By Jordan J. Michael
GUILDERLAND –– Bowling may not have the same intensity as some contact sports, but bowlers say it’s intense nonetheless. Sometimes, the outcome of a match is decided by one frame.
The pressure of a big shot can break a bowler down. The 10 pins seem to gawk at the bowler.
“Football is the most intense sport, but bowling is just different,” said Guilderland senior bowler A.J. Indovina, who also played football for the school. “You just get into it,” he said of bowling. “It can turn into a screaming match sometimes. You just get that rush.”
The Dutchmen bowled against Colonie at Town ’N’ Country Lanes on Jan. 15, and it was one of those “screaming match” instances, Indovina said. Guilderland and Colonie are two of the best teams in the Suburban Council.
Colonie won by just 13 total pins.
“It was a really big match,” said Indovina of Colonie. “There were high fives and cheering the entire time. We bowled great.”
Guilderland is 6-6 after beating Saratoga, 19 to 13, last Thursday. Head Coach Lou Marino said the team could easily be 9-3 because it lost three matches by 20 pins or less. The Dutch play Burnt Hills today.
“It’s very intense,” Marino said of bowling. “I think the kids are impressed with the atmosphere and the talent. The intensity heightens throughout the match.”
Austin Van Buren bowled a 299 for Guilderland this season and averages 215 per game. Indovina also averages 215, and had a high game of 269. Ben Govel averages a score of 214, and Jim Mohr averages 208.
Last Thursday, Travis Losee bowled the Dutch’s highest game with a 257 single and a 658 triple.
“I set up, take a deep breath, and try to focus on my shot,” Indovina said. “All you can do is turn your back and try to enjoy a good shot.”
During a match, bowlers go head-to-head with the opponent, but there’s also a team score of total pins. The last shot matters.
“It’s just you and the other guy,” Marino said. “You have to try and beat whoever you bowl against.”
Marino has witnessed about 198 games from Guilderland bowlers this season, so specific games don’t stick out. Scores of 250 or 270 happen all of the time, he said.
“Practice makes permanent, not perfect,” said Marino, who also coaches softball for Guilderland. “You want to win sectionals? Well, it’s pretty competitive, so you’ll have to average 220 over six games.”
Marino said that everything comes down to sectionals on Feb. 12. A team could be 0-16 during the regular season, but have one good day. He said that Guilderland is bowling better of late.
“Lou really pounds the sectional thing into our heads,” Indovina said. “We haven’t peaked yet, so that’s good. There’s a lot of bowling to look forward to.”