The first bowling ball hasn’t been thrown down the lane yet, and Southold has already suffered a stinging loss.
Ben Glew, a junior who would have been in the Southold boys bowling team’s starting lineup, has been lost for the new season because of a broken collarbone.
The loss of Glew, along with the graduations of three key bowlers — Chris Kirincic, Chris Manfredi and Patrick Sinclair — is a tough blow for the First Settlers. As noted by the team’s second-year coach, Sal Campo, it’s tantamount to losing half of the team.
Southold does have an all-league bowler in senior Patrick Smith, whose 179.00 average last season is the highest among the team’s returning bowlers.
“He’s great,” Campo said. “He loves the sport and he’s been doing it since at least eighth grade.”
In Glew’s absence, the presence of two other veterans, seniors Bryan Palencia (168.61) and Zach DePaulis (161.53), is magnified in importance.
Southold will also be depending on two additional returners, senior Kieran Brodarick and junior Preston Jolliver.
Garrett DeFriest, a junior, and James Penny, a sophomore, are new to the team. Campo counted five other bowlers as varsity candidates to be sorted out in the run up to Thursday’s season-opening match at home against Rocky Point at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead. (Southold will share the bowling alley with three other teams — Riverhead, Southampton and Westhampton Beach.)
“I have some new bowlers that have never bowled, and I can focus on them,” Campo said. “This season’s team is a much newer team, not as experienced. It’s going to be more of a challenge for them.”
Last season Southold finished in fifth place in Suffolk County League V with 194 1/2 points. The team won 18 games and lost 18 while posting a team average of 833.22.
Campo said he enjoyed his first season and looks forward to the second.
“You think you got everything but you’re always learning as a coach,” he said. “Just the experience from last year and coming into this new year is going to help the kids out more.”