The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

Becton’s Bowling Team Wins the North II Group II State Sectional Championship

Our North II Group II State Sectional Champions!

Becton’s Bowling Team has won the North II Group II State Sectional Championship for the first time in 13 years!

The Bowling Team is run by head coach, Mr. Malyack, and assistant coach, Mrs. Lennon. The team roster for the 2023-2024 season is as follows: Captain Brian Battistus, Captain Leah Rodriguez, Monica Rodriguez, Alexander Pilovsky, Shawn Healy, Braden Rhode, Brooklyn Dobres, AJ Petrella, and Damian Nykiel. 

Coach Malyack reminisced on the moments before their victory, “When I saw Brian throw the last strike to win us the championship by 2 pins, no coach in that bowling alley felt more proud of their team than me. I have immense pride in my bowlers, our program, and the hard work everyone put into this win. When we won that game all the hard work, sweat, and tears from every match this season knocked those pins down to give us a much-deserved victory.”

Malyack continues, reflecting on how much this award means to him as a coach, “Winning a state sectional trophy means as much to me as it does to the students. As a former bowler, holding the trophy reminds me of when my high school team won the very same accomplishment back in the day. But now as a coach, seeing their excitement, love for the sport, and intensity means more than any physical trophy. That’s the true meaning of the game, giving great athletes opportunities to be great.”

Becton Bowling celebrating their victory!

Coach Lennon added, “It was amazing to watch the Becton Bowling Team win in the State Sectional Championship! We were all yelling, celebrating, and congratulating each other as Brian Battistus bowled 3 strikes in the 10th frame to beat Lyndhurst by 2 pins. We love a dramatic ending! These kids deserve it. They work so hard and are extremely talented. They deserve this title!” 

Moreover, Becton Bowling is full of fierce competitors. Coach Malyack praises, “Our team is full of successful athletes because they show up every day and work hard at what they do. Giving their best isn’t something they do once or twice but every time they are on the lanes. The motivation, commitment, and steadfastness of our bowlers is unrivaled. It is these qualities that make for great athletes. This team has been one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of coaching and the amazing moments from this year will live on in my memories for as long as I continue coaching.”

Expanding on this idea, Coach Lennon adds, “We have many talented bowlers because these bowlers are driven to practice and improve even outside of Becton. Additionally, Coach Malyack has created a strong culture of positivity, teamwork, grit, and professionalism which is what makes Becton Bowling so successful.  I have been so lucky to be part of such an amazing group of kids and led by the wonderful and inspiring, Coach Malyack.”

Senior Brooklyn Dobres shares her excitement, “Everyone worked so hard to get there, and the fact that we made it was amazing! I am so proud of the entire team.” Battistus echoed, “The State Section win just felt well-deserved for all the hard work we’ve put in the whole season and it finally paid off!” Similarly, Rodriguez shared, “I was elated when I found out that we won the sectional championship. Especially being that we beat a long-term rival of ours!” 

Captain Brian Battistus holding the North II Sectional Champion and High Series trophies.

Furthermore, Battistus earned the title of Captain in his sophomore year and was awarded Boys Bowling North II High Series. In fact, Coach Malyack has awarded him a trophy with the name “Pressure Cooker” for the ability to keep his composure. Coach Lennon expresses, “As the anchor bowler on our team, a lot of matches are up to Brian to finish strong for us. Brian is always calm, cool, and confident to take home the win for the Wildcats.” Coach Malyack verified how these distinct attributes have “led him to great success and accomplishments both in bowling and life.” 

Battistus reflects on when he first discovered that he had won the Boys Bowling North II High Series, “I was in complete shock and disbelief when my name was called. I knew that I was in the top few after Coach Malyack told me, but we had no idea I had gotten first. I just threw my hands up in utter shock and my friends went wild. My team rushed me as I walked down to collect my award and take pictures.”

Battistus shared his appreciation, “Winning this award means everything to me. It also showed that Becton was a force to be reckoned with.” Battistus thanks his support system who has been there for him every step of his journey, “I would first like to shout out my mom for always being with me and supporting me the whole way. I also want to give credit to my mentor, Jimmy Mazzetti, who has taught me almost everything I know about bowling. Finally, I am thankful to my teammates and the program because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

Leah and her awards.

Captain Leah Rodriguez has also had a remarkable career as a student-athlete. She has been captain of Becton Bowling since her sophomore year and has made history by winning the Vince Albrecht Award twice, stating, “I was excited to win the Vince Albrecht for the second time in a row. It was also really exciting news to figure out that I had broken a tournament record.” Rodriguez reveals that the “constant support received from fellow teammates” and “constant practice” have helped her keep her head in the game, contributing to her accomplishments.

In addition to winning the Vince Albrecht award, Leah has also won various awards from NJIC at the end of the regular season for having the High Series, High Game, and High Average for girls in the league. Coach Lennon emphasized, “Leah has shown that she is an extremely dedicated, motivated, and hard-working Bowler.” Coach Malyack reinforces her tenacity by saying, “She is inspirational, hard-working, and clutch when things are difficult. Someone hard to defeat when she has her mind set on an accomplishment, either on the lanes or in life!” 

Monica, Leah and their coaches.

Another exceptional bowler, Senior Monica Rodriguez, was 5th ranked in the county, 2nd in the league, and 3rd in the conference. Coach Lennon demonstrated how Monica is “an excellent bowler that adds a lot of fun and excitement to our team. She also came in third place at the Vince Albrecht Tournament this year. I’d like to point out that technically this is a Boy’s League, so having two girls on our Varsity team of this level is rare and incredible!”

Congratulations to Becton’s Bowling Team for winning the State Sectional Championship and don’t forget to pin your hopes on Becton’s Bowling! 

Check out the moment that the Becton Bowling Team won the North II Group II State Sectional Finals by one pin HERE.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Victoria Hernandez Garcia
Victoria Hernandez Garcia, Co-Editor in Chief
Returning for her third and final year of the Cat’s Eye View newspaper is senior Victoria Hernandez Garcia. Garcia hopes to fully master all the skills she has acquired over her time at Becton. She is committed to various clubs such as National Honor Society, Horticulture, Girls Helping Girls, and P.A.W Club. For her senior year, she will be taking an internship, to further gain a better understanding of her future career path. She is currently interning at Mountainside Hospital located in Montclair, on the path of achieving a career in Nursing. However, she also wants to explore other possible careers aside from health-care, involving English. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with her loved ones or listening to music. Some of her favorite artists include Taylor Swift and Gracie Abrams. When asked about why Hernandez Garcia continued to pursue the school newspaper, she stated, “I’ve always had an enjoyable experience. I have always looked forward to joining each year. It gives me a feeling that we are a part of something bigger. It feels like a family! I am grateful for all the opportunities this class has provided for me.” It is clear that Hernandez Garcia has made many fond memories over her time at Becton. We are excited to see what this final school year will bring for her!