EAGLES 32 1/2, FIRST SETTLERS 1/2
It was a new beginning for the Southold High School boys bowling team in more ways than one.
Southold, with a new lineup and a roster that is short on experience, was beaten soundly, 32 1/2-1/2, in its season-opening Suffolk County League V match against Rocky Point on Thursday at Port Jeff Bowl. Rocky Point won all three games, 835-653, 887-597, 816-583.
If nothing else, the First Settlers saw evidence that they have a lot of work ahead of them.
“What I anticipated is about what happened,” Southold coach Sal Campo said. “We fell short of the scoring that we’d like to get to, but we didn’t have many practices before this game, so it was a little tough.”
None of the five bowlers in Southold’s starting lineup were starters last season. In fact, only one of them, Ben Glew, had started a high school match before. Glew, a senior, had been a regular starter during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but sat out last season with a broken collarbone.
Meanwhile, Rocky Point was led by an impressive sophomore, Kyle Zawaski. Zawaski, a virtual strike machine, recorded three successive 202 games for a career-high 606 series. He registered 18 strikes and seven spares.
Rocky Point coach John Schumacher never saw a player bowl the same score in three straight games before. “There’s always firsts,” he said. “In the world of coaching, you see truth is stranger than fiction. You see amazing things.”
Zawaski, who finished with a 155 average last season, his first on the team, was definitely on. In the last two games of practice the day before, he shot a 192 and a 197. It was encouraging stuff for the Eagles.
“It gives me goosebumps because it’s only a sign of things to come,” said Schumacher.
Rocky Point also received significant contributions from sophomore Rachel Magnuson and senior Will Serviss. A 222 game by Magnuson anchored her 561 series. She also converted a match-high 13 spares. Serviss bowled a 226 high game to start off his 525 series. Mike Bellissimo turned in a 420 series.
Schumacher sounded thrilled with his team’s opening-day performance. “It’s a tremendous way to start the season,” he said. “It sets the tone for the season. It really keeps the morale high.”
The top scorer for Southold was junior Justin Kirincic with a 428 series. His 167 in the opening game was the highest single-game score posted by any of the First Settlers. Evan Van Duzer (389 series), Glew (368) and Devyn Standish (326) were the other Southold bowlers who played in all three games. Kirincic and Van Duzer had 10 strikes each.
This new season brings a new home for Southold. The First Settlers have left Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead and now practice and play their home matches at the new All Star Lanes in Riverhead. Their first home match will be Tuesday against East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson.
“The switch between lanes is a lot different,” Kirincic said. “It is a lot to get used to.”
Following the season-opening loss, Kirincic said: “I think we could definitely do better throughout the year. I think we just have to pick up our spares more.”
The day wasn’t a total loss for Southold, though. Every game helps, even a loss.
Campo said, “The pressure is on them and they know that they’re going to have to step it up a few notches.”