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Honors arrive for 3,001 quartet

Old news sometimes can be good news.

More than a year ago, four bowlers from Blasdell bowled a 3,001 team series in the Leisureland Senior Youth League at Brierwood Lanes in Hamburg. The series, bowled on Jan. 14, 2006, was the highest bowled during the 2005-06 season in the United States Bowling Congress by a four-bowler team in the 15-18 age category. It included the highest (1,083) and third-highest (1,008) team game bowled in that category that season.

On Sunday, Steve Mancuso, Greg Mihalik, Kyle Rombkowski and Mitchell Willett finally will be honored for their achievements when they receive their USBC plaques at the Greater Buffalo USBC Association's youth awards banquet at Kiebzak's in Sloan.

The "We Are The Champions" team comprised four bowlers from Frontier Central's 2006 Section VI championship team. Mancuso, the captain, has since moved on to Erie Community College, where he bowled on the Kats' National Junior College championship team this past season and earned NJCAA Academic All-America honors.

Mihalik and Willett helped Frontier to the championship of the Roy Sommer Memorial Tournament last season.

It was a tumultuous 2005-06 season in a lot of ways for the Blasdell bowlers. Their Saturday morning league opened the season at Leisureland Lanes but had to move to Brierwood when a roof collapsed after a heavy snowstorm, causing Leisureland to close -- for good, as it turned out.

"Their big series couldn't have come at a better time," said Jan Cicatello, who directed the youth programs at Leisureland and now Brierwood. "Brierwood had just taken us in and then the boys came up with their big series. That team had bowled together for about 10 years in our youth program."

"We Are The Champions" turned in some remarkable scores that day. In their 1,083 game, Mancuso bowled a 299 while Mihalik and Rombkowski registered their first career 300s. Willett bowled a 184, the only game below 216 among the 12 games bowled by the quartet that morning. Mancuso had a 796 series, Rombkowski 789, Mihalik 772 and Willett a 644.

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Sorce helping Shockers

Another bowler from Blasdell, Tom Sorce, is proving to be a find for national power Wichita State (Kan.) University.

A junior computer science major, Sorce is a first-year bowler for the Shockers, who will host in the USBC Collegiate team championships next weekend. A right-hander, Sorce was averaging 199.9. He made the second all-tournament team in the Las Vegas Invitational, where he averaged 213, was named to the third all-tournament team in the ISBPA Collegiate Tournament.

Sorce was the 2004 ECIC singles champion and a three-year ECIC all-star selection.

Elsewhere on the collegiate scene, two Western New York stars clashed in the NCAA women's team championship in Apopka, Fla. as freshman Marion Singleton (Lockport) and Maryland-Eastern Shore eliminated Lindsay Baker (Sweet Home) and two-time champion Nebraska, 4-2, from the double-elimination tournament. UMES will face Vanderbilt at 4 p.m. today in a single-elimination best-of-seven Baker scoring match for the championship. The championship match will be shown live on ESPNU and a taped showing will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday on ESPN2.

Baker averaged 209.75 as Nebraska qualified second while Singleton averaged 212.5 as UMES qualified fifth on Thursday.

The Huskers won the inaugural NCAA tournament in 2004, and repeated in 2005, but was third overall in 2006.

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Pin chasers

*The GBUSBC has extended the entry deadline for the City Open and Women's Championship to next Friday. Interested bowlers should call the GBUSBC (668-4222) for available times because several squads are booked solid for the tournament.

*A field of 133 bowlers is entered in the GBUSBC Stan Kowalski Seniors Tournament, which will get under way today at Southgate Lanes and wind up on Sunday.

*The GBUSBC is requesting resumes from bowlers interested in running for the organization's directorships or to participate as volunteers. Resumes should be sent to the GBUSBC office, 23448 Union Road, Cheektowaga, 14227-2230.

*AMF Thruway Lanes is host to the Bud Light Challenge today.

*PBA Tour pros Kelly Kulick, Ryan Shafer, Ray Edwards and Tommy DeLutz Jr. are among the entrants in the Byllye Lanes Open, a PBA East Regional Tournament, today and Sunday in Bradford, Pa.

e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com

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