Jason Donovan of Seaford bowls in the NYSPHAA boys bowling...

Jason Donovan of Seaford bowls in the NYSPHAA boys bowling championships in Syracuse on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

SYRACUSE — Jason Donovan was emotional as he rolled his final frame Sunday at the Division II state bowling championships.

It was a nine spare, then he knocked down nine pins to finish a 214 Game 6 to end his high school bowling career at Seaford.

“Before the season, [I said] I wanted to finish out [the year] playing at states,” Donovan said. “That’s what I wanted all year, and we made it. It may not have been the way we wanted to go out at states, but we made it here. That’s all you can ask for.”

Seaford’s boys finished seventh, tallying 5,573 total pins at Strike ’N Spare Lanes.

Donovan placed seventh with 1,280 pins.

Donovan completed a five-year bowling career at Seaford. Since joining the varsity team in eighth grade, he has won five straight Nassau Division II championships.

Because of COVID-19, there weren’t two state tournaments, so he concluded his third appearance Sunday.

“The first time I came up here, I was a little rough,” Donovan said. “It was my lowest average since I’ve been up here. I had a solid states last year. I had high games.

“But this year, I probably had the highest series I’ve had. Not high games, but more consistent — making sure I make my spares.”

Donovan acknowledged the difficulty of competing against the best bowlers in the state, but he was honored to be included as one of the best in Division II.

“It’s hard to beat some of these guys averaging 250 in the second half,” Donovan said “They’re great bowlers. I’m glad I’m in the conversation with them.”

While he’s at the top of his game, Donovan has become a role model to the underclassmen on Seaford. Not many others can say they’ve been a part of as many championship teams.

Brian Karaman, a freshman at Seaford, participated in his first state championship this year and gained experience playing alongside Donovan and seniors Nicholas Abbate and Nicholas Vasquez.

“Jason is a phenomenal bowler — he just helps everybody,” said Karaman, who tallied 138 pins. “He’s an example. Nick and Nick are always happy.

“They could be bowling terrible [or] they could be bowling great, [but] they’re always happy. They’re always in a good mood. I think that’s even sometimes more valuable than the scores themselves.”

Abbate finished with 1,114 pins, Matthew Mele had 1,102, Andrew Ceraulo had 1,088, Jack McKenny had 542 and Vasquez had 309.

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