Consider the union a happy one.
The newly combined Sachem boys bowling team, formerly Sachem East and North, aced its first major test with a win over reigning state champion East Islip Thursday at East Islip Lanes.
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Anthony Naujokas, a senior at Sachem North, rolled a 300 in Game 1 and his new teammate Nick Caruana (Sachem East) also impressed with a 287 in the same game. Sachem won, 1,323-1,113, 1,251-1,181, 1,153-1,112 and set a Long Island record with its score in Game 1, said Flaming Arrows coach Brian Weinstein.
“We were just all happy,” said Naujokas, who finished with a 783 series. “We had it circled on the calendar for a while, we knew it was going to be a big match to prove ourselves this year and we all showed up and executed.
“I think we’re a pretty strong team, a very deep team. We have a good chance of competing for the county final this year.”
Sachem East finished second in the county championships last season, and the presence of Naujokas to the unified team only helps in the quest for a state title. Caruana, a senior, leads Sachem with a 242 average through 21 games and Naujokas is second with a 231.2 through the same span.
“It’s cool because me and him are pretty close friends,” Naujokas said. “He goes to East and I go to North, but we bowled on the Suffolk all-star team last year and we got pretty close.”
Weinstein said his team is starting to play as a unit, and that extends to the “B team,” which he said bowled over a 1,200 in a game against East Islip’s non-starters. He believes his squad’s latest performance is foreshadowing for a great season.
“I think they’re starting to believe that the only one that’s going to beat us is ourselves,” Weinstein said. “(Falling) short of a county title and a state title will be a disappointment for them. They have the ability. If they bowl their games, nobody’s beating us, and that’s kind of what we showed yesterday.”