In the Pocket: Scaccia digs into bag of tricks to win Huck Finn T of C
Jack Scaccia Jr. is an old-school guy who likes old-fashioned remedies for many of his ailments, both on the lanes and off.
That’s why he used an old trick to help out his footing en route to claiming the championship in the Huck Finn Kenny Hall Tournament of Champions Sunday night at Saratoga Strike Zone.
The 55-year-old proprietor of Town ’N Country Lanes beat Mike Drexel, 266-216, for the title, but he couldn’t have done it without his trusty sock on his sliding foot.
“My leg has been bothering me quite a bit lately. It bothers me sometimes when I bowl, and even when I sleep,” said Scaccia. “It has something to do with my sciatic nerve. I used to wear a sock on my sliding sole years ago, but I haven’t done that in years.
“About two months ago, I was in a tournament, and a guy told me the approaches were very sticky. So I put a sock over the bowling shoe on my sliding foot and I couldn’t believe the difference it made in me being able to bowl without pain.”
Scaccia, who picked up $400 for the win, was able to slide just the right amount without sticking, and it helped both his physical and mental game.
“You pick up things like that when you’ve bowled as long as I have,” said Scaccia, a Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School graduate who has bowled in his share of top-level events over the years.
“I’ll tell you the truth. It hasn’t been a very good year for me overall in bowling,” he said. “I stink. I’m averaging about 228 at Boulevard Bowl and 225 at Town ’N Country Lanes, but I haven’t been bowling that well until last weekend.
“Bowling has been my life,” said the oldest son of the legendary Jack Scaccia Sr., one of the area’s top proprietors who died in a car accident a few years ago. “But I don’t bowl that much myself anymore. I practice maybe 30 minutes a week. I’ve got to pick and choose where I bowl now, and I don’t compete in very many tournaments. That’s why this was so special. It never gets boring in competition. Winning never gets old.
“And one of the nice things about winning the Tournament of Champions was that I got a recliner from Huck Finn. That’s perfect for an old man like me.”
Scaccia said Sunday was also special for the Scaccia family because his daughter-in-law, Jessica DeVellis, won the inaugural New Era Women’s Tour event at Sportsman’s Bowl.
“It was a real family affair. Jessica even came over to Saratoga to watch me bowl Sunday night,” he said.
Along with a high triple of 833, Scaccia has a pair of perfect games on his resume, but his claim to fame on the lanes was winning a PBA Regional event and a check for $2,500.
Scaccia also competed on the regular PBA Tour for 10 stops during the 1978 season.
“I finished 17th for my top finish in a national pro tour stop. It was the first tournament that Pete Weber ever won,” he said.
Scaccia has run Town ’N Country Lanes in Guilderland for 32 years, and he’s one of the top proprietors in the area, as far as keeping in tune with his customers.
“We do the best that we can,” he said. “It’s not an easy business. Scoring is high, but it’s all relative. Look at the golf pros today. Although the scoring isn’t that much lower, they still hit the ball well over 300 yards because of technology. Look how far they hit it compared to how Jack Nicklaus used to.
“We still have a lot of very good bowlers out there. It’s just that with the technology and the oil conditions we have now, you can get some high scores.”
The Scaccia name will be back in the spotlight again on May 6 when the Huck Finn tour’s premier event, the Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial Championship, is contested at Alpha Lanes in Troy. Top prize in that event will be $4,000. It will be broadcast live on FOX23 at 10:30 a.m., a half-hour earlier than usual because of scheduling conflict.
Local fans who want to see some of their favorite PBA Tour competitors, as well as several of the region’s top pros, can check out a tournament close to home this weekend.
The PBA East Region 900 Global Open will be held at Hoe Bowl at 305 West Bridge St. in Catskill. After practice sessions this afternoon, there will be pro-ams at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., and a skins game at 9 p.m.
Actual tournament competition will be Saturday with three squads each bowling eight games. The A squad competes at 8 a.m., followed by the B squad at 1:30 p.m. and the C squad at 7 p.m.
Round-robin finals will be held Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.
The oil pattern used will be the Cheetah, the highest scoring of the five animal-named patterns.
Among the top PBA Tour pros competing will be Brad Angelo, Ryan Ciminelli, Ray Edwards, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Shafer and Danny Wiseman.
The local contingent includes former PBA Tour exempt player Brian LeClair, who now runs the Revolutions pro shop at Del Lanes, and his son, Connor LeClair, Chuck Douglas, Chris Fawcett, Ed Gumm, Bob Kavanaugh, R.J. Martinez, Eric Race, Len Reyngoudt, Ryan Sickler, Jeff Smith, Roy Vanderbogart, Jeff Voght and Tom Yadanza.
Left-hander Jason Couch, who won 16 times on the PBA Tour, and PBA Senior Tour standout Gene Stus were inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame last weekend.
Couch, 42, is the only player in PBA Tour history to win there consecutive PBA Tournament of Champions titles. He also won a fourth major, the 1993 PBA Touring Players Championship.
Stus won 11 times on the PBA Senior Tour, fourth on the all-time list behind fellow Hall of Famers John Handegard (14), Gary Dickinson (12) and Dale Eagle (12).
Also, Dave Soutar has announced that he will retire after the PBA Senior Tour’s run this spring.
Soutar, 72, begins his 51st year of competition when the PBA Senior Tour kicks off Saturday at PBA Senior Sun Bowl in The Villages, Fla. He won 18 times on the PBA Tour and seven times on the PBA Senior Tour.
Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli will make his Senior Tour debut in that event.
Finally, Parker Bohn III increased his record for most perfect games in PBA competition to 88 after rolling a 300 game in the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs.
STRIKES AND SPARES
u Qualifying for the Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial Championship continues Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. at Town ’N Country Lanes. Two more qualifiers will be held April 29 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Boulevard Bowl, followed by the finals at 1:30. The top four bowlers advance to the championship match May 6.
u Albany’s Corey Buckley set a seven-game scoring record with a 1,658 and capped his wire-to-wire victory by defeating Thomas Marr of Schenectady, 254-157, to win the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event at Town Bowling Academy. Buckley earned a $250 scholarship, while Marr secured a $140 scholarship. Other scholarship winners were Christopher Radliff of Schenectady ($100), Michael Hartmann of Earlton ($70), Lawrence Lang of Rhinebeck ($40) and Matt Olson of Schenectady ($30). The season-ending CDYST Masters will be held April 28 at 9:30 a.m. at Town ’N Country Lanes. Only members who have participated in four events are eligible.
u John Martorella Sr., 28, of Greece, outside of Rochester, became the 19th bowler in the nation to roll a perfect 900 triple. Robert Musatore of Fort Drum and William Howell III of Middletown are the other New Yorkers with USBC-approved 900 triples.
u The annual Blizzard Bowl wraps up its team event Saturday night at 9:45 at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $15 per person. Singles and doubles wrap up at 12:30 p.m. at Burnt Hills the same day. Top prize for the team event is $2,000.
u The Schenectady-Scotia Women’s Bowling Association’s 75th anniversary awards dinner will be held June 12 in the Terrace Room at the Waters Edge Lighthouse on Freemans Bridge Road at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 and dinner choices are chicken marsala, prime rib or herb-crusted salmon. Contact Millie Kielmann at 390-9499 for tickets.
u Sportsman’s Bowl will conduct a 10-week PBA Summer League on Thursday nights, beginning May 17 at 7 p.m. The three-person teams will bowl four games each week on five different PBA patterns. Call Paul Adkins at 355-4330 for more information.
u Also at Sportsman’s Bowl, there will be a 10-week Tuesday Night Classic, beginning May 15. Three-person teams will bowl three games each week. Team average cap will be 675. Handicap will be 80 percent of 220, and weekly dues will be $20. Call Sportsman’s to reserve a spot.
u Sportsman’s will have an Adult/Child 10-week league, beginning May 6, and a 10-week Bumper league, starting May 15 at 6 p.m.
u The Schenectady-Scotia USBC Women’s Bowling Association’s City Championship begins April 30 and runs through May 12 at Sportsman’s Bowl. Weekday squads begin at 6:30 p.m., while the Saturday squads will be held at 11 a.m. and as needed. Team competition will have one division, while the doubles and singles will have Class A, Class B and Class C. Handicap will be 100 percent in each event.
u Redwood Lanes’ Cutting Edge Doubles league will expand to 24 teams next season at 6:15 p.m. on Monday nights. Membership fee will be $150. There will be more than $26,000 in prize money. Last year, the league paid out $17,500 with 14 teams. There will be a 455 maximum scratch limit per team. The league will bowl for 32 weeks, plus a week of tournament play. Call 869-3581 or 496-7812 for more information.
u The 79th annual Schenectady USBC/BA City Championship Tournament will be held at Boulevard Bowl. The event runs April 30 through May 11. Entry fee will be $80 ($20 per person) for the four-person team event, $40 for doubles, $20 for singles and $5 for all-events. Handicap will be 80 percent of 240. Prizes will be paid on a one in eight ratio. For more information, call 399-2942 or 355-5632.
u The USBC New York State Bowling Open Championship continues until May 6 at Spare Time-South Glens Falls.
u Rolling Greens will host the Scotia-Glenville Little League No-Tap Tournament tonight at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. The event will feature five-person teams. Contact Rolling Greens at 381-4848 for more information.
u The Schenectady League at Rolling Greens Lanes is looking for bowlers for next season. The league bowls for 28 weeks at a cost of $25 per week. The league operates on a point-system basis. Interested bowlers should call Rolling Greens at 381-4848 or Cliff Ruth at 847-8089.
u Towne Bowling Academy will be offering various summer leagues, including sport leagues and adult-junior leagues, beginning this month and running for 10 weeks. Among those leagues will be a PBA Sport Trio league on Wednesday nights, beginning April 25. The 10-week program will cost $20 per week, and will run through the last week of June. Call 355-3939 for more information.