Young Knights bowlers offer program bright future

Eric Sucar

By Warren Rappleyea

After posting 11 wins a year ago, this has been a rebuilding year for Old Bridge High School’s boys bowling team.

The Knights have managed to win five matches. But, more importantly, the future looks bright for the program with several young kegglers in tow.

Old Bridge regularly plays four underclassmen, all of whom are having strong seasons. Coach Ed Bucior’s team has defeated Piscataway Township High School, J.P. Stevens High School, Perth Amboy High School and North Brunswick Township High School (twice), while forging a tie with Piscataway in a rematch.

Doug Titmas has been the team’s top player, averaging 191 pins — five pins above last year. The junior has rolled four 600-plus series and has a high game of 243 pins this winter. Phil Sanfilipo, the team’s only senior, is having a solid campaign, averaging 176 pins with a team-high game of 255 pins to his credit.

Sophomore Gerard Chidichimo, who missed several matches with a sprained knee, sports a 187 average and has surpassed the 600-pin mark three times. Chidichimo was expected to return to the lineup Feb. 2 for the opening round of the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament.

Fellow sophomore Peter Mattson averages 181 pins, including a 674 series, with a high game of 248 pins, which came in a loss to Edison High School.

Two freshmen, Jason Young and Kevin Malone, have also impressed. Young averages 161 pins and has a high game of 236 pins to his credit, while Malone averages 150 pins and has a high game of 242 pins.

“We’re young, so we knew going in it would be a year of learning,” Bucior said. “The main thing is that everyone is getting better and what they’re going through will help them next season. All in all, we’ve been pretty competitive.”

Old Bridge’s girls team is just 2-14, but the Lady Knights also have some promising young rollers. Sophomore Steph Sanders leads the team with a 154-pin average and with a high game of 209 pins in a victory over Perth Amboy. Freshmen Haven Traverzo and Grace Bucca have bright futures as well.

Seniors Gabby Navallo and Margaret Damico have been steady this winter, averaging about 135 pins apiece.