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Edison bowlers making noise in White Division

By Jimmy Allinder


Edison High School boys’ and girls’ coach Tracie Smith admits bowling is somewhat of a secret among the students and faculty.

That is until team and individual accomplishments dominate the morning announcements when the season is in full swing.

This is the Eagles’ first season as members of the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) White Division, and the girls are off to a 10-0 start while the boys are 6-3-2. If the Edison girls defeated Colonia High School Jan. 9 and knock off Woodbridge High School Jan. 11, they would wrap up the division. Their focus then would shift to winning in the postseason tournaments.

Smith, who has coached the girls and boys the past 11 years, believes her girls can accomplish special things before this season concludes because they experienced success last year.

“We won the Red Division and [NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group III] state sectional titles,” she said. “The girls have a goal of making the GMC Team Tournament finals and repeating what they did in the states.”

Beyond team goals, Smith said more of her individual bowlers hope to qualify for the GMC and state playoffs.

“The boys are looking to go further in the GMC Team Tournament and qualify as many individual bowlers as they can,” she said.

The girls feature balance throughout the lineup with senior Samantha Salzone leading the way with a 189 average. Senior Touri Holmes averages 173 and has a team-high 253 game, and junior Victoria Johnson averages 163. Sophomores Samantha Osiadacz (153), Evelyn Peralta (106) and Raagavi Manivannan (108) and freshman Fabriane Jean-Denis (146) complete the regular lineup.

The boys have been led by junior Jason Smith with a 201 average, high series of 707 and high game of 269. Smith rolled a 300 as a sophomore.

The lineup has quality depth with seniors Chris Kaminskas (172 average) and Matt Andrezejcza; juniors Raleigh Gough (172), Jitarth Sheth and Kien Nguyen; sophomores Joe Banwer (197), Wyatt Buchany (191), Muhammod Khan and Spencer Heisler; and freshmen Troy Began, Marco Siragusa and John Baresse.

St. Joseph

Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen is off to a 7-1-1 start in the White Division (9-2-1), as the Falcons hope to remain in the race against perennial powers Woodbridge and Sayreville War Memorial High School. A key match occurred Jan. 9 against the Bombers — the defending Group III champion, which handed St. Joe’s in its only regular-season loss Dec. 7. Another key match is Feb. 25 when the Falcons face Woodbridge.

Head coach Rusty Thomsen said the victory Dec. 13 over the Barrons, who are among the best teams in the state, is the highlight of the season so far.

The Falcons are led by three regulars from last year’s lineup: senior Joe Chrobak (208) and juniors John Hoban (197) and Conor Quigley (180). Up from the junior varsity team are senior Sean Van Demark (155) and juniors Justin Biancamano (150) and John Reggio (144). Freshman Giovanni Santiago is also a regular.

“The program’s popularity is on the rise and receives a lot of support from students,” Thomsen said.

“We hope to improve as the season goes on. We lost five of our top eight to graduation, so this was supposed to be a rebuilding season, but the boys worked hard over the summer and we’re way ahead of schedule.”

J.P. Stevens

With most dual matches completed, the John P. Stevens High School boys’ and girls’ teams are setting their sights on season-ending tournaments.

The boys are members of the Red Division and sport 1-4 division and 2-10 overall records, while the girls are 1-4 in the division and 2-7-1 overall. The Hawks met Piscataway Township High School Jan. 9 and Old Bridge High School Jan. 10.

Sophomore Cameron LaPlant — runner-up in the GMC Individual championship last year — is poised to capture the title this season. LaPlant has improved his average from 201 to 219, rolled a 300 against East Brunswick High School Dec. 5 and has registered three 750-plus sets. He is joined by junior Dhilan Patel, whose 171 average is 30 points better than last year, and freshman Brian McAdams, who averages 170.

Senior Jagathi Kalluru leads the girls with a 146 average, followed by junior Akshita Kumar (142) and senior Ancy Edappara (120).

Following the regular season, the Hawks will participate in the Central Jersey Winter Classic Jan. 14 at Majestic Lanes in North Brunswick, where many of the conference teams gather for regular-season dual matches.

Individual qualifying for the GMC boys’ and girls’ tournaments will be held Jan. 17 and 18, respectively, with boys’ and girls’ final qualification Jan. 19 and 20, respectively.

Other are tournaments include the Woodbridge Classic Jan. 21 and the Joe Romer Memorial Classic Jan. 28. The GMC girls’ and boys’ team tournament preliminaries will be held Jan. 30 and 31, respectively, followed by the boys’ and girls’ first round Feb. 1 and 2, respectively. The boys and girls will join each other for the finals Feb. 3.

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