Bucs Bowling Jumps to 2-0 After Handicap Victory


Charlie Spungin

Senior Parker McGraw watches his ball approach the pins in the second game of the Bucs’ match. McGraw totaled 355 points over the two games.

On Sept. 7, the boys’ and girls’ bowling teams won their matches against Dreyfoos School of the Arts, by default, at Bowlero Jupiter.

Dreyfoos arrived with four players on each of their respective rosters, a number below the league minimum of five. While they showed up to face the Bucs, they could not win, granting Benjamin the win. The event consisted of two individual matches with five players (four for Dreyfoos) followed by two baker matches.

One of the boys’ team’s captains, senior Jasper Wright, gave the team a short pep talk prior to the match.

“I just wanted to bind everybody together, have the energy flowing, and have great momentum going into this game,” Wright said.

For the boys, senior Parker McGraw started the team off strongly with a strike. Other starters for the first game, determined by performances during the most recent practice prior to the game, were seniors Frankie Ciprianni, Quinn Broderick, Rocco Gaeta, and Aadi Patel. The Bucs started the match strongly, with Broedrick and Gaeta getting strikes in their first frames, while Ciprianni and Patel rolled spares.

The starters combined for 706 points in the first game, with Gaeta and McGraw leading the way with 174 and 168 points, respectively. Dreyfoos’ four players only reached 388 points. Seniors Jasper Wright and Will LaBanz and sophomore John Lacy substituted in for the second game.

“The game went great. I think we all bowled really well, and we were really supportive and encouraging each other,” said Patel, one of the team’s captains. 

The second game’s total was significantly lower for the Bucs, totaling 618 points, but it still beat Dreyfoos’ 422. McGraw and Gaeta led the way once again with 181 and 129 points. McGraw’s total of 355 points and average of 177.5 over the two games slightly exceeds his average of somewhere “in the ballpark of 173”, he said.

McGraw — who totaled 10 strikes and 5 spares over the two individual games — was happy with his performance, but he realizes that the team, despite their 2-0 start to the season, will have to improve as time goes on.

“I think we’re going to have to step it up a little bit because once we face better teams like Jupiter, 130 isn’t going to cut it,” McGraw said. We’re gonna have to be better than that.”

The Bucs won both baker’s games — matches during which all team members roll, alternating by frame– with scores of 123-84 and 125-75.

LaBanz, a captain, felt that the team “excelled” en route to starting the season 2-0.

Two lanes to the right, the girls’ team also asserted their dominance over the Dreyfoos despite the default victory. Regardless, junior Abby Spunar said that the team was “planning to present [their] best scores.”

Like McGraw did for the boys’ team, junior Harper Smith started the team off with a bang with a strike. Other starters included Spunar, seniors Christina Taylor and Katia Orsic, and sophomore Mackenzie Walsh. Spunar led the team with 163 points in the first game, as the team totaled 585 points to the 331 of Dreyfoos.

Junior Abby Spunar rolls the ball down the lane at Bowlero Jupiter. She was the top performer for the girls’ team in both games. (Charlie Spungin)

Sophomore Maddie Barakett entered the second game, and barely took their foot off of the petal, still scoring 565 points as opposed to Dreyfoos’ 372. Spunar led the way once again, as she totaled 141 points. Barakett was the team’s second best performer with 117 points after having “a rough practice” the day before.

“I think my head’s more in the game,” she said as to why she had such a good game.

The girls’ team won their first baker’s game like the boys, but they took the only Bucs loss in the second game, suffering defeat 115-87.

The Bucs bowling teams are both off to a 2-0 record, albeit courtesy of two defaults, but they still have been getting extra practice in to prepare them for tougher opponents later in the season.