A Record Season on the Bowling Lanes

   At Fenwick, bowling is competitive, with matches, tournaments, and championships. This year’s team made it to sectionals after placing in the top four at regionals. As a member of the team, I can say, while we definitely had fun throughout the season, we were serious about the game and wanted to win. With one of the best bowling teams Fenwick has ever had, this year’s team proved that bowling is a sport to be taken seriously here at Fenwick.

     The team consisted of a JV and varsity members with a mix of juniors, seniors, and one freshman. Members of the team outside of the varsity starting five were Braden Davis ‘22, Eric Spencer ‘22, Will Finley ‘22, Anthony Arreola ‘22, Mark Hroma ‘23, Benicio Carideo ‘25, and Ryan Falcone ‘22. 

     The varsity starting five led our team into regionals and sectionals, with each individual bowler having multiple moments and scores worth mentioning throughout the whole season. Nolan Crowell ‘22 was a first-year bowler this year, who started off averaging sub 100 points. Throughout the season, he showed nothing but immense improvement, which ended up taking him from the JV team to the starting lineup of the varsity team. By the end of the year, Crowell had almost doubled his average and was consistently scoring 170 or higher a game, with 200 games popping up left and right. Crowell was by far the most improved player this year, becoming one of the best and most vital members of the varsity team. Sean O’Connor ‘23 made a switch from one-handed bowling to two-handed bowling at the start of the year after struggling to find a groove bowling one-handed. This permitted O’Connor to heavily boost his scores this year and to firmly place himself in the varsity starting lineup. Zach Jakaitis ‘22 was another player who showed great improvement and potential this year. Jakaitis, by the end of the year, was one of the best bowlers on the team, despite a bit of a rocky start at the beginning of the year. 

     JJ Curley said, “There was so much improvement…almost everyone had no fundamentals to work with from tryouts. If someone would’ve told me we would make it to sectionals at the beginning of the season, I would have laughed.” Curley is spot on with that statement. The amount of improvement from tryouts this year was shocking and an accomplishment all on its own. 

     Curley, senior, was the captain and one of the best players on the team this year. From the first practice onward, Curley established himself as the leader of the team. This year, Curley had a 208 average, which was the fifth best average in all of the conference. He also had the second highest three-game series in the conference with a great 740 three game series, which is the total score he got over the a three-games series. Curley established himself as the best both on and off the lames. He recruited every senior, except Jakaitis, to be on the team this year. Not only did he do that, but he also organized multiple hangouts outside of practice for the team to get together. Whether it was bowling for fun, going out to eat, or watching a movie, Curley put in the effort to be a great captain and get the team to bond and have fun. My praise for him as a bowler and teammate are endless. 

     James Dubanowich was another standout bowler this year. With a unique yet appealing bowling style, Dubanowich was a force to be reckoned with. He was able to make key adjustments to perform every frame at his best. Score-wise, he was second to one, with Curley having an overall better average than Dubanowich. However, that did not prevent Dubanowich from standing out. Dubanowich was the only player on the team this year to achieve the feat of getting a perfect 300 game. To get a 300 game, you must only strike for a whole game which amounts to 12 strikes in a row. Any bowler will tell you it is a great accomplishment that is a mark of greatness. While that 300 was during an exhibition game and not an official conference match, Dubanowich did not let that stop him from also scoring 297 in a game. This is three pins off a perfect game and a new Fenwick Bowling record for a high game in a conference match. By the end of the season, Dubanowich was clearly showing signs that he was ready to take over the role of Captain next year and to lead the team. Curley said, “I can honestly say that with James leading the team next year, I see a team that’s going to work hard and be led well. James has the opportunity and skill to do something, next year, that no other Friar bowler may ever do; that is, making a deep run at state.”

     With only five returning players next year, everyone will have to improve greatly to perform anywhere near what we did this year. But I have nothing but confidence in everyone’s abilities to step up and fill the gap left by the seniors. I am looking forward to next year and to seeing Fenwick bowling grow as we continue to perform.