Young Niskayuna boys’ bowling team taking shape

Niskayuna's Evan Desso, right, talks with teammate Marcus Manzoni during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys' bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)Niskayuna's Evan Desso, right, talks with teammate Marcus Manzoni during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys' bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

NISKAYUNA — Construction is still underway for the Niskayuna boys’ bowling team, but what head coach Laura Favata’s team is building toward is starting to take shape.

A recruiting binge before last season helped swell the numbers for the program, which finished 6-10 in 2014-15. This season, the Silver Warriors are carrying 17 bowlers, many of whom are underclassmen starting to show off their talent on a regular basis.

“If they all stay focused on the common good — on the team — we should really do a lot better than we did last year,” said Favata, whose son Dominick Favata has consistently been the team’s top bowler through its 1-4 start as a sophomore.

Focusing on the common good is what Evan Desso does best for the Niskayuna bowling squad. A senior, Desso is a rarity for the Silver Warriors as a veteran upperclassman.

Niskayuna head coach Laura Favata is shown during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys' bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Niskayuna head coach Laura Favata is shown during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys’ bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

“They’re all like my younger brothers,” Desso said of the rest of the Silver Warriors.

“Right now, we have a bunch of very young kids,” Desso added. “In a couple years, we’re going to be a lot better. By the time they are all juniors and seniors, we’ll be very strong.”

Of course, by then, Desso will be gone from the team. Desso realizes that, but takes pride in helping provide guidance for his younger teammates.

That team-first attitude has been a constant from Desso since he joined the Silver Warriors’ bowling squad as a sophomore.

“Evan is a role model for the future of this team,” coach Favata said.

For this season’s group, Desso said using practices and matches to improve is the most important thing.

While the team’s younger bowlers — such as Dominick Favata and sophomore Marcus Manzoni — are talented, they need to fine-tune their games.

Niskayuna's Marcus Manzoni takes his turn during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys' bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Niskayuna’s Marcus Manzoni takes his turn during a Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 boys’ bowling match against Shenendehowa at Spare Time in Clifton Park. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

“We’re inconsistent with our spares,” Desso gave as an example. “Hopefully, as the year goes by, we’ll get better at picking them up.”

This season, Niskayuna’s only win through its first five matches came Dec. 9 against Saratoga Springs in a 20-12 decision. That day, Dominick Favata led with a 755 series and Desso followed with a 636.

While the losses have piled up early in the season, Manzoni said the team is not discouraged. It knows it has had some tough luck — such as in its 18-14 loss Dec. 1 to Ballston Spa, in which Niskayuna actually outpinned the Scotties 3,563-3,515 — but that the season has lots of time left in it for things to balance themselves out.  

“There are some kinks we need to get out, but the future looks bright for the rest of this year,” Manzoni said.

And beyond, too.

About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.