It's a small parallel, but it wasn't lost on Bryan Evans after Sachem East celebrated its first county bowling championship since 2000. That group went on to win the state title and this team has the opportunity to cap the 2009-10 campaign in similar fashion.
"I thought about it during one of our practices when Coach wore a Yankees championship jacket," said Evans, who shot a tournament-best 1,415 series as Sachem East topped East Islip. "It would be cool to do it the same way they did."
The Flaming Arrows have finally returned to where they were before the split from Sachem North six years ago, coach Mike Stanek said. "We didn't have as many bowlers anymore, so it took a long rebuilding process," he said. "But we're back . . . We've had some great moments in Sachem history and we're looking forward to doing it again."
They're led by Evans, Jeremy Milito, Mark Sabella and Lee Keller, all of whom have better than 200 averages.
Said Stanek, "I think we've got the best team here."
Middle Country girls rolling. The Cougars started 2-5 last season before reeling off eight straight wins and taking third in the county tournament. This year, they are led by a freshman (Melissa Sherwin) and an eighth-grader (Kelly Skalacki), went 16-0 and had the best average in Suffolk. Then they bowled everyone over in the county tournament, beating powerhouse East Islip and earning a berth in Saturday's state tournament.
"I hope it carries over," coach Mandy Dominguez said. His confidence was boosted by Friday evening's practice at Mardi Bob Lanes in Poughkeepsie, an old alley with wooden lanes. The oil dries more quickly on that surface, causing more hook.
"I thought they'd have more trouble with that in practice, but they did OK," Dominguez said. "I'm encouraged."