Dylan Andrzejewski, a 17-year-old junior at Depew High, finished fourth in last month's Section VI boys bowling championships and was a member of the all-star team that represented the section in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships two weeks ago in Syracuse.
What makes it a remarkable achievement is that a year ago at this time, Dylan was told he might need wrist surgery that could force him to give up bowling forever.
"He was doing very well, then he started to get excruciating pain in his wrist. He couldn't do anything," his father, Ken, said. "We thought it was became he was bowling too much. He was bowling every day, five or six days a week."
Medical opinions were sought and surgery or fusion of the wrist was discussed.
Fortunately, a nurse practitioner suggested an MRI exam. It showed that the problem was related to a lack of blood flow to bones in the wrist, a rare condition called Kienbock's Disease, which is more common with older persons.
"Fortunately, they found it in early stages," Ken Andrzejewski said.
Instead of surgery, a local specialist recommended putting the wrist in a hard cast for three or four months. Total rest. Gradually softer casts were applied and movement in the wrist was gradually increased.
When Dylan was allowed to bowl again last fall, he was limited to one game a week. The results were discouraging for a while.
"He was averaging about 120," he father said.
Gradually, though, Dylan returned to form and bowled with the Wildcats varsity again. Coach Kevin Kolbert was patient and encouraging as Dylan slowly made his comeback.
It wasn't all smooth sailing. There were occasional twinges in the wrist when Dylan began bowling in the Pepsi Junior Travel League. Relief came, though when he bowled a 298 in the Pepsi.
Dylan went on to average 212 for Depew in ECIC North small schools league play. but he was just warming up.
He finished second among all boys in the Section VI Invitation Tournament, with three-game series of 752 and 612 for a 1,364 total. His first set included a 266 game.
Moving on to the sectional championships at AMF Airport Lanes, Andrzejewski finished fourth among individuals to earn his place on the Section VI All-Star team.
He pulled that off by bowling 231-255-223 for a 709 in his three-game afternoon series. He totaled 1,318 for the day.
Dylan's day at the state tournament was a not smashing success, but it's not unusual for the change in venue and a more challenging lanes pattern to frustrate bowlers, young or old or even experienced pros. There's not a lot of time or games to make adjustments.
Andrzejewski finished 36th with a 191.6 7 average, but that was better than half the field of 70-plus competitors.
And, after all, finishing 36th in the state is better than not being physically able to bowl at all.
Belmonte wins 11th major
Australia's Jason Belmonte made more bowling history when he won his 11th major on the PBA Tour, winning the PBA World Championship in the PBA World Series of Bowling X in Allison Park, Mich. on Thursday.
Belmonte defeated Jakob Butturff, 236-227, in the championship match telecast live on FS1 on Thursday, breaking the tie with Earl Anthony and Walter Ray Williams at 10 majors. It was the second World Championship for the Aussie two-hander who has won four USBC Masters, three Tournament of Champions, and two PBA Players Championships.
Other champions crowned at the World Series were Dick Allen (Cheetah), Belmonte (Chameleon) and Kris Prather (Scorpion).
Brad Angelo of Lockport was eliminated in the Round of 16 by Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., in five games. Angelo averaged 209.8 in the best-of-five match. He lost the fifth game, 193-168.
Angelo made it to the cashers round of the World Championship. He finished 37th among the 45 cashers with a 8,393 for 40 games.
- Daemen College's women's team bowled this weekend in the East Coast Conference championships in Wyomissing, Pa., Daemen was fourth in last year's championship. The Wildcats split their match Monday against Medaille, winning the fifth traditional team game 879-717, but losing the Baker match, 4-2.
- Medaille, the No. 1 seed, bowled in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament in Beaver Falls, Pa.
- Haley Carroll (Williamsville South) and her Saint Francis, Pa., teammates will be seeking their second straight Northeast Conference tournament title in Hamilton Township, N.J. this weekend.
- Reserved entries will close April 1 for the Greater Buffalo USBC Association City Open and Women's Championship tournaments April 23 to May 11 at AMF Airport Lanes.