Old Bridge High School’s youthful boys’ bowling team has shown much promise this season, and coach Ed Bucior is looking for his team to continue to improve over the second half of the campaign.
A year ago, Old Bridge posted an 11-4- 1 ledger, but the team lost several seniors, including its top two players — Dan Barracato and Joseph Corrao — to graduation.
This time around, the Knights are 3-5, scoring victories over North Brunswick Township High School, J.P. Stevens High School and Piscataway Township High School. Old Bridge also performed well in losses to Edison High School, Sayreville War Memorial High School, Woodbridge High School and South Brunswick High School. “This is kind of a rebuilding year, but our guys have competed against every team we’ve played against so far,” Bucior said. “We have a lot of younger bowlers, and I’m pretty happy with their performance. They’ve been a little inconsistent, which is to be expected, but they’re getting better and better. If we keep getting better, I think we can make our mark in the postseason.”
Sophomore Gerard Chidichimo is the team’s top scorer with a 190 average, including a team-high 648 series against Sayreville. Despite a slow start, junior Doug Titmas is right behind, having raised his average to 188 pins — five behind last year — with a high series of 577 against Sayreville. Bucior expects Titmas’s average to continue to rise and approach the 200-pin mark by the end of the season.
Phil Sanfilipo provides the Knights with senior leadership to go along with a 181-pin average. He rolled a 612 series in a loss to East Brunswick High School. Anthony Faria, another senior, averages about 145 pins.
Sophomore Peter Mattson is hovering around the 175-pin range following a strong freshman year. Mattson tossed a seasonhigh 230 game against North Brunswick. Bucior also calls upon another sophomore, Kevin Malone, who has averaged 143 pins over 15 games. Freshman Jason Young has impressed as well with a high series of 544 pins to his credit.
“Getting a little more consistency will be the key for us,” the coach said. “We have the talent to win more matches. It’s just a matter of consistency and when you have that, you get more confidence.”
Meanwhile, Old Bridge’s girls team has struggled this season. The Lady Knights are 1-7 with the lone win coming against J.P. Stevens. Bucior noted that both sophomore Steph Sanders and freshman Haven Traverzo have shown promise. Sanders is averaging 153 pins and has a high series of 502 pins. Traverzo averages about 130 pins. Seniors Gabby Navallo and Margaret Damico also average around the 130-pin mark.
“We have a lot of younger girls that I’m working in and out of the lineup,” Bucior said. “The goal right now is to keep getting better, hopefully win a few matches and be in a position to be more competitive next year.”