My first set of all-state picks. I'm nervous. Okay, ground rules: we're picking six each on first, second, and third teams, and then 35 honorable mentions (girls will have 25). If any bowlers without teams merit inclusion based on tournament performances (spoiler: they do), they will be included, but the team they're on will increase by one as well, so it doesn't cost someone else a spot; non-HS team bowlers are indicated by *. All averages listed are for regular season only and are as accurate as I could get. I tried to take the entire season into account: regular season average, in-season tournament performance, scores at sectionals & team states, and performance at the individual TOC.
NEW JERSEY BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BOWLING ALL-STATE TEAMS FOR 2017
Matthew Burzynski, Junior, Dickinson
Burzynski went through a brief slump in late January, and his averaged tumbled out of the top 10, settling at 220, but that was clearly just a temporary blip on an excellent season. Burzynski was nothing short of brilliant, carrying a relatively undermanned Dickinson squad (with help from teammate Ray Ramos to be sure) to a sectional title and a strong 5th at states. The lefty won the sectional with a 772, put up the highest set at team states with a 774, and opened the individual TOC with a 761 before finishing 8th. Slump's over.
*Ryan Carlisi, Junior, Steinert
The Individual TOC isn't the be-all, end-all of the season (as you'll see), but if you win the title, given the crazy scoring that was going on, you get a spot on the first team with no further questions. Carlisi qualified for states with a solid 679 at sectionals and made the cut with a nice 710, then went on a fantastic run, shooting 787 in the afternoon and then 716 in three pressure-packed stepladder wins over three of the absolute best in the state.
Austin Devereux, Senior, Manasquan
Devereux led the #7 Warriors to a regular season title, averaging 228 (#3 in NJ), then he led them to a sectional title, shooting 772 (tops in Central), then he led them to a state title, shooting 701. Along the way he picked up a fourth place at South Jersey Singles (averaging 243, with a 300 in the quarterfinals), 2nd at RWTI (736) and shot 715 at LB Wave. Forced to skip the individual TOC due to a schedule issue, but what more could he have done to earn this spot?
Erik Kattermann, Senior, Montville
Kattermann was the unquestioned superpower behind the state's #12 team, leading the Mustangs to a perfect record in a good league with the state's #2 average, 229. In tournament play, he shot the 2nd highest game at CJWC and put on a show at the Morris County championships, posting 300/813. In a low-scoring environment at North 2 sectionals, he took the title easily, shooting 713. We can let an off day at the TOC slide with that resume.
Andrew Lazarchick, Senior, Brick Memorial
Despite missing out on both TOC events, the argument that Lazarchick is the best HS bowler in the state is not unsound. He led the state's #4 team to a regular-season title in the toughest league in the state with a New Jersey-best 232 average, and won the state's toughest conference tournament with a 690 in a house where a whole lot of good bowlers struggled. Lazarchick was first at RWTI (744), and second at CJWC (757), and averaged over 220 on his off tournament days. Brilliant career for the lefty, who will continue at McKendree.
Matthew Stephens, Senior, Egg Harbor
Maybe the first thing you notice about his Stephens is that he's a skinny kid who throws the ball funny - a two handed backup ball. But very quickly you notice what's important: that nobody strings strikes like he does. His average was around 224 (incomplete info), but he got it rolling at the South Jersey singles, winning his second straight title after going 675-797 in qualifying. He finished 3rd at the South Sectional (732) and then broke the state tournament qualifying record with an amazing 771-835 before becoming Carlisi's final victim. Just an excellent career.
James Stoveken, Sophomore, Woodbridge
Well, maybe Stoveken can strike like Stephens. James had the best overall postseason of anyone: 729 at Sectionals, 760 at team states, 761-812 at Individual TOC before finishing 3rd. Earlier, Stoveken was 2nd at James (738), first at CJWC (768) and 2nd at GMC (694-678) and put up a league-best 226 average for the state's #3 team. He throws two-handed with exceptional power, has 6 high school 300s to his name, and he's only a sophomore.
Andrew Abbonizio, Senior, Shawnee
Abbonizio shot 804 on Opening Day, and went on to an excellent 222 regular season average for #2 Shawnee. Had a strong Olympic tournament, shooting 677, and really came alive for his team in the postseason, besting a great field at the South Sectional with a 757 and shooting a marvelous 731 at team states.
Cameron LaPlant, Sophomore, JP Stevens
His team struggled in the loaded GMC, but the tenth-grader accomplished an awful lot individually, including averaging 217, shooting 300 in December, and blowing through the stepladder to win the GMC individual championship after 652-682 in qualifying. LaPlant scored second place at Central Sectionals with an awesome 765, and shot 707 at the TOC to make the cut, finishing in 16th.
Anthony Mathis, Freshman, Cherry Hill East
The clear choice for Freshman of the Year, Mathis was strong at the Olympic, 663, and led CHE to a great regular season with a 219 average. He didn't let up in the postseason either, shooting 711 at Sectionals to help #9 CHE earn a TOC berth, put up 675 at team states, and was very impressive at the individual TOC, firing 737-684 for 7th place. Bright future for this guy.
Chris Pagliuso, Senior, Shawnee
This is another case of an off-day at sectionals not being enough to knock down an incredible season. Pagliuso averaged 228 for the #2 team in the state, finished 2nd at the Olympic (687), 3rd at South Jersey Singles, and went big when his team needed it the most, carding a 738 at Team States. He and Abbonizio were the top 1-2 combination in the state, so it's fitting that they're here together.
Kyle Schellberg, Senior, Dumont
Schellberg didn't have the highest average in the Big North, nor did he bowl for the best team or finish highest at states. But I think he may have had the best season. His 216 average was excellent, he tossed a 300 game, and he showed up at every single tournament: 661 at Bergen County, 1st at Crusader (709), a huge 749 in North Jersey singles qualifying, 3rd at sectionals (694) and finished a strong 12th at TOC (704-670).
Evan Weinberg, Junior, Jonathan Dayton
Weinberg put up a strong 222 average in a conference that doesn't yield many high scores, but missed the Union County event, where he was the defending champion. No matter, the postseason presented plenty of opportunity for the tall righty: 4th at sectionals with 668, 671 at team states, and a monster 738-717 to make the TOC stepladder, finishing fourth.
Sam Bortnick, Junior, East Brunswick
The lefty anchored the #1 team in New Jersey all season, averaging 224 and finding tournament success at the GMC (677), the CJWC (3rd place, 712) and sectionals (682), as well as posting 300/793 in December. His most valuable contribution may have been at states, tying for the team high set and anchoring the Bears in the Baker playoffs, where he was nearly perfect.
Nick Cilento, Senior, Pompton Lakes
The 2015 individual champ finished his great career with a 224 regular season average, a regular season 300 game, 2nd place at the Bergen (697), 2nd place at the Crusader (707) and a 656 in helping #15 Pompton Lakes finish 2nd in the state in Group I.
Jared Duncan, Senior, Indian Hills
Led the #17 Braves with a big 218 average, and really shined at sectionals, finishing 2nd with a 702 set. At the individual TOC, Duncan was fantastic in the morning session, carding a whopping 773 series before ultimately finishing ninth.
David Grant, Senior, Fort Lee
At the TOC, Grant was amazing, firing 60 clean frames and sets of 780 & 668 to finish 6th, just a handful of pins off the stepladder. In the regular season, he led the entire Big North with a fantastic 223 average.
Jordan Malizia, Senior, Brick Township
Malizia had a brilliant regular season, shooting a 300 game, finishing second in the shore conference and T-3rd in the state with an outstanding 228 average. Tournament highlights include a 686 at the James and 3rd at the Shore Conference individual championships.
Joe Ocello, Sophomore, St. Rose
Robbed of the first month of his season by NJ transfer rules, Ocello made up for lost time in a hurry, shooting a 300 game, a 799 series (different day) and carrying a 226 average. He finished 2nd at the Shore Individual and just missed states with a 658 at sectionals before a last second reprieve gave him a chance. He took advantage, finishing 14th after shooting 716 in the opening round.
Kyle Bilawsky, Senior, Woodbridge
217 average, 1st at James (751) and Brick (743), 677 at team states
Jacob Boris, Senior, Seneca
216 average, 5th at Snowball (4game 900), 684 at Olympic, 661 at Sectionals, 669 at team states
John Boughton, Sophomore, Brick Memorial
210 average, 3rd at James (711), 1st at Snowball (4game 997), 4game 884 at SJS, 709 at CJWC
Kenny Burdge, Freshman, Manchester
209 average, 5th at Sectionals (727), 5th at Shore (657) 670 at RWTI, 649 at CJWC
Joseph Chrobak, Senior, St. Joseph-Metuchen
210 average, 655 at Sectionals, 689 at team states
Chris DeOcampo, Senior, Sayreville
213 average, 645 at James, 4th at GMC (671 1st rd)
Ryan Donohue, Senior, Lyndhurst
223 average, 3rd at Crusader (674), 695 at Bergen (2nd half)
Colin Dromgoole, Senior, Caldwell
224 average, 7th at sectionals (653), 3rd at Essex County
Zak DuHaime, Senior, Wallkill Valley
215 average, 640 at H/W/S
Louis Folgore, Sophomore, Monroe
219 average, 668-668-676 on 3 different postseason days at Bowlero
Matt Gibney, Senior, Keansburg
221 average, 692 at LB Wave, 4-game 878 at South Jersey Singles
Nick Greco, Sophomore, Fair Lawn
210 average, 658 at Bergen (2nd half), 648 at Sectionals, 15th at TOC (687-655)
Alec Hehir, Junior, Brick Memorial
213 average, 5th at Brick (675), 664 at CJWC, 4-game 873 at SJS
Dan Kenny, Sophomore, Maple Shade
218 average, 682 at team states
Tyler Kohutanycz, Senior, South Brunswick
206 average, 705 at James, 4-game 889 at SJS, 638 at GMC, 623 at team states
Eric Lawson, Junior, Warren Hills
211 average, 5th at sectionals (659), 25th at TOC (667), 641 at CJWC, 4-game 859 at Snowball
Daniel Lenk, Sophomore, East Brunswick
216 average, 5th at GMC (680 first rd), 659 at James, 644 at team states
Emerson Levy, Senior, Cherry Hill East
213 average, 628 at Sectionals, 4-game 869 at Snowball
Derek Lewandowski, Junior, Ridgefield Park
218 average, 689 at Bergen (2nd half), 674 at Crusader, 8th at sectionals (642)
Michael Liu, Freshmam, Livingston
209 average, 2nd at Wheeler (683), 680 at Essex, 619 at team states
Ryan McGuire, Junior, Indian Hills
206 average, 659 at Bergen, 5th at Sectionals (664), 21st at TOC (679), 629 at team states
Jon Mormando, Senior, Indian Hills
212 average, 697 at team states
Robert Murray, Junior, Morris Knolls
209 average, 6th at Sectionals (657), 17th at TOC (716 in first round)
Steven Nicholsen, Senior, Jackson Memorial
209 average, 7th at Sectionals (714), 5th at TOC (728-752)
Kyle Oliveri, Junior, Toms River South
214 average, 651 at RWTI, 4th at Brick (694), 4-game 888 at Snowball
*Justin Pavlik, Junior, Ridge
3rd at Sectionals (761), 18th at TOC (695 1st round)
Jason Pesce, Senior, Egg Harbor
208 average, 11th at Sectionals (695), 19th at TOC (684)
Ray Ramos, Junior, Dickinson
209 average, 4th at Sectionals (688), 20th at TOC (682), 646 at team states
Matt Redbord, Junior, Ocean Township
217 average, 694 at CJWC, 9th at sectionals (682)
Angelo Salici, Junior, South Plainfield
215 average, 3rd at GMC (708-642), 4-game 871 at SJS, 652 at sectionals
Jordan Shackleford, Senior, Westampton Tech
213 average, 668 at Sectionals, 10th at Individual TOC (699-694)
Joey Steele, Sophomore, Sussex Tech
213 average, 9th at sectionals (645), 668 at Individual TOC
Chris Swindell, Senior, Toms River South
213 average, 6th at Sectionals (716), 9th at SJS (225 avg), 706 at CJWC, 4game 895 at Snowball
Luis Torres, Freshman, Roselle
213 average, 1st at Union County Individual (666)
*Francis Vitelli, Sophomore, North Hunterdon
2nd at Skyland (690), 2nd at South Jersey Singles (6 games, 227 average)
Matthew Young, Senior, Eastern
223 average, 5th at South Jersey Singles, 665 at Sectionals
Tim Zayac, Senior, Sussex Tech
213 average, 2nd at Sectionals (712), 702 at Team States
There are at least 40, and probably more, bowlers that averaged over 200 and did not make this list. There's an awful lot of talent in New Jersey. I had to draw the line somewhere. I welcome comments and emails if you think I screwed up somewhere or flat missed somebody, as long as we keep it civil.