial Lanes in Gloversville. Sgambato leads the local bowlers so far this season with a 299 single. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

With the season under way, the area’s high school bowling teams are already showing they will be contenders for their respective league and sectional championships.

After winning three-straight Foothills Council titles the Johnstown Sir Bills were dethrowned last season. Now they are poised to return to the top of the standings with a veteran squad. However, the Amsterdam Rams have gotten off to s strong start and may have something to say about that.

In the WAC, the Canajoharie boys are off to another strong start to the season and with experience on their side, will be ready for the season-ending tournaments.

Foothills Council

The Johnstown Sir Bills and Amsterdam Rams are both off to fast starts to the season.

The Sir Bills have won four of their first five matches, while Amsterdam has put up a 7-1 early-season record. Johnstown and Amsterdam, who are slated to go head-to-head tonight at Imperial Lanes, show a league loss to South Glens Falls.

The Sir Bills are led by returning seniors Ethan Hadcock (198 avg.), Hunter Meher (197 avg.), Garrett Way (195 avg.) and Andy Sitterly (195 avg.), Sam Miller (175 avg.) and eighth-grader Mick Winton (187 avg.).

“Four seniors have been with me for four years and Mick and Sam are in their second season and have improved greatly,” Johnstown coach Dave Hayward said. “I expect to improve on last season and if we hit our stride, we should contend for the Foothills and sectional titles.”

Despite losing Section II all-star Brendan McGillan, who reached the state championships last season, the Rams have a solid core of returning bowlers as they look to win their second-straight Foothills tournament title.

Jake Preville, Jon Schultz, Mike Hughes, Nate Grant and Nic Carbone have been solid for the Rams as they have won 27 of the 32 games they have rolled so far this season.

“This is a very cohesive unit in which everyone has had a role in our early success,” first-year Rams coach Mike Miseno said. “We plan on building on our good start to contend in the Foothills by not trying to do too much and taking our season one frame at a time.”

The Gloversville Huskies also have a lot of talent returning to the lanes including Derek Taylor (190 avg.), Aiden Carter (182 avg.), A.J. Dorman (180 avg.) and Adam Lovelass (177 avg.). Newcomer Mark Sgambato has already made his presence known, rolling a 299-737 series earlier this year.

“This year’s squad is young and very talented,” Gloversville coach Andrew Garufi said. “Our expectations are to be in the hunt to win the Foothills and improve on our finish at sectionals last year.”

The Huskies are 3-4-1 in the Foothills so far this season.

Graduation hit the Broadlbin-Perth Patriots hard, but first-year coach Tony Mucilli is optimistic about the season.

“Our team is young at all levels,” Mucilli said. “However, we return some key contributors and had a strong turnout at tryouts. Through the solid leadership of our upperclassmen, and the development of our younger bowlers, we have the opportunity for a competitive season and to strengthen our entire program.”

Zachary Rhinehart, Kobi Mason, Michael Piska, Ryan Frolke and Jared Eipp return for Broadalbin-Perth, which is seeking its first match win of the season but have a draw against Queensbury.

Western Athletic Conference

The Canajoharie boys are off to a good start as they look to improve on last years runner-up finish in the WAC standings.

With a large group of returning bowlers, including Cian DiMezza, Brandon Hazzard, Ethan France, Brandon King, Barry Yeardon, Braedy Sickler, Ben Field, Phillip Leverelt, Dillon Kruger, Dennis Lewis, Jeramiah Durrin and Christan Jones.

“The WAC is a tough league,” Canajoharie coach Dwayne Heroth said. “We are hoping to be competitive and finish in the upper half in the league standings.”

On the girls side, the Cougars have two returning bowlers, Chloe Hoffman and Melissa Bates, from last year’s squad that also placed second in the WAC standings.

“With only two returning players we are looking to improve our game as the season goes on,” Coach Heroth said. “This is a young team and we are looking at this season as an improve as we go season and see where we are at the end.”

The Fort Plain Hilltoppers are also in the hunt for the WAC title with a solid group of returning bowlers including Jacob Hazlett (174 avg.), Brady Fureno (176 avg.), Damien Young (160 avg.) and Zack Young (152 avg.).

“We have a nice core of returning bowlers this season,” Fort Plain coach Rob Jenks said. “We hope to be competitive in the WAC and place in the top three at sectionals this year.”

Gabriella Jenks (156 avg.), who rolled the second high single at the Class C-D sectionals last year, and Rachel Zuppardi (107 avg.) lead a young group of bowlers on the girls squad.

“We are adding six first-year bowlers to the program,” coach Jenks said. “We hope to improve throughout the season and get ready for sectionals.”

Joining the Lady Hilltoppers are senior Vikki Wilday, junior Morgan McFee, sophomore Selyna Dumond, freshman Grace Hoffman and eighth-graders Shantel Kretser and Emma Oldick.

Fonda-Fultonville has a good mix of veteran and new bowlers on their squads this season with 11 returning bowlers joined by six new players.

Connor Barnes, Micaiah roche, Korey Davis, Connor Torniainen, Braxton Williams and Dylan Livingston return for the Braves, while Aubrey Krohn, Nicole Rowe, Caitlin Neri, Mackenzie Quillan and Ariona Barr return for the Lady Braves.

“Our team goal each year is to make improvements, be competitive and build teamwork for strong skills,” coach Lisa Rose said. “We are looking forward to a successful season.”

Jenn Horst takes over as head coach at Mayfield and has a solid base to build the season on.

The Panthers have opened the season with a 3-3 record in the WAC behind veterans Adam Colby, Giovanni Angelo, Tyler Cramer and Anthony Mullarkey along with newcomers Ethan Brandow, Logan VanNostrand, Shane VanNostrand and Mike Mullarkey.

On the girls side, returning bowlers Savannah Pierce, Danielle Skielle and Megan Dion and newcomers Kate Nash, Sarah Paul, Lily Aesch and Jordan Buanno have pushed the Lady Panthers off to a 3-2 start on the season.

“Both the boys and girls teams have the potential to have a winning season this year,” coach Horst said. “The new bowlers are working hard at getting their averages up, so that we can be contenders with the other schools. I am looking forward to seeing both teams grow this season.”

In its second season of competition, the Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville bowlers are building on the experience they got in their first year of competition.

Camron Sharp, Skyler Baker, Brandon Fredericks and Nick Sanquine are joined by newcomers Jaden Etherton, Ashton Spicci and Keagan Clemons this season, while Hannah Ouderkirk, Kelly O’Connor, Samantha Weaver, Sarah Carl and Sarah King represent the Lady Wolves.

“We are getting better and competing in every match,” coach Jerry Young said.