Linden bowlers DeKowski, the boys’, and Reid, the girls’, win UCT individual crowns, while Johnson rolls to team title

Crusaders capture 3rd straight championship after Reid repeats as girls' champ

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERIE PIZZANO - Linden bowling coach Cherie Pizzano, middle, is flanked by county champions Andrew Dekowski of Linden and Brian Reid of Linden. Dekowski, a junior, won his first boys' title, while Reid, a senior, repeated as girls' champion.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHERIE PIZZANO – Linden bowling coach Cherie Pizzano, middle, is flanked by county champions Andrew Dekowski of Linden and Brian Reid of Linden. Dekowski, a junior, won his first boys’ title, while Reid, a senior, repeated as girls’ champion.
Linden bowlers, from left, are the 2013 Union County Tournament champions, Briana Reid for the girls' and Andrew Dekowski for the boys'.
Linden bowlers, from left, are the 2013 Union County Tournament champions, Briana Reid for the girls’ and Andrew Dekowski for the boys’.
Here, Linden bowling coach Cherie Pizzano is pictured with UCT champions Andrew Dekowski and Briana Reid.
Here, Linden bowling coach Cherie Pizzano is pictured with UCT champions Andrew Dekowski and Briana Reid.

While Linden bowlers rolled their way to the individual championships at this week’s Union County Tournament competition at their hometown Jersey Lanes, it was the Johnson Crusaders who overcame Linden to capture the team title for the third straight year.

One day after Linden junior Andrew Dekowski captured the boys’ competition and Linden senior Briana Reid repeated as the girls’ champion on Wednesday, Johnson battled back from a second-place finish in qualifying to overtake Linden on Thursday.

Johnson’s comeback came with a pinfall of 2,864 on the second day. The Crusaders were led by senior Dan Levitz, who rolled the tournament’s high game of 256 and the second-highest series of 682.

Levitz took second in the individual tournament Wednesday when he lost by just five pins to Dekowski in the championship match of the step-ladder finals.

Also excelling for Johnson was senior Vincent DeGeronimo, who produced the second-highest game of the tournament with a 248.

Linden and Oratory Prep finished second and third, separated by only 26 pins. Dekowski and Reid rolled the No. 3 and 4 series, with 654 and 624, respectively, to help lift Linden to its second-place 2,784 pin total.

“Our first game was horrendous,” Linden coach Cherie Pizzano said. “We shot a 1,013 second game, which put is in a good position, only 26 pins behind. However, we had splits in the third game and that didn’t allow us to overcome those 26 pins.”

Oratory Prep senior Tyler Bongo had the tournament’s high series with a 693 to help the Rams post a 2,758 total.

BOYS’: 1-Johnson 2,864. 2-Linden 2,784. 3-Oratory Prep 2,758. 4-Roselle Catholic 2,674. 5-Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2,587. 6-Cranford 2,437.

HIGH SERIES: 1-Tyler Bongo, Oratory Prep, 693. 2-Dan Levitz, Johnson, 682. 3-Andrew Dekowski, Linden, 654. 4-Briana Reid, Linden, 624. 5-Nick Campanelli, Roselle Catholic, 619.

HIGH GAME: 1-Dan Levitz, Johnson, 256. 2-Vincent DeGeronimo, Johnson, 248. 3-Tyler Bongo, Oratory Prep, Oratory Prep, 243.



Dekowski came on for the Tigers, making what Pizzano called, “quick adjustments.”

“That part of his game, the quick adjustments, has really improved,” Pizzano said. “He put himself in a good position after Monday, not being so many pins down to Campanelli.

“Andrew wanted to make sure he filled every frame. He read the land and made those adjustments.

“In the final against Campanelli, he wanted to strike out, but unfortunately didn’t. When Nick threw a nine, we knew he won. Andrew bowled really well.”

Dekowski, in his third year on the team, dedicated himself in the off-season to making his junior season a special one.

“Andrew worked really hard all summer long,” Pizzano said. “His mental approach is much stronger. If he leaves the 10 pin, he works through it. He’s really worked on his spares.

“Andrew doesn’t put as much pressure on himself and just does what he’s capable of doing.”

Reid, who will bowl in college and is considering Howard University, Long Island University and FDU at the moment, was in control in the girls’ competition from the beginning.

“Briana bowls with a lot of confidence,” Pizzano said. “She’s always been a fantastic spare shooter and this year has been able to strike, which has really brought her scores up.”

Reid, who also worked hard over the summer and who went to Texas to bowl, will next compete Saturday in the state sectionals in Hackensack.

Reid’s father Guy is the head of the junior program at Jersey Lanes and Dekowski’s father Charlie also plays a huge part in the program, according to Pizzano.

“They do a lot of work with their children,” Pizzano said. “In my opinion the junior program at Jersey Lanes is the best in the state.”



Wednesday was quite a day for the Campanellis of Roselle Catholic at Jersey Lanes.

RC senior Chrissy Campanelli finished second in the girls’ competition and her younger brother, at Nick, a sophomore, was third in the boys’ field.

Chrissy Campanelli bowled a six-game total of 1,075 to finish in a second-place tie with Brianna Boze of Summit.

In the first game of the step-ladder finals, Campanelli defeated Boze 187-177. In the final, Reid defeated Campanelli 192-181 to win the title again.

Campanelli was second after the first day of competition, with a three-game total of 562. She rolled a 513 series to advance to the step-ladder event.

Nick Campanelli followed Monday’s 685 series, which left him on top of the standings, with a 652 on Wednesday for a 1,337 pin total.

Campanelli garnered the No. 2 seed, but was halted by the hottest bowler of the day, Levitz, with Levitz defeating Campanelli 245-192 in a semifinal.

RC sophomore Jimmy Gramiak began Wednesday’s individual competition in fifth place. He bowled a 527 series and dropped to eighth place with a pin total of 1,179.


Competition began Monday, with Dekowski placing sixth with a pin total of 651 after the first day of the boys’ individual competition.

DeKowski defeated Levitz 210-205 in Wednesday’s final. Levitz, who previously defeated Nick Campanelli of Roselle Catholic 245-192 and Darius Singletary of Rahway 258-211, was 13th with a pin total of 599 after Monday.

Levitz was the fifth qualifier and won three matches, knocking off the fourth seed, the third seed and the second seed before falling to DeKowski.

After rolling a 651 series Monday, DeKowski produced a 693 for the title on Wednesday.

Levitz – with games of 192, 185 and 286 – rolled at least a 210 in each of the four step-ladder matches.

Singletary bowled a 711 series, the highest of the tournament – to vault from 15th to fourth place. He rolled a 246, 284 (which included 10 strikes to start the match) and a 181.

Campanelli led after Monday, with a pin total of 685.

Boys’ 6-game series scores:

1-Andrew Dekowski, Linden, 1,344

2-Nick Campanelli, Roselle Catholic, 1,337

3-Brandon Burwell, Union, 1,311

4-Darius Singletary, Rahway, 1,304

5-Dan Levitz, Johnson, 1,262

6-Chris Masucci, Dayton, 1,258

7-Steve Kotowski, Johnson, 1,249

8-Jimmy Gramiak, Roselle Catholic, 1,179

9-Alex Boros, Union Catholic, 1,162

10-Vincent DeGeronimo, Johnson, 1,160

11-Jack Vander Mealen, Oratory Prep, 1,141

12-Mark Colineri, Cranford, 1,139

13-James Fostinis, Linden, 1,137

14-Christian Perez, Linden, 1,136

15-Armando Salvadore, Dayton, 1075


In the girls’ final, Reid defeated Chrissy Campanelli of Roselle Catholic 192-181. To get to the final, Campanelli defeated Brianna Boze of Summit 187-177.

After Monday, Reid led with a pin total of 656, while Campanelli was second at 562 and Boze third at 547.

Girls’ 6-game series scores:

1-Briana Reid, Linden, 1,266

2-Chrissy Campanelli, Roselle Catholic, 1,075

Brianna Boze, Summit, 1,075

4-Kayla Noel, Elizabeth, 1,014

5-Ilana Freeman, Dayton, 917


NOTES: When the 15 boys and five girls advanced from Monday’s competition to Wednesday’s, scores carried over and were combined with the three games each bowled Wednesday.

The top five boys advanced to step-ladder and the top three girls advanced to step-ladder.

For the team finals on Thursday, no scores carried over.





The top six schools advanced to Thursday’s (Jan. 31) finals:

1-Linden, pin total of 3,069

2-Johnson, 2,913

3-Roselle Catholic, 2,813

4-Cranford, 2,655

5-Oratory Prep, 2,643

6-Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 2,614

Linden, Johnson, Roselle Catholic,

Cranford, Oratory Prep, Scotch Plains-Fanwood advanced.

7-Union Catholic, 2,587

8-Dayton, 2,552

9-Elizabeth, 2,551

10-Westfield, 2,454

11-Union, 2,428

12-Rahway, 2,399

13-Summit, 2,325

14-Hillside, 2,264

15-Roselle Park, 2,151

16-Gov. Livingston, 2,138

17-Roselle, 1,905



These five girls advanced to Wednesday’s (Jan. 30) finals:

1-Briana Reid, Linden, pin total of 656

2-Chrissy Campanelli, Roselle Catholic, 562

3-Brianna Boze, Summit, 547

4-Kayla Noel, Elizabeth, 488

5-Ilana Freeman, Dayton, 468



These 15 boys advanced to Wednesday’s (Jan. 30) finals:

1-Nick Campanelli, Roselle Catholic, pin total of 685

2-Chris Masucci, Dayton, 676

3-Steve Kotowski, Johnson, 664

4-Christian Perez, Linden, 663

5-Jimmy Gramiak, Roselle Catholic, 652

6-Andrew Dekowski, Linden, 651

7-Alex Boros, Union Catholic, 638

8-Vincent DeGeronimo, Johnson, 638

9-Jack Vander Mealen, Oratory Prep, 618

10-James Fostinis, Linden, 613

11-Mark Colineri, Cranford, 611

12-Brandon Burwell, Union, 609

13-Dan Levitz, Johnson, 599

14-Armando Salvadore, Dayton, 593

15-Darius Singletary, Rahway, 493