By Warren Rappleyea
After falling to East Brunswick High School in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament, Sayreville War Memorial High School’s boys bowling team is hoping to put together a strong showing at the NJSIAA sectionals Feb. 13 at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick.
History is on the Bombers’ side. A year ago, they finished third in the GMC’s Red Division and came up short in the conference tournament. Coach Mike Weinert’s team picked up the pace from there, however, and went on to win the Central Jersey Group III and overall Group III championships before falling to Freehold Township High School in the opening round of the Tournament of Champions.
Top-seeded East Brunswick took the GMC title by winning a close first game, 1,083-1,069, and went on to win the second game and the match, 1,175-1,043. Zack Wranovics rolled a high game of 233 for the Bombers. The two teams also played twice in the regular season, with the Bears winning early in the campaign. They met again in the season finale, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
“We had a few opportunities to get the upperhand during the match, but we just couldn’t take advantage of them,” Weinert said.
Sayreville went 12-3-1 and finished second in the Red Division. The Bombers were seeded second in the GMC Tournament and had come off a convincing 2-0 victory over Edison High School in the semifinals Feb. 4. Lucas Leandro’s perfect game — the third by a GMC bowler this season — highlighted the win.
Weinert’s team will turn its focus to the sectionals and with six bowlers who have 200-pin or better averages in tow, Sayreville should be among the contenders.
Leandro, who tossed games of 227 and 222 in the GMC finals, has turned in a stellar campaign averaging about 217 pins. The senior has rolled eight 600-pin or better series and three times surpassed the 700-pin mark with a high series of 751 pins.
Fellow senior Mark Kozinski averages about 220 pins. Chris DeoCampo, a junior, has surpassed the 600-pin mark on eight occasions and is averaging 215 pins. Wranovics, senior Mike Camp and junior Ryan John all average between 200 and 210 pins.
“Our goal is always to win the state tournament and that hasn’t changed,” Weinert said. “We lost to a strong team in East Brunswick, but our guys have been here before. They have the talent to win.”