|Mahopac Brother-Sister Act Bowls 'Em Over|
|Wednesday, 27 February 2013 21:55|
“I used to hate bowling,” says Mahopac sophomore Jeanna Brown, the best girls high school bowler in Section 1.
Brown comes from a bowling family. Her parents met at the alleys and her dad, Jim, has performed to a 215 average over the years. So she was introduced to the game early. “It was probably in the fourth grade,” she related. “I was bowling in a league with my brother Dominick (a year older) and I used to dread it every Wednesday after school.”
Dominick’s view was quIte different. “I liked doing it from the start,” the Mahopac junior said. “It turned out it was something I was good at.”
And so was his sister, who changed her view of the game after getting some personal instruction from their father. And now brother and sister are in the unusual – most likely unique – position of being the first Section 1 brother-sister pair to go to the state championships (weekend of March 2 in Syracuse) in the same year.
“I can’t remember that ever happening before,” says veteran Yorktown coach Bill Tovar, who has been teaching kegling “for so long I can’t remember how long.”
There are three ways a high school bowler can make their sex’s nine-member team: By having one of the top three season-long averages in the section, by being the three bowlers on the winning squad at sectional competition or by having one of the top three averages in the six-round sectional event after the previous qualifiers are omitted.
Jeanna Brown did it the first way, her 198.33 average being the tops among the section’s distaff bowlers. (“Actually I was up around 209 for much of the season but worried about states and tailed off,” she said.) Then, superfluously but impressively, she had the top six-game girls total at sectionals, 1,258 (almost a 210 average).
Dominick’s 214 average among the boys left him fourth overall – one place shy of the automatic state qualification. So he went out and took second overall in the sectional event to earn his spot.
Are the siblings, so good at their sport and just a year apart, competitive with each other, the father was asked.
“Every day in every way,” was the quick reply.
“I bowl better than she does, of course,” said Dominick, who has made the state team for the first time. “I just let her beat me once in a while.’
If one could see eyes rolling over the phone, that would be Jeanna, when the remark was repeated to her.
“I’ll give it to him, he’s a better bowler,” she said. “But he doesn’t ever let me win; sometimes I just beat him. If I’m leading him in the middle or late frames, I think he worries about losing to little sister and it affects his game a bit.”
Jeanna has one clear edge: this is her third straight year going to states, having first made it as an eighth grader with a 187 average.
Not bad for a youngster who once dreaded the sport.
“Now it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I particularly like seeing how the ball goes on all different lane conditions.”
Brother and sister are similarly successful but with very dissimilar temperaments on the lanes.
“Jeanna is very controlled, very intense yet very relaxed while competing,” said veteran Mahopac coach Lou Loprinzo. “Strike or split, she doesn’t show emotion.
“Dominick is very dominant, a very strong player. He throws a big-looking ball and gets upset when it doesn’t go where he intends. He wants to be perfect.”
Both siblings, different temperaments aside, want to roll a perfect ending to their season at states.
* * *
Interestingly, Tovar’s Yorktown team has supplied both the highest average and the final qualifier for Section 1’s state team. Vinnie D’Addona’s 218 average was tops among the boys. Sophomore Rebecca Kaplan (167 during the season) netted the final girls’ spot with an 1,120 six-game series because the top three regular-season scorers and a trio from North Rockland’s winning team were among those ahead of her.
“I feel we (Section 1 boys) can win states if we make our spares,” said D’Addona, who had a below-par session at states last year. Kaplan just marveled at going to states after opening with a 126 at sectionals. “But then I picked up,” she said.