Weekly Feature



2018-01-11 / Sports

Boys bowling team rolls to undefeated start

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter

The Orchard Park boys’ bowling team is off to a stellar start to the 2017-18 season. The Quakers are 5-0 in league and 6-0 overall.

They also had a strong showing at the Festival of Lights Tournament over the holiday break at the Tonawanda Bowling Center. The team played six games and finished with an overall score of 6,058 pins, most among Section VI teams and second only to Cicero North Syracuse.

“It’s probably the most-competitive tournament in Western New York so to finish second there is a special thing,” Orchard Park coach Joe Biondo said.

The team has wins over Hamburg, West Seneca East, Iroquois, Lancaster and West Seneca West in league play, landing the Quakers at the top of the division.

On Dec. 21, they defeated Hamburg 7-0 in a dominant effort. Kyle Couell had the high game for the Quakers at 275 pins. Tom Klenke had the high series at 685 while Couell was second at 669. Colton Little (650) and Nate Nahrebeski (659) rounded out the top unit.

The team then got a 6-1 win over perennial power West Seneca West last Wednesday. Couell used games of 202, 245 and 218 to finish with a total score of 665. Little had games of 198, 214 and 232 to get to 665. Klenke had games of 245, 200 and 218 to finish at 663. Nahrebeski had a high game of 238 and a series of 569.

Aside from the performance of the top four, the team is getting solid performances from the B team, including Dylan Ambrosio, Ben Milo, Declan Stiles and Nathan Ostrander. Thus far, the Quakers are the team to beat in ECIC.

“A lot of it is team preparation. Our practices have been excellent this year,” Biondo said. “I’ve got four seniors, three of them have been on the team for two or more years. They’ve been bowling together for a whole. The team chemistry does help too. That has allowed us to improve. We lost a bunch of people from last year. We had two kids graduate and two more transfer. That was a big loss for us. Did I expect us to still challenge for the division title? Yes, I always expect us to challenge, but it’s been a huge surprise. I thought West and Frontier would be better than us on the depth side of things. Since the first day of practice, the seniors have led this group. There was no joking around in practice. They do exactly as they are asked. The result is showing in the matches. The lack of experience that we may have had has not been a problem. The kids have been surprising with their averages.”

The team has some tough matches coming up with West Seneca East, Lancaster, Hamburg and Iroquois on the docket. The Quakers will generally play a tough schedule as a result of playing in a division of such tough opponents.

“This is probably the hardest bowling divi sion in Western New York,” Biondo said.

“The top three could probably beat any other ECIC team. West, Frontier and us could probably win any other division. Even the middle of the road teams like Hamburg and Iroquois are tough, they could win other divisions. We have to go up against more depth than the others. Iroquois even beat Frontier earlier in the year. You can’t take these guys lightly. Hamburg is the same way.”

Orchard Park will also be heading to a competitive tournament of Rochester and Syracuse-area teams on Martin Luther King Day. They’ll look to continue what they’ve done all season.

“Our motto is we don’t want to bowl to the other team’s level,” Biondo said.” We want to bowl to Orchard Park’s level. We want to have good averages and bowl for ourselves. The only team that can beat us is us.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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