Keep bowlin’, bowlin’, bowlin’…
That’s all 16-year-old New Dorp native Colin Smith wants to do.
After averaging 193 per game last season in the PSAL, he was poised to build on a promising sophomore campaign and take over the reigns as McKee/Staten Island Tech’s top bowler in 2020.
Nevertheless, Smith’s chances of once again anchoring his team on the lanes seem to dwindle by the day.
“It’s tough, they’re not telling us anything right now,” said a disappointed Smith.
While there has been speculation that the season could take place in the spring, nothing has been confirmed.
“Nothing has changed. We haven’t heard anything,” said Smith.
In last year’s playoffs, Smith’s game average rose to 204 before the Seagulls fell to Tottenville in the semifinals — hinting at a breakout campaign in 2020.
“I was focused. It kind of sucks because last year we were so close,” laments Smith. “We wanted a rematch.”
The cancelled season didn’t come as a total surprise to Smith, who was left scrambling for open alleys when the pandemic struck in March and shuddered the doors of Staten Island’s bowling establishments.
“That was my first thought: where am I going to practice?” remembers Smith, who traveled to New Jersey on a weekly basis in search of open lanes.
“It was just that and playing video games…not much else to do,” he added. “[Bowling] always gave me something to do after school, and brought attention in school.”
Smith has been able to bowl in two weekly leagues at Rab’s Country Lanes since the summer, which provides a sense of normalcy, as well as the opportunity to link up with friends.
“It’s been fun, a relief…it’s like getting back to normal,” said Smith. “I get to be at my home alley with friends.
“I’m used to it, I know everyone there, and the lane conditions,” he pointed out.
But as numerous establishments begin to once again close their doors on Staten Island, Smith fears bowling alleys could be next.
“It’s scary because I’ve been practicing for so long and I feel even better than before the pandemic,” said Smith.
“I don’t want to lose that,” he added. “That was probably the worst part, having to bowl somewhere else.”
In the meanwhile, Smith awaits word on a potentially lost HS season, and the opportunity to bowl with his schoolmates once again.
“I hope to make sure the team is properly acquainted,” he said. “We all really want a season.”