Participate in the 74th Annual Staten Island Women’s Championship Tournament
Open to all Staten Island USBC Adult Women bowlers
Click here for details, rules, and entry form
By Nick Regina | firstname.lastname@example.org
silive.com | Click Here for the Full Story
If they didn’t know him before, they certainly do now.
Relatively unknown Long Islander Pierce Field emerged victorious among a litany of impressive names and past champions at Jim Elliott’s 46th New Year Singles Classic held at Rab’s Country Lanes on Saturday afternoon. The 24-year-old Shirley, N.Y., native knocked off defending 2020 champion Steve Soss, outscoring him 247-193 in the final. The event did not take place in 2021 due to the pandemic.
In the finale, Field struck on four of the first seven frames — sparing the other three. Soss, meanwhile, left pins standing on two of the first seven frames, and despite a strong finish he couldn’t overcome the sluggish start. Field fired strikes on his final three frames, and struck out on the 10th to cement the triumph and take the trophy.
Field had never previously bowled on Staten Island, but earned an opening-round bye after tossing a 760 series in qualifying. He faced his stiffest challenge in round two, when he narrowly defeated Rob Butler, 266 to 244, and followed with a win over Scott Walsh, 269 to 213, before toppling Sean McAuliffe, 255 to 173, in the semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, Soss, who also earned a bye, kicked off his day with an impressive win over John Drabczk, 290 to 210. He proceeded to upend a pair of former champions — defeating Jeff Scire, 255 to 224, before taking down Tim McAuliffe in a semifinal rolloff, which was a rematch of the 2020 final. The pair mirrored one another with matching games of 224, but after McAuliffe spared and then struck out on the final frame, Soss answered the bell and delivered four consecutive strikes to gain the final.
Don Dunleavy and Mickey Endress were among the other final eight finishers in the 24-man field.
CROSSING THE BRIDGE
Field noted that he only competed because fellow Long Islander and former champion Dan Brezo mentioned the event to him.
“Well, can I come?” Field remembers asking his friend — and the rest is history.
“I respect everyone here,” added Field. “I had a couple of bowling balls that were working well, it was a little tighter in qualifying and match play was a little more forgiving. I was able to play where I’m comfortable in my zone and pretty much used one ball the entire time.”
As emphatic as his violent delivery and powerful fastball are, Field’s demeanor is as relaxed as can be. Despite being one of the youngest competitors in the field, he rarely showed emotion or allowed himself to get too high or too low. The results were evidenced by his dominant performance in the finale.
“Just don’t let up,” Field told himself. “I know what [Soss] is capable of and he could put a string together at any point. I just stayed focused and keep on driving no matter what happens.
“The tournament is nicely ran and well-organized. ” he added, nothing that a return next year is probable.
On the other side, Soss had to wait two years to defend his crown, but was pleased with his performance in reaching the final.
“It felt good, it really did, especially to make it all the way to the last match and try to go back-to-back,” said the native of Bayonne, who struggled with the left lane in the finale on Saturday. “[Field] is good, he was just striking. I could’ve struck with him, just one bad lane.”
Tournament director Jim Elliott noted the return to action after the two-year layoff was a rousing success.
“We had a lot of bowlers and they bowled very well,” said Elliott. “People were very happy about the finals, there was a lot of good bowling and people enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to next year.”
Prize money: Field ($900), Soss ($550), T. McAuliffe ($350), S. McAuliffe ($240), Scire ($185), Endress ($165), Walsh ($155), Dunleavy ($145), Butler ($125), Anthony Arias ($110), Mike McNichol ($105), Drabczk ($100), Najee Mayers ($95), Pete Labella ($95), Chris McNichol ($90), Mike Vlasenko ($90), Alby Pezzella ($80), Mike Gordon ($80), Frank Maloney ($75), George Cretella ($75), Jeff Martin ($70), Mike Vignola ($70), Russ Moran ($65).
*Butler, Walsh, and Sean McAuliffe received additional $25 bonuses for having been defeated by the eventual champion prior to the final.
By Joe D’Amodio | email@example.com
silive.com | Click here for full story
Pete Labella’s 813 held up after the final weekend of qualifying in the 46th New Year Singles Classic at Rab’s Country Lanes.
Labella, who fired his big set on the tourney’s opening weekend nine days ago, will lead a star-studded 24-man field into Saturday’s finals set for 1 p.m. at Country.
Defending champ Steve Soss, who won in 2020, is second with an 812 followed by Chris McNichol (811) and Mike McNichol (790).
Joining them will be Island stalwarts Tim McAuliffe and his brother, Sean, Dan Dunleavy, Jeff Scire, Mike Endress and George Cretella, who has won this tournament six times. There’s also a handful of other scratch bowlers in the scratch finals capable of winning.
The cut to crack into the Top 24 was Mike Vignola’s 693.
46th NEW YEAR SINGLES CLASSIC
BOWLER NET HCP GROSS
* denotes squad leader
Averages will be verified for accurate handicaps
Rab’s Country Lanes proprietor Frank Wilkinson loves New Year’s Eve for more reasons than one.
Although the day marks the end of one year and gets set to usher in another with high hopes, Wilkinson says Dec. 31 is special because it’s the day his center hosts the Battle of the Schools.
Started in 2004 as a brainchild of Terri Hart, the one-time high school-only tournament added an Alumni division four years ago thanks to the urging of Mike Ruffe. The latter division seemed to give the event new meaning and make it more successful than ever.
“We talk about it every year. We didn’t know what to expect and then 100 people showed up,” said Wilkinson. “It’s one of those events where you see people that you don’t normally see everyday all the time, that kind of come out for the same thing and I think the cool thing about it that makes this a great event is the fact that they’re not bowling for personal gain and not bowling for prizes for themselves.
“It’s more about bragging rights, representing your school in bowling with people you wouldn’t necessarily normally bowl with the opportunity to win some money for your alma mater.”
This year at the 18th annual event, more than 125 bowlers graced the lanes in the two divisions.
When the final ball had been rolled on Friday, Susan Wagner, consisting of Paul Cherry, Brandon Handog, Alex Santos and Steven Souffrin, won a second straight HS division title, beating out nine other teams, representing eight Island high schools. The same foursome also helped SW capture the PSAL city bowling crown two months ago.
Meanwhile, the Alumni crown was won by St. Joseph by-the-Sea, consisting of Kevin Buono, Robert Butler, Michael Cariffe and Anthony Pizzirusso. They earned $1,000, which was donated to the Huguenot school’s bowling program.
The Alumni division featured 76 bowlers across 16 teams, representing 20 schools from the five boroughs.
After a 10-game qualifying round (baker format), the top four teams competed for the title in a rolloff where top-seeded Curtis bowled fourth-seeded Sea and and second-seeded Susan Wagner faced third-seeded Petrides.
In the finals, the teams bowled two games with the total wood determining the winners.
In round one, Sea defeated Curtis No. 1, 416-358, while Susan Wagner defeated Petrides, 447-418. In the finals, Sea defeated Susan Wagner, 487-435. SW earned $500 that will go to the Sea View school’s bowling program.
In all, a total of $2,000 was awarded in grants and scholarships with funds matched by the Rab Wilkinson Foundation. Rab Wilkinson was the late former proprietor of Country Lanes.
Champions: St. Joseph by the Sea High School (Kevin Buono, Robert Butler Michael Cariffe and Anthony Pizzirusso – $1,000)
Runners-up: Susan Wagner (Daniel Costantino, Mike Fiore, Matt Koplowitz, Sean McAuliffe and Tim McAuliffe, Jr. – $500)
High School Division
Champions: Susan Wagner – 1,903 pins (Paul Cherry, Brandon Handog, Alex Santos, and Steven Souffrin
Other event Notes: