Nov 02 2019

Nick Varano Has Figured Out All the Alleys

In New York, baseball has Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso while hockey has Henrik Lundquist and Mathew Barzal. As for bowling, we have Nick Varano. At only 17, the North Rockland High School student is the best bowler in the Lower Hudson Valley of any age or gender.

Earlier this year, Nick showcased a 242 average in a local league and a 235 average for the high school season. He threw two 800 series and one perfect game late last year.

Nick’s varsity accomplishments become more impressive when you learn that the Rockland County high school league is spread among three different bowling alleys in three different communities. No home alley advantage for this bowling star.

“He’s like a freak,” stated a former coach who was very successful during his bowling career. “But in a good way.”

The freak analogy must run in the family. Nick’s sister, Danielle, is an eight-time member of Team USA and she currently is one of the leading women bowlers in the world for the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association Tour. Even she stated what has become obvious: “He’s a freak of nature,” she said lovingly of her 6-foot-3 brother.

Though he has been so successful at such a young age, Nick has little interest in headlines and accolades. His personal goal always is a team goal—win the state championship.

Nick has thought about turning pro during the last few years. First, though, he wants to complete college and think about his options not just for bowling but for his life. Many coaches feel that Nick can be a PBA Tour titlist. We’ll just have to wait to learn what Nick decides.

May 01 2018

Striking Ahead Of The Competition

He recently completed one of the best seasons in the history of New York State high school bowling. As a junior, Nick Perrone recorded the highest average, broke a tournament record and was named the top bowler at the state’s public high school tournament. Next on Nick’s checklist – establish dominance. He wants to be consistent and prove to everyone that the first three years were not a fluke.

Nick finished this past season with a 234.94 average. This topped all high school state bowlers for the second straight season. He also finished first at the state tournament among his section’s individual bowlers.

But, with three years of increasing success, Nick still hears the skeptics, because he is a two-handed bowler—a delivery shunned by many old-school bowlers. His numbers, though, repeatedly have dampened the naysayers.

Two-handed bowling is a style that has developed within the last few years, and it has become a common choice for young bowlers looking to gain more power in their stroke. Some of the top bowlers in the country, including Walter Ray Williams, Jr. (47 professional titles), and 2014 Professional Bowlers Association rookie of the year Marshall Kent, have experimented with the two-handed delivery.

As for Nick, he plans to build upon his success. Already, he has set loftier goals for his senior year. At the top of his list are a league title for his high school and an unprecedented 240 average for himself. Hard work, he feels, will get him there.

According to Nick, the key to the next level is honing the essential skills of high-level bowling. This includes regular practice, remaining informed about the latest ball technology, and closely monitoring lane oil patterns and breakdowns that affect the ball as it travels toward the pins.

Another key skill that Nick is seeking to improve is his understanding of the competition. Other solid players are chasing him. By studying them, Nick feels he will be pushed ahead to break the next boundary.

Oct 18 2014

A Friendly Rivalry Can Be Right Up Your Alley

Not many people bowl anymore. If you haven’t noticed, bowling alleys have closed across the country. We’ve lost a number of them over the years on Long Island, including one of the oldest that was located in Plainview. It is now a clothing store.

Once hugely popular, bowling mostly has become an occasional fun night out with friends or family. But you still can find organized bowling leagues where teams covet a trophy along with rivalries among college and high school bowling teams.

For several years, a bowling sibling rivalry in Putnam County has framed rather than split the love between Jeanna Brown and her brother, Dominick. Since they were kids, the two regularly have competed against each other during practice, in high school matches and during tour events. It has been a constant battle of one-upmanship, with the older brother challenging the younger sister.

Dominick shot a perfect game before Jeanna. But Jeanna has been to the states competition four times while Dominick only went twice. While Dominick was all-in with bowling, Jeanna initially wasn’t a fan. She actually hated bowling, claiming that it disrupted her social life.

Now, Jeanna is a full-fledged bowling junkie. She just started her last year of high school where she can continue to dominate the area’s Section 1 bowling. Dominick, meanwhile, graduated last June. He now bowls for Dutchess Community College and then will move on to New York Institute of Technology. He plans to study architecture, and just maybe he will design some interesting new lanes that will help reinvent the game.

Rivalries can be good, whether they are between siblings, friends, or business colleagues. The competition challenges each player, raises the bar of success and often strengthens relationships.

In business, fostering employee teamwork and comradery contributes to the success of an organization. Everyone benefits when business is humming along. So, I urge all company owners and leaders to champion friendly rivalries. When implemented correctly, you will see improvement in the confidence and contribution of each employee. Then, all of you, as a team, will participate in many celebrations as you continue to beat the competition.

Jim