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.
The three-time defending Foothills Council champion
Johnstown Sir Bills are again in the thick of the battle for a fourth-straight crown, with the Gloversville, Johnstown and Amsterdam teams all looking to end their streak.
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville fields a bowling team for the first time in the Western Athletic Conference this season, while Fonda-Fultonville jumps back into the WAC after five seasons in the Colonial Council. Both the Wolves and Braves will be looking to play the role of spoiler against perennial league contenders Canajoharie, Mayfield and Fort Plain.
Despite losing aces Jay Hadcock and Logan Brandt to graduation, the Sir Bills have a solid group of returning bowlers that will keep them in the hunt for a fourth-straight league championship.
Ethan Hadcock, Garrett Way, Hunter Meher and Andy Sitterly are joined by newcomer Nick Winton in the starting lineup.
“We are still looking to bring up a sixth bowler on the varsity,” Johnstown coach Dave Hayward said. “We hope to get better as the season goes on. If we do and can polish a sixth bowler, we should have a shot at a fourth championship.”
Broadalbin-Perth lost Matt Frisch’s 196 average from the starting lineup but veterans Nick Scavia (200 avg.), John Wiedemann (192 avg.), Jarod Spagnola (183 avg.), Griffin Goodemote (180 avg.), Brian Jordan (180 avg.) and Zach Rienhart (175 avg.) all return to the Patriots’ lineup and are looking to move up from last year’s fourth-place finish in the league standings.
“We have a well-seasoned team who have bowled together for a long time,” B-P coach Mick Gottung said. “Our hopes are high for a successful year.”
The Amsterdam Rams have shown they are serious contenders for the Foothills Council title this year.
Brendan McGillin, who rolled a 300 game in a league match against Broadalbin-Perth, leads a deep group of 12 returning bowlers from last years squad. He is joined in the starting varsity lineup by Jon Schultz, who has rolled a pair of 290 games so far this year, Dave Shaw, Mike Hughes, Nate Grant and freshman Nic Carbone.
Andrew Garufi takes over as head coach for the Gloversville Huskies and also has a veteran squad looking to move up in the Foothills Council standings.
Richard Taylor leads the returning Huskies with a 189.3 average, and is joined by veterans Nick Ferrara (186 avg.) and Dereck Taylor (174 avg.), while newcomers Lane Daley and Brent Muhlberger look to break into the Gloversville starting line up.
“I feel we should be able to compete with every team in the Foothills Council,” Garufi said. “We have a solid core returning with many young, exciting bowlers coming through the program.”
Western Athletic Conference
The Canajoharie boys and girls teams are looking to return to the top of the WAC standings after a runner-up finish for the boys and a third-place run for the girls squad.
While there are plenty of returning bowlers on the Cougars, Coach Dwayne Heroth is looking at how the first-time varsity bowlers develop to gauge the success of the squad.
“We hope to be competitive in the WAC this year,” he said. “Our success will be determined on how well our young [first year] varsity players can improve.”
Returning to the alleys for Canajoharie are Jimmy Fiaschetti, Mike Baldwin, Cian DiMezza, Brandon Hazzard, Brandon King, Phillip Leverett, Ethan France, Ben Field, Dillon Kruger and Bradley Sickler.
On the girls side, the Lady Cougars will field a full squad of six bowlers.
Amy Reedy, Kiara Putnam, Danyell Monk and Chloe Hoffman return for Canajoharie, while Malissa Bates and Jade Monk join the squad.
“We are a young team and a small team with no substitutes. Every player will bowl every game,” Heroth said. “Our success will be determined on how much we improve as a team.”
Last year the Fort Plain boys placed second at the Class C-D sectionals and have four starters returning with an eye on taking over the top spot.
“With this core of returning bowlers we hope to win the WAC title and have another good showing in sectionals,” Coach Rob Jenks said.
Seniors Drew Fureno (182 avg.) and Austin Cotton (178 avg.) return for the Hilltoppers along with junior Jacob Hazlett (173 avg.) and freshman Brady Fureno (165 avg.). They are joined by newcomers Damien Young and Zack Young.
Graduation hurt the Lady Hilltoppers as they return only two starters — Gabby Jenks (125 avg.) and Liz Cortese (125 avg.) — of last year’s varsity squad that placed fifth in the WAC and seventh at the C-D sectionals.
“With only two returning starters from last year we hope to improve throughout the season and improve our showing in the league and sectionals,” Jenks said.
Seniors Allison Ramsey and Kay-Leigh Stiles join the Lady Hilltoppers this year along with freshman Willow MaGinnis and eighth-grader Rachel Zupperdi.
The Mayfield bowling squad has a veteran group returning to battle for the WAC title.
“We have a lot of good talent this year,” Coach Tammy Wood said. “So hopes are high for a good season.”
Seniors Anthony Brandow, Nathen Horning and David Servello return for the Panthers along with juniors Adam Colby, Tyler Cramer, Dylan Diamond and Nikoli Yudin and sophomores Giovanni Angelo and Anthony Mullarkey. Senior Logan Hallenbeck joins the Panthers this season.
The Lady Panthers return two seniors to the alleys, Marissa DeCicco and Angelina Mannino along with sophomores Katrina Foster, Savanah Pierce, Danielle Skellie and eighth-grader Magen Dion.
They are joined by senior newcomer Mackenzie Andrews.
“We have a young team with two returning seniors,” Wood said of the Lady Panthers. “Our goal this year with the girls is to improve their game and build upon their skills.”
Fonda-Fultonville returns to the WAC after competing in the Colonial Council the past few seasons.
The Braves and Lady Braves have a good balance of veteran and new bowlers on the roster.
“We have eight new bowlers this year, four boys and four girls,” Coach Lisa Rose said. “We also have a great team of returning bowlers with four girls and seven boys who will be great to help demonstrate skills and be great role models. I encourage teamwork to build strong skills to motivate us for successful results.”
Leading the Lady Braves are veterans Dakota Livingston, Nicole Rowe, Angelique LaFreniere and Amy Arnold.
They are joined by newcomers Mackenzie Quillan, Ariona Barr, Caitlin Neri and Aubrey Krohn.
Brandon Koons, Jon Quillan, Micaiah Roche, Connor Barnes, Dylan Hayes, Matthew Bollacker and Braxton Williams return for the Braves, while Korey Davis, Connor Torniainen, Joe Myers and Dylan Livingston look to break into the starting lineup.
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville makes its debut on the alleys this year with a with a good turnout of bowlers.
“Our team goal is to learn the game of bowling, self improve and grow as a team,” Coach Gerald Young said. “We want to be competitive with other teams in the league.”
The Wolfpack roster includes Jeff Baker, Kyle Horning, Liam Sammons, Daulton Spicci, Zack Tinkler, Skyler Barker, Braden Fredericks, Hannah Ouderkirk, Ryan Peterson, Nick Sanguine, Zack Reese and Cameron Sharp.