Frank Wilkinson, owner of Rab’s Country Lanes, loves New Year’s Eve for more than one reason.
While the day marks the end of one year and, with high hopes, ushers in another, Wilkinson says December 31st is special because it’s the day when the Battle of the Schools is held at his center.
Started in 2004 as a brainchild of Terri Hart, the one-off high school-only tournament added an Alumni division four years ago thanks to the urging of Mike Ruffe. That last 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,” Wilkinson said. “It’s one of those events where you see people that you don’t normally see every day come out for the same thing and I think the cool thing about this is that this is a great event, 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 normally bowl with the chance to win some cash for your alma mater.”
This year, at the 18th annual event, more than 125 bowlers graced the lanes across the two divisions.
With the final ball rolling on Friday, Susan Wagner, made up of Paul Cherry, Brandon Handog, Alex Santos and Steven Souffrin, won a second straight title in the HS division by beating nine other teams, representing eight high schools on the island. represented. The same foursome also helped SW capture the PSAL 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 bowling program.
The Alumni Division consisted of 76 bowlers in 16 teams, representing 20 schools from the five boroughs.
After a 10-game (baker format) qualifying round, the top four teams competed for the title in a roll-off with the highest-placed Curtis throwing fourth-seeded Sea and second-seeded Susan Wagner pitted against third-placed placed Petrides.
In the final, the teams bowled two matches, with the total wood determining the winners.
In the first round, Sea Curtis defeated No. 1, 416-358, while Susan Wagner defeated Petrides, 447-418. In the final, Sea defeated Susan Wagner 487-435. SW earned $500 going to the Sea View school bowling program.
A total of $2,000 in grants and grants were awarded with funds matched by the Rab Wilkinson Foundation. Rab Wilkinson was the late former owner 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:
- Below the field, 29 athletes were recognized as Advance All Stars of Staten Island Bowling Hall of Fame Junior All Stars during their HS career, three of which were received fourfold (Melissa Kammerer, Erin Schneider and Costantino)
- 25 PSAL City Championship Teams were represented.
- 7 Staten Island Bowling/Staten Island USBC Hall of Famers participated (Jeff Scire, Tim McAuliffe, Naz Laursen, Jim Episcopia, Roe Quattrocchi, Vin D’Ambrosio III and Joe LaBargo)