All-Area: Nick Speanburg, Bowler of the Year
Saturday, December 18, 2010
by Joseph Kairalla
Jupiter bowler Nick Speanburg has continually taken his game to new levels when the stakes are highest, and because of that drive, he's now a state champion.
For the second consecutive season, the junior elevated his play at the state tournament far above that of the regular season. Last season, he was the state runner-up before topping that with his state championship this season.
Speanburg said he loves competing in pressure-packed situations and plays his best in front of large crowds.
"The way I look at it, I feel like if there's a crowd around, it gives what I do a greater purpose," Speanburg said.
During the regular season, Speanburg averaged 213 per game. At state, he bowled higher than his average in 10 of his 12 games. In the state semifinals, he put up consecutive impressive games of 279 and 289. The 289 was his high game of his season.
Once he advanced to the state finals, Speanburg had no doubt he was leaving a champion.
"Once I walked into the bowling center and I heard the crowd and felt the adrenaline, I knew I wasn't going to lose," Speanburg said. "I felt like I had more experience and was rolling better. I was ready."
Speanburg said Jupiter first-year coach Mike Deleonardo played a major role in his championship run by helping him stay relaxed.
Deleonardo said that watching Speanburg was like watching a "true professional perform his craft."
"He was emotionless, no matter the situation, he never got rattled," Deleonardo said. "He kept getting better when he had to."
Speanburg called his state runner-up performance as a sophomore a steppingstone to what he accomplished this year. He says next year the task is easy - do what he did this year.
"This year was perfect," he said. "Now I just need to do the same exact thing next year."
COACH OF THE YEAR
Ray Atkins, Palm Beach Central
Guided Palm Beach Central to the boys state championship as the Broncos became the first Palm Beach County team to capture the title. It was the first team state title of any kind in the school's eight-year history.
BOYS FIRST TEAM
Shaefer Shepard, Olympic Heights, Junior
Runner-up to Nick Speanburg at state tournament. Averaged 199 during season.
Matt Schiller, Park Vista, Junior
Averaged 195 for Cobras but over 200 during the first round at state tournament.
Michael Vitalone, Park Vista, Senior
Capped another great season with a fifth-place finish at the state tournament.
Matthew Kennedy, Palm Beach Central, Senior
Averaged 197 during the regular season but 203 at state tournament.
Arturo Perez, St. Andrew's, 8th Grade
Defeated many of the area's top players en route to a surprising fourth-place finish at state.
BOYS HONORABLE MENTION
Jupiter: Patrick Wallace, Jared Hebert. Palm Beach Gardens: Justin Ziselman, Xavier Brown, Taylor Monz. Dwyer: Dustin Wiggins. Palm Beach Central: Zach Terranova, Spencer Kittredge, Kyle Petersen, Matt Englert. Cardinal Newman: Breck Hill, James Chandler. Lake Worth: Russ Broderick, Jake Fagan. Royal Palm Beach: Alex Zambito. Spanish River: Robert Hull, Dominick DelPozzo. Suncoast: Tucker Elliot. Park Vista: John Imossi, Ryan Dalamotte, West Boca Raton: Drew Newman.
GIRLS FIRST TEAM
Natalee Armstrong, Palm Beach Lakes, Senior
Averaged 190 during regular season and finished as the state runner-up.
Jamie Gray, Park Vista, Junior
Led the Cobras with a 194 average and was equally impressive at state.
Lauren Booke, Boca Raton, Junior
Averaged area-high 197 and finished in the top 10 at the state tournament.
Marissa Ferreira, Santaluces, Senior
Rolled an average of 188 during tseason and qualified for individual state competition.
Kaitlin Benedict. Santaluces. Junior
Struggled at districts but was still dominant during regular season with 188 average.