The Sayreville High School boys bowling team understands the importance of having fun at the alley, considering it’s just a game. But this winter, the Bombers haven’t been making the sport much fun for their competition, as they have rolled to an 11-0-2 mark through the weekend.
But one of their finer moments of the season came on Jan. 5 at the 27th Annual Brick Bowling Tournament, when the Bombers finished 35 pins ahead of Howell for the team title.
In Brick, it was Mike Bernstein that led the way for Sayreville, as he finished with the second-highest series of anyone competing from the 41 teams. Bernstein rolled a 216-245-256 set to finish with 717 for the day; Woodbridge’s Mike Chundak led the boys side with a 734 series.
But even with Bernstein’s big scores, the Bombers knew they left pins on the lanes in Brick.
“We happened to throw a lot of strikes but it was just barely enough to come out on top,” senior Jason Ciszewski said. “We missed a lot of those spares and probably left a good 300-400 pins out there on the lanes.”
They didn’t miss those spares because they haven’t been practicing, according to classmate Mike Danchisko, who estimates that Sayreville spends most of their time practicing picking up spares.
“We practice a ton and we’re always working on perfecting our craft and making sure we are able to pick up all those spares,” Danchisko said. “We just have been stronger mentally this year and it’s paid off so far.”
Sayreville has remained perfect this season because they go five deep in their starting lineup, with someone different stepping up and leading the way every day. Even when they’re not at their best, the Bombers have been the class of the Greater Middlesex Conference so far this season, something Bernstein credits to the closeness of the team and the way they interact during matches.
“I feel like we all just pick each other up when we’re down; when someone’s not doing great, someone comes over and makes sure he knows he’s got the support of the whole team and it just keeps rolling from there,” Bernstein said. “We pick each other up and it’s been awesome to bowl with these guys this year.”
Ciszewski agreed with his teammate, that it’s been a fun season to this point, and pointed out that he tries to keep the Bombers loose whenever they’re competing.
“We all stay positive all the time and we make sure that everyone knows that it’s just a game and it’s supposed to be fun,” he said.
But for all of their success to this point, the Bombers know that their biggest goals are ahead of them.
“We just need to keep picking each other up and stay in it all the time; we can’t look back at bad games or anything like that,” senior Kevin Nettler said. “We have to keep moving forward and not pay too much attention to what we’ve done so far.”