Roxbury Gaels boys bowling enjoys tremendous success in second season

By Steve Sears

 

The Roxbury High School varsity boys bowling team, in just their second season, enjoyed great success.

 

The Gaels, whose head coach is Kevin Cantwell, finished with a record of 16 – 4, won their first ever Morris County Tournament title, and made it all the way to the sectional finals of the state tournament.

 

Team members were Tyler Brooks, Gavin Mattes, Jeremiah Albo, Robert Blakut, Mason Terantino, and Tyler Denis. 

 

Of the squad’s four losses, three were to the Montville High School Mustangs, twice in the regular season and then again in the Sectional Finals, 2 – 0.  However, previously the Gaels had defeated Montville in the Morris County tournament final.  

 

Cantwell said, “I am proud of the kids, absolutely. Montville is the best public school in New Jersey, number two in the state only behind St. Joseph’s (of Metuchen), so they are phenomenal. They have been a powerhouse for years.”

 

Bowling started as a part of the Unified Sports program at Roxbury, and Cantwell was invited to head to the lanes to aid the program. He ran it for three years, and when the opportunity for a varsity team through the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association became available, Roxbury applied and was accepted.

 

The Unified Sports bowling team still exists.

 

In addition to team success, two bowlers made it to the Individual State finals as well, as both Brooks and Albo qualified among the top 100 averages in New Jersey. 

 

“Both acquitted themselves very well in competition,” Cantwell said.

 

Cantwell’s assistant coach was Tony Rosamilia, who was a Professional Bowlers Association pro in the 1990s.

 

After losing Brooks early in the season due to an injury, the Gaels without a full squad lost to Morris Hills in their first contest. Cantwell reached out to his junior varsity to Tyler Denis, who filled in admirably. Once Brooks returned, Roxbury was firing on all cylinders, and Denis bowled with the varsity for the rest of the season.

 

The Gaels would defeat Morris Hills in a return regular season match, and then defeat both them and Wayne Hills in the state playoffs prior to losing the sectional title game to Montville. 

 

But the highlight of the season was perhaps the MCT, and their win against the second-best team in the state.

 

Cantwell said of the one-day event, “It was a tough tournament. What a roller coaster. I thought we were out of it in the morning. I was ready to pack up and go home after qualifying. We pulled it together, and it was a great win. We beat Montville, and they had won that tournament five out of the last six years.”

 

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