FISHKILL – Victoria Pacacha’s voice raised and her mannerisms did little to hide the anxiousness she felt.
“I’ve gotta do this!” she told herself through gritted teeth.
Alas, the John Jay High School sophomore would again fall short of her goal.
Oh, the Patriots won Thursday, toppling 2,725 pins to drop Beacon at Fishkill Bowl. The John Jay boys, too, topped Beacon, winning two of three games.
And Pacacha was dominant, rolling a 263 in Game 1. But she totaled only a 748 series… Only.
“But I’ve never gotten an 800 before,” said Pacacha, who has bowled two 300 games before. “I’ve come close and I always miss out.”
Most would be giddy about a 600. But the standards are different for the best bowler in the Dutchess-Putnam Interscholastic Bowling League. Not the best among girls. The best, period.
Pacacha’s 223 season average is tops in the league, slightly ahead of Arlington’s Matt Rice, who leads the boys at 222.6. And she is well aware of that.
“The boys will joke with me like, ‘Better not mess up,’” said Pacacha, a sophomore. “It means a lot to me to able to say, ‘Oh, what’s your average again?’”
Alyssa Rubeo rolled a 535 and Jillian Burns a 522 for John Jay. Their depth, and Pacacha’s continued ascension has made the Patriots a favorite to win the Section 1 title.
The boys team is the defending Section 1 champion, and they are contenders again, despite the graduation of John Pacacha — Victoria’s brother — who led the league in average last season.
Mike DeRobertis bowled a 673 and Michael Sheridan a 670 to lead the Patriots. Tyler Krell had a 620 series. Beacon’s Peter Ostrow had a 622.
“We’ve got that target on us so teams have been trying hard to knock us off,” Patriots coach Don McIlwee said, “but both teams have done extremely well.”