Westerleigh resident Joey Weisenstein captures S.I. bowling series record by one pin with 878 set

By Nick Regina | nregina@siadvance.com
Staten Island Advance | silive.com

Forty-three-year-old Westerleigh resident Joey Weisenstein was feeling it on Monday, or maybe he wasn’t, but the veteran bowler nevertheless set a Staten Island record when he compiled an 878 series, besting Ryan Friend’s mark of 877, which was set in 2016.

“Honestly, I really wasn’t feeling it,” admitted Weisenstein, who fired games of 279, 300, and 299 in the Montalbano Men’s League at Showplace Bowling and Entertainment Center. “I got in a zone and it just kept coming.

“The pins were just going down, I wasn’t really feeling anything,” said Weisenstein.

The perfect game marked the 70th of the lefty bowler’s career, and he narrowly missed 71 after failing to knock over just one pin on the 10th and final frame of his last game.

Perhaps, even more remarkable than his poise, was the fact that Weisenstein wasn’t even aware that he had captured the record.

“It’s kind of surreal to be honest,” said Weisenstein. “I knew I had a shot going in, but I thought the record was 878, so I thought I had tied it.”

Weisenstein, who uses a Radical Zing ball, said his previous career high series was 856.

He also acknowledged being recognized among some of the Island’s elite bowlers.

“Ryan Friend is a great bowler, Jeff Scire has a bunch of high series, it’s nice to be mentioned up there with them,” said Weisenstein. “The pins just went down tonight, I didn’t try to do anything different than any other night.”

McAuliffe elected to Staten Island USBC Hall of Fame

SIUSBC HallofFame LapelLaurie McAuliffe became the sixth member to be called for induction into the Staten Island United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Hall of Fame since its formation in 2005.

She was inducted at the Staten Island USBC Championship Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner held Saturday at LiGreci’s Staaten.

It’s the highest honor for her service and dedication to the sport of bowling.

The SIUSBC Hall of Fame is separate from the Staten Island Bowling Hall of Fame.

McAuliffe, the matriarch of Staten Island bowling’s infamous McAuliffe Bowling Family, started bowling in 1973 at Victory Lanes, only later to become one of the proprietors of the former Victory Lanes from 1987 to 2004.


Laurie was invited to get involved by Betty McMorrow after taking the reins at Victory Lanes.

She has served in a leadership position with the Staten Island USBC and its predecessor organizations since 1989, serving as a director for the Staten Island Women’s Bowling Association (SIWBA) and Staten Island Young American Bowling Alliance (SIYABA).

She later served as the President of the SIYABA from 2004-2006, playing an integral part of the Transition Committee to form the Staten Island USBC.

McAuliffe continues serving as a director while chairing the Audit and Awards Dinner Committees.

She previously served on the Executive Board as the Sergeant-at-Arms from 2006-2014.

Over the years, Laurie has been recognized for her selfless dedication to the sport of bowling, including recognition by the SIWBA with its Frank Bower Service Award, induction into the Staten Island Bowling Hall of Fame in 2005 along with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and the Staten Island USBC’s Service to Bowling Award in 2013.

In addition to Laurie’s induction, local keglers were recognized for their achievements on the lanes during the 2018-19 SIUSBC Championship Tournaments, and several others will be recognized for their service to the Staten Island bowling community.

Kathy Barclay and Denise Coffaro, longtime officers of the Manic Monday Ladies League at Rab’s, were recognized as League Officers of the Year, Barbara Nasta of On Your Mark and organizers of the Nansen’s Mixed League received the Service to Bowling Awards; Joe Bruno and Daniel Block were honored with the Volunteers of the Year Award.

Laurie McAuliffe flanked by SIUSBC Vice President Daniel Moffit, SIUSBC President Jim Episcopia, and her sons Sean and Tim McAuliffe.

Sanitation worker Erin Schneider cleans up on lanes with new Island women’s record

Staten Island Advance | silive.com
By Joe D’Amodio | damodio@siadvance.com

The keglers at Showplace Bowling Center witnessed history Tuesday night as Erin Schneider rolled the highest series ever recorded by a female on Staten Island with an 857 series, the lefty’s first 800.

The previous high series by a female on the Island was rolled by Brooklynite Denise Galindez, who punched up an 844 set in the Marketeer loop at Rab’s Country Lanes in 1998.

The trouncing of the pins by Schneider, a New York City Department of Sanitation worker, came in the Tuesday Mixed League at the Travis center on booming games of 279, 299 and 279.

In all, Schneider rolled a whopping 32 of a possible 36 strikes.

“It’s still kind of surreal. I really can’t believe it,” marveled Schneider, whose previous high series was a 782 series rolled last summer.

Prior to Tuesday night, Lynda Preziosa’s 827 series rolled in 2017 was the highest series by a Staten Island female.

If not for a stubborn 7-pin in the 10th frame of her third game, Schneider may have surpassed the all-time Island high series of 877 rolled by Ryan Friend in March of 2016. She needed a 300 to do that. And don’t think for a second she didn’t realize what she could have accomplished.

“It’s heart-breaking that I didn’t do it,” the 28-year-old said. “But soon after the game ended I sent Ryan a message that I was coming for him. He said, ‘Go for it.’ ”

The way the night started for Schneider she would have never expected to do what she did.

“I got to Showplace late. I looked up and saw there were 25 seconds left to practice,” she said. “I threw one ball in practice and it wasn’t pretty.”

But she got lucky on her first ball in the first game, when it appeared she left a 5-7 split, but a pin popped out of the gutter kicked out the seven pin, which rolled into the five pin.

“It was one of the craziest things I ever saw,” she said.

After that, Schneider was pretty much locked in and nailed the first four strikes before sparing and then closed out the game with seven straight strikes.

In the middle game, she had the first 11 strikes before leaving the three-pin on her final shot in what Schneider termed “was a bad shot.” She missed out on her third career sanctioned 300 game.

In the finale, she nailed the first nine strikes that attracted a crowd of about 30 spectators.

“I bowl with headphones on (and modern rock playing) so I didn’t pay much attention to it,” said Schneider, who was averaging 207 in the loop before the night started. “But when I saw all the people I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to take them off now.’ ”

On her 10th shot, she knocked over nine pins, picked up the spare and threw one final strike to end her historic night.

“I didn’t think I was ever gonna (shoot an 800),” she said. “But I’m happy I did.”

And she has the Island’s women’s record to boot.

Applications being accepted for 2018-19 Continuing Education Scholarship Award

In the 2018-19 Season, the Staten Island USBC Association will award one $500 scholarship to an SIUSBC Adult Member, age 27 & older, who is further their education.

Past Recipients of the Continuing Education Scholarship Award include: Gary Reider (2009), Donna Demerest (2010), Dina DeVito (2012), Kim Tyrell (2013), John Lugo (2014), and Nazareth Labetti (2015).

Click Here to apply online by the submission deadline of March 1!

Undefeated Rourke claims Masters Crown

Top local keglers emerged on Rab’s Country Lanes this weekend to compete for the Island’s most prestigious bowling title.

Kevin Rourke, 45, became the oldest competitor to claim the Staten Island USBC Masters Championship Tournament title, adding his name to the impressive list of keglers who have captured the title in previous years.

In Rourke’s first Masters appearance, he entered the Finals as the top seed with a 1,023 5-game set and made his way to the finals undefeated through the Winners Bracket. He averaged 183 in the finals, defeating the 2017 Champion, Gary Ricci, Jr. 171 to 151 in the finale. As the winner of the Losers Bracket, Ricci, Jr. would have had to beat Rourke two times to capture the title.

Tournament Runner-Up, Ricci, has appeared in six finals, and finished second twice.

The 10th Annual Staten Island USBC Masters Championship Tournament started yesterday (12/1/18) with qualifying squads. In the qualifying round, bowlers bowled 5 games. The top 8 bowlers advanced to today’s finals. The competition was played on the 2018 USBC Masters Lane Pattern.

In the finals, finalists competed in a single game double elimination bracket. Bowlers had the opportunity to lose twice before facing elimination.

As the 2017 Champion, Gary Ricci, Jr. was automatically seeded into the Finals.

Standings going into the Finals

  1. Kevin Rourke 1,023
  2. Dan Dunleavy 1,007
  3. Michael Endress 999
  4. John Drabczyk 992
  5. Marco Recchia 978
  6. Tim McAuliffe, Jr. 967
  7. Michael Marchese, Jr. 949

Final Results

  1. Kevin Rourke $700
  2. Gary Ricci, Jr. $360
  3. Marco Recchia $260
  4. Tim McAuliffe, Jr. $210
  5. Dan Dunleavy $180
  6. John Drabczyk $150
  7. Michael Endress, Jr. $130
  8. Mike Marchese, Sr. $110

Previous Champions: Frank Wilkinson (2009); Jeff Kubasak (2010); Lou Gaudio, Jr. (2011); Tim McAuliffe, Jr. (2012 & 2013); Sean McAuliffe (2014); Michael Endress, Jr. (2015); Anthony Terzakos (2016); Gary Ricci, Jr. (2017)

All Staten Island USBC Association tournament champions will be honored at the Championship Awards & Hall-of-Fame Dinner Dance to be held May 24, 2019 at LiGreci’s Staaten.

Summary of Finals

Round 1
Kevin Rourke def. Mike Marchese, Sr. 190 to 159
Gary Ricci, Jr. def. John Drabczyk 204 to 159
Tim McAuliffe, Jr. def. Dan Dunleavy 189 to 165
Marco Recchia def. Michael Endress, Jr. 196 to 173

Round 2
Kevin Rourke def. Gary Ricci, Jr. 195 to 163
Marco Recchia def. Tim McAuliffe, Jr. 187 to 178
John Drabczyk def. Mike Marchese, Sr. 230 to 141
Dan Dunleavy def. Michael Endress, Jr. 199 to 176

Round 3
Tim McAuliffe, Jr. def. John Drabczyk 184 to 136
Gary Ricci, Jr. def. Dan Dunleavy 198 to 161
Round 4
Kevin Rourke def. Marco Recchia 179 to 157
Gary Ricci, Jr. def. Tim McAuliffe, Jr. 177 to 170

Round 5
Gary Ricci, Jr. def. Marco Recchia 170 to 160

Kevin Rourke def. Gary Ricci, Jr. 171 to 155

The Finals by the numbers
High Game John Drabczyk – 230
Low Game John Drabczyk – 136
Competitors – 8
Total Pins rolled – 4,922
Average Score – 175
200+ Games – 2 (Drabczyk 230 & Gary Ricci, Jr. 204)