Written by Vinny Messana, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:54
When it comes to the Nassau County bowling tournament, throw away any preconceived notions you had about bowling. The Hicksville boys team used tenacity and emotion to roll their way to second place in the county tournament this past weekend, coming in behind East Meadow. Their six game average was an impressive 1023, with each bowler averaging 204.6.
Head Coach Justin Sullivan was “absolutely proud” of his boys’ performance. During his eight year tenure at Hicksville, he has had a very strong run of success, winning the Nassau County title in 2008-’09, and finishing runner-up the past two seasons. Sullivan, who graduated from Hicksville in 2002, noted that it is “even better” to win with the school that he attended.
“Some of these guys I’ve had for six years, since they’ve been in middle school,” said Sullivan. “We have five seniors on the team which means next year will probably be a rebuilding year,” he added.
His seniors came up big in the brightest spotlight. The lineup of Ross Castaldo, Daniel Sheehan, John Soderlund, Robbie Culp and Sean Kingsepp seemed to bring out the best in each other. It also brought out an incredible amount of raw emotion, especially from Castaldo who had a pre-meditated celebration after each strike.
“I take requests for the celebrations,” said Castaldo. “But a lot of it is adrenaline. I am a big football fan, so I like to incorporate the ‘Kaepernick’ and ‘Manziel’,” he said. The “Kaepernick” is referring to the move that the San Francisco 49ers QB displays after a touchdown, as he kisses his bicep. The “Manziel” is in reference to former Heisman winning QB Johnny Manziel who pretends he is counting money after a touchdown.
“This tournament brings out a lot,” said Sullivan. “It’s intense, that’s why I bring out my JV guys. They don’t believe me when I tell them, but then they see how crowded the place is and the emotion of the bowlers."
The Hicksville Comets improved their scores in each of the first five games, but their total dropped below 1,000 for the first time in the final game. Their total of 923 was enough to drop them out of first place and fall behind East Meadow.
Despite losing out on the title, the team finished the regular season at 9-2 and will have three of their bowlers—Culp, Kingsepp and Castaldo—complete for the individual county championship.
Of all the bowlers, Culp had the highest average of the day at 222. The program will strongly miss their graduating senior bowlers.