It's never too early to introduce your children to the family sport of bowling. Hundreds of local boys & girls are currently competing in youth leagues at the Wallenpaupack Bowling Center.
Lines seem perpetual at the snack bar
The smell of coffee emanates from behind each pair of lanes where parents sit. An the endless roar of ovations echoes through the building as bowlers walk off the approach...some after striking, some after struggling to get to the pocket.
These things can only mean one thing: the Junior Leagues have begun at Wallenpaupack Lanes.
Each year for more than two decades, Saturday mornings and early afternoons, as well as Tuesdays during the midday, have been devoted to the up and coming junior bowlers of the region.
Over the years, many of these bowlers have advanced their game enough to compete among the world’s best on the Denny’s PBA Tour.
Three bowlers who have competed in this program in recent years are Michael Markis and Frankie Ciannella and Jason Lundquist. Combined, these men have more than one hundred perfect games bowled, and all of whom are PBA Tour cardholders.
At present, the program features a collection of young men and women who have promising futures in the sport.
One such bowler, Eric Jusky, is the only one presently in the program with a 300 game to his credit. Jusky, who hails from Honesdale, bowled a 300 and a 746 series while competing in the area’s Youth Leader Program, which bowls in several of the area’s finest bowling centers.
Coincidentally, Jusky’s perfection came at Wallenpaupack Lanes.
“My weekly goal is to have fun and enjoy bowling,” stated Jusky, an eight year veteran to the sport.
Another promising talent is Matthew Hafler, Honesdale, who has been competing for 14 years.
Last October, Hafler joined Wallenpaupack’s team of certified coaches — a team consisting of eleven members —after passing a certification examination. He now can be seen instructing the pee-wee and junior leagues and educating them as to the proper techniques of the sport.
Another one of the area’s promising bowlers is Alyssa Tardona, Hawley, who has been bowling for more than a decade. She has bowled several games exceeding 200 and — although not a coach — can be seen aiding her younger bowling companions as they try the sport which she has come to love.
Both Tardona and Hafler represented Wallenpaupack Lanes in ‘07 when they bowled in the first annual USBC Youth Open Championships, hosted by AMF Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga, NY.
While bowling in the singles division of the tournament, Hafler bowled a 517 series on a challenging lane condition — good for 79th place in the tournament and earning him a $30 scholarship.
Both bowlers are anxiously awaiting this season’s tournament, which will be held in Indianapolis.
“I could have definitely done better (in Buffalo),” said Hafler, “My goal for Indiana is the top 25.”
The Tuesday After School League is off to a different start than years past. This season, the league consists of only nine bowlers. Despite this, the league looks more promising than ever.
Scholarships shall be awarded to all bowlers of this league.
Although its first week has concluded, anyone interested in bowling in the Tuesday After School League or the Saturday Junior Leagues, or in sponsoring the Tuesday After School League should call WBC at 570- 226- 8499.