Johnstown’s Way ready to compete at Saturday’s state bowling championships

Garrett Way, left, and Johnstown bowing coach Dave Hayward. Way will be competing at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships this weekend in Syracuse as a member of the Section II all-star team. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

JOHNSTOWN — For the past week Garrett Way has been splitting his time between practicing for the upcoming varsity lacrosse season and closing out his bowling season.

Way, a senior at Johnstown High School, rolled a 1,303 six-game total at the Section II Class B championships on Feb. 13 and will head to the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse this weekend to compete as a member of the Section II all-star team to compete at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

“I was a good day for me,” Way, a 201 average bowler, said. “I was bowling good. The shot was a little difficult because the oil pattern was floating down the lane a little bit so I had to stay to the right and keep my ball speed down. It was more toward my style of game.”

Way finished the morning session at sectionals with a 699 series to help the Sir Bills to a third place finish in the sectional tournament at Boulevard Bowl in Schenectady with 5,602 total pins.

Way said that he expects ally conditions to be a little different at the state championships.

“I am taking three balls with me,” he said with a laugh. “I know they are going to be a lot tighter than I am used to so I am going to have to be sure I hit my spot a lot more and keep the ball to the right.”

In his third year of competitive bowling, Way has had to learn how to adjust to the benefits and handicap of being 6-foot-4.

“He was athletic to start with, which helps,” Johnstown coach Dave Hayward said. “Over the last three years he has improved tremendously. Even though he is smooth now but being tall is not the easiest thing to be in bowling. But his height is an advantage for him because his legs and arms are longer and it makes it smoother to get to the line. For a big guy his approach has always been smooth. It is one of his strong points.

“His mental game is very good,” Hayward continued. “He doesn’t go up and down, he is well balanced. He is between a roller and a cranker so he can throw on various conditions and still score.”

Hayward represented Johnstown as a member of a Section II all-star team that competed at the state championship match.

“If they can go out, have a good time and bowl decent, that is part of the excitement of going to states,” he said. “I went in 1979 and it was the same thing. You are together with a bunch of different guys and a different coach. Even though you are an individual and still part of a team.”

Way said that he is looking forward to the challenge.

“If I can hit 600 in both the morning and afternoon I would be happy,” he said. “I would like to finish the first round in the low 600s because I don’t think the ball will be hooking as much but in the afternoon I think it will be hooking more.”

Way will be joined on the Section II squad by Hoosick Falls’ A.J. Hurlburt (1,289), Mechanicville’s Josh Kalwasinski (1,285), Shenendehowa’s Mike Westfall (1,285) and Albany’s Jahlil Young (1,258).

“To me scores are not always important,” Hayward said. “If he can be comfortable throwing the ball and relax and do what he sets out to do as in hitting his spot he will be fine. Sometimes winning and losing isn’t everything. Especially with six guys on the team coming from different teams. It is tough.”

He was also selected a Foothills Council second-team all-star, joining fellow Sir Bills Ethan Hadcock and Andy Sitterly who were named to the first team, along with Hunter Meher and Mick Winton who were also named to the second team.

“I have to thank my parents, Wendy and Scott Way, especially for all their support and for bringing me places, the gas money and bowling balls,” Way said. “And Roy Lomanto for drilling the ball and having the perfect set up all the time and being very consistent and of course coach Hayward.”

As for missing a couple days of practice for the upcoming lacrosse season, Way said, “I am the captain of the lacrosse team. It is a little difficult because everyone is used to me being there but I will only be gone for two days so they are super supportive about it and cheering me on.”

By Paul Wager

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