Spartans Bowling Season Preview
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In approximately one month, the PSAL Boys Bowling season will be underway. Fall afternoons at Astoria Bowl will be packed with Manhattan and Queens highschoolers lounging around after a long day of school. However, for the Spartans, heading to Astoria Bowl will mean picking up from a successful season and practicing to win the Manhattan I Division again.
The Stuyvesant boys’ varsity bowling team finished the 2018 Season with a 6-4 record. Though this third-place finish was one of their poorer performances in recent history, the Spartans were nevertheless ranked 12th in New York City. In the first round of the playoffs, they defeated James Madison in straight games before losing in the quarterfinals 2-1 to fifth seed Curtis High School.
This year, there will be a whopping nine seniors returning to bowl in comparison to the three last year. The most notable of these seniors is senior Samuel Fang, who led the team averaging 161.4 pins in 15 competitions. His average was one of the best in the borough, and coupled with a high score of 253 pins, he won first place in the PSAL Manhattan Bowling Championships. He was also invited to the PSAL Individual NYC Championships, where he finished in 11th place. Nevertheless, Fang thinks there is room for improvement. “I’ve been practicing a lot on making more of my spares. A mistake I saw last season was that I relied too much on strikes, and I was missing quite a few single pin spares,” Fang said. Also returning is junior Eric Kim, who has improved his average by more than 37 points his sophomore year. Kim often played in Game B of matches, but he is now likely to start in Game A alongside Fang and seniors Harshul Singh and Eeram Labib.
Last year was the Spartans’ first year adjusting to some new teams in the Manhattan I Division. Their biggest threat this year is Hunter College High School, which similarly has a large number of returning players. The Spartans infamously broke Hunter’s three-year regular season undefeated streak last October, winning two games to one and reintroducing themselves as elite competitors in the Manhattan AI Division. The two schools hold a 1-1 all-time record against each other, and their matchup this season is sure to be extremely competitive. Two additional teams are also joining the division: Beacon High School and Graphics Campus. However, they should not be much trouble, as their top players average less pins than most of the Spartans do. Nevertheless, spares and extra pins will play a huge difference, as the Spartans lost a couple of games last year by a matter of 10-15 pins.
The season is scheduled to begin on September 23. Though the team doesn’t yet know their game schedule, the Spartans are confident that they will have a strong season. “As a team, I’m extremely confident that we’ll be able to perform better than last year and hopefully make it further in the playoffs,'' Fang said. On the evidence, there’s no reason to doubt him.