In recent years, much of the history of bowling success at East Syracuse-Minoa had been written by its girls team -- most notably the state championship won in 1999 in front of the home folks at Strike-N-Spare Lanes.
But in last Saturday's state tournament at Thruway Lanes near Buffalo, the boys Spartans created its own bit of lore, earning its first state title since 1984.
Through six games of tense competition, ESM accumulated a pinfall of 6,276, just 68 pins ahead of Mohanasen, from Long Island, who took second place. Niagara Falls was third.
A jam-packed crowd at Thruway Lanes, annual site of a Professional Bowlers Association Tour event, witnessed an exciting affair where several teams jostled for position and fought tough lane conditions.
Niagara Falls led after one game. ESM hovered near the front, and was in third place at the end of the three-game morning session as Mohanasen moved into the lead and Niagara Falls was second.
The Spartans' big move came in the fourth game, the start of the afternoon session. Ryan Solinsky, John Maselli, J.D. Colditz, Steve Salce and Mike Piraino produced a total of 1,144 (nearly 245 per person) in that game to pull into the lead.
Though it cooled off from that high point, ESM maintained that lead in the last two games, using scores of 1,050 and 1,021 to hold off Mohanasen and Niagara Falls to bring home the gold plaque.
Solinsky averaged better than 226 per game on his way to a six-game aggregate of 1,359, third-best among individuals. Maselli, Colditz and Salce also topped 1,200, while Piraino averaged 195 per game.