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Plainedge’s Steve McClelland wins Nassau bowling crown

Steve McClelland of Plainedge gets ready to roll

Steve McClelland of Plainedge gets ready to roll during the Nassau boys bowling individual championship and state qualifier at AMF Garden City Lanes on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Credit: James Escher

Experience is overrated when it comes to Plainedge’s Steve McClelland.

The junior only began bowling a year ago when his dad convinced him to give it a try.

After the way he performed Saturday afternoon at the Nassau Individual boys bowling championships at Garden City Lanes, McClelland was sure glad he did.

“My dad got me into bowling because he bowled in high school,” McClelland said. “He said to me ‘why don’t you do bowling,’ and I said alright . . . Now I love it.”

McClelland had the high game of the tournament with a 234 in Game 3 and rolled a 227 in Game 6 to finish with a 1,165 six-game series and capture the Nassau individual title.

When McClelland finished his sophomore season, he dedicated himself to the game of bowling.

“I bowled over the summer and tried to go to the lanes every day,” he said. “After the season last year I went bowling every single day for six months straight.”

Eighth-grader Phil Macchietto (Mineola) rolled a 217 in the final game to finish with a 1,128 series and place second. Macchietto qualified for the sectional team for a second consecutive year.

“I knew going into the final game that I was in sixth and was on the borderline of not making it,” Macchietto said. “But then I found my line.”

Matthew Schultz (Herricks), who was eighth in the event after four games, rolled a 230 in Game 5 and finished third with a 1,092. Sewanhaka’s Tyrone Wilkerson, who trailed the sixth place bowler by six pins entering Game 5, placed fourth with a 1,085. Frank Iemma (Plainedge) had the best average in Nassau during the regular season (222.92) and finished fifth with a 1,080. Last year’s runner-up Leon Kessee of Uniondale placed sixth with a 1,077.

The six bowlers will represent Nassau at the state tournament, March 10-11, at The Oncenter Civic Center in Syracuse.

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