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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 8, 2009

Voorheesville bowling better than last year

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– Blackbird bowling coach Jim Duncan can’t seem to find or hold onto as many bowlers as he’d like to.

The mixed gender team has been on the decline ever since it won a sectional title in 2003. “I went from having a powerhouse to not much of one at all,” said Duncan, who’s been at the helm for 10 years. “High school sports are weird like that.”

Duncan was stoic after a 27-to-5 loss to Mechanicville at home on Monday. The team’s record dropped to 3-7 on the year. Voorheesville was without leading roller Becca Duncan.

“We’re having a better season than last year’s 4-12 record,” Jim Duncan said. “We’ll end up with a couple more victories. I like to stay optimistic.”

Senior Becca Duncan has a 201 average on the season, putting her in the top 12 of the Colonial Council. She has a high game of 244 and a 673 triple on the season.

“She’s my daughter, so I always see room for improvement,” said Jim Duncan. “Not having her on the lane against Mechanicville really hurt our total pin count. The team needs her out there.”

The Blackbirds lost two bowlers to other sports this year. John Springer joined the basketball team and Tim Stewart is wrestling.

“That wasn’t real good because they did well last year and would have been even better,” Duncan said. “Kids get interested in other things and move on. You can always bowl when you’re older.”

Since the interest in bowling is down, Duncan has brought in a handful of seventh and eighth-graders to tryout for the team. Middle-school students must finish in the top eight at tryouts to be eligible to bowl in matches.

“Some of these guys were never in a serious bowling game until now,” said Duncan. “Voorheesville is a small school, so I’m scrambling to get kids on the team. Some of the people that try out can’t break 100.”

The only other senior on the team is Brian Farley. He has a 161 average. Anthony Scaccia bowled the high game of the year at 266 and is averaging 181 on the season. Will Smith bowled a 619 triple this year and is averaging 173.

“It’s not about socializing and having a good time, it gets pretty competitive out there on the lanes,” Duncan said. “Smith is our most passionate team member. He gets really upset when he’s losing.”

Alexa Dillenback and Brittany Fahd are the other returning Blackbird bowlers. Mitchell Relyea, Makayla McGeeney, and Nick Kaloyeros are new to the squad.

“Relyea hasn’t bowled a match yet because he’s not ready and Kaloyeros’s hook might be a little too big,” said Duncan. “I work closely with the first-year kids.”

In a Colonial Council bowling match, each team uses six bowlers. “They face each other head-to-head with no scratches,” said Duncan. Everyone bowls three games and the points are totaled up for a final score.

“Total pins and total scores are both very important,” Duncan said. “The person who scores the highest will usually have the most total pins.”

Voorheesville has wins against Cohoes, Watervliet, and Waterford. Duncan sees more serious bowling going on at the top of the league.

“Ravena, Mechanicville, Schalmont, and Lansingburgh are the real deal right now,” said Duncan. “When those teams play each other, it’s a whole different atmosphere.”

Duncan told The Enterprise that every bowler on his team has to throw a hook shot because the odds are better that way. “I break it right down and show them why it’s better than throwing straight,” he said. “It’s the correct way to bowl and it’s not hard to learn.”

Voorheesville will bring its five best bowlers to sectionals at the end of the season. Duncan will play whoever is the hottest at the time.

 “Last year was the first year I finished out of the top 10 since I started coaching,” said Duncan. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around, but hopefully the team will keep improving down the road.”

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