N I A G A R A     G A Z E T T E

January 29, 2008 11:24 pm   

BOYS BOWLING: Buddy’s the Boss for GI bowling

By Nate Beutel
Greater Niagara Newspapers

TONAWANDA — Focus. It’s a short and seemingly simple concept. Yet for many, it’s a difficult task to master.

But not Grand Island boys bowler Buddy Boss.

In fact, almost everyone of Boss’ favorite activities seem to require an inordinate amount of focus. Besides bowling, Boss is also an avid hunter and culinary student extraordinare.

“They all deal with concentration I guess,” Boss said Tuesday after a win over Kenmore East at the Tonawanda Bowling Center. “Focus doesn’t come easy, though. It took a long time to learn that.”

It also took a while for Boss to find his true callings. He didn’t pick up hunting until well after his father, Richard, retired as world skeet shooting champion. He didn’t really start cooking until he got a job at a local restaurant and began to fall in love with the kitchen. And as for bowling, he didn’t pick up the sport until about four years ago even though his father was a lifelong kegler.

“My dad always wanted to like what I what I was doing and I didn’t think I’d be very good at bowling,” Boss explained. “But then I started doing it for fun and I really began to like it a lot.”

Boss then joined the GI varsity team as a sophomore and surprisingly shot his way right into the starting lineup. Then just two years later, as a senior, he leads the team with a 202 average and has anchored Grand Island’s A and B teams for each of the past two seasons.

“He’s a pretty darn good bowler for someone who never bowled before a couple years ago,” GI coach Craig Davis said.

But even more than his natural bowling ability is his unique way of adjusting to lanes and their conditions throughout a match or tournament. For instance, Boss began Tuesday’s match against Ken East with a very poor 150, but quickly rebounded to the tune of 211 and 219.

“He usually picks it up at the end for us,” Boss said.

For Boss, it goes back to lessons he learned from Island Lanes owner Mike Mallwitz.

“You’ve got to focus on your mark, think about what you’re going to do and adjust accordingly,” Boss said.

Boss has also made a few adjustments in his own game. While he has always had great speed and power on his shot, it’s been his finesse shots that have impressed Davis of late.

“He’s always been a cranker where he gets a lot of revs on his ball, but he’s also controlling the revs so he can pick up more spares now,” Davis said.

And often times spares, not strikes are the difference in some of the bigger tournaments, such as the Section VI Tournament at Thruway Lanes. With that in mind, Boss has developed a gameplan that includes spares and longevity which he hopes will produce results at the event.

“I’m really hoping to bowl well and make it to states as a senior,” he said.

Boss plans to attend Erie Community College and study culinary arts in the fall. He also plans to tryout for the Kats nationally ranked bowling team.