On any given Friday, you can catch Kurt Schall and some of the bowlers from Middle Country at AMF Centereach Lanes participating in league games and becoming a cohesive and competitive team.
“We’re all really close and we love being around each other,” said Schall. “We practiced all summer and worked hard for this season.”
The effort was obvious in Middle Country’s 3-0 victory on Thursday over Whitman, 1131-697, 1079-663, 1186-740, in Suffolk I, scoring a series high of 3,396, this team’s best yet.
Thanks in part to Schall, who bowled a 287 in Game 1, a 212 in Game 2 and a Game 3 of 259, leading to a 758 series.
Schall said he struggled in Game 1, but the score hardly reflects that.
“Everything he threw was perfect. He caught a bad break in the last frame,” said coach Mike Messana. “Kurt has a real short term memory. If something doesn’t go his way he knows to move on.”
That score also isn’t Schall’s highest career game. Schall has rolled five perfect 300 games with one of them coming in the Suffolk County tournament last season.
“It’s not that much pressure, but it’s there,” Schall said. “You think don’t screw this up, it’s just a normal shot. You try to stay as calm as possible.”
Schall and the Middle Country (3-0) squad are all calm. Last season they came in third in the county tournament. The second-place team, Commack, they’ve beaten already this season.
Noah Axinn and Mike Cotty contributed to the high pinfall, rolling a 257 in Game 2 and a 258 in Game 3, respectively.
“Our team is deep. We put up an 1180 in the third game with two subs. I don’t think any other team on the island can do that with their starters,” Schall said. “You can’t expect that from anyone . . . We stick together and work hard and were one our way to counties.”