Hanrahan perfect, as Greenwich bowling adds another CIBL title

Last week’s performance at Nutmeg Bowl couldn’t have gone any better for the Greenwich High School bowling team.

In one day, the Cardinals beat their rivals Notre Dame of Fairfield convincingly, clinched the Connecticut Interscholastic Bowling League championship for the second consecutive year and did it in style, as senior Packy Hanrahan bowled a perfect game.

“These kids are amazing,” Greenwich High School head coach Wayne Gioffre said. “They go off in the offseason and bowl in tournaments and during their free time. We have five different teams and none have lost a game. It starts from the top and works its way down. Winning is contagious.”

Greenwich finished the day with a combined score of 2,793. Leading the way was Hanrahan, who finished his three games with an impressive score of 805.

Obviously, the highlight of the match was Hanrahan’s perfect third game.

“I have only seen one other in my lifetime up here, so for him to do it and to win the state championship on that note is a great way to end their career,” Gioffre said. “You have to have focus to do that. He was phenomenal.”

What’s more impressive is that the last time he didn’t bowl a strike was in the first frame of the second game. Although Hanrahan could feel the pressure, he remained calmed throughout his match.

“All of a sudden it gets completely silent in the bowling alley,” Hanrahan said. “It goes from everybody talking to no one even bowling. I actually just tried to talk to my teammates and not really think about it too much. Once I pick up the ball, I’m right back in the zone.”

“That was insane,” Greenwich High’s Max Barefoot said. “You always see it when you watch professional bowling on Sundays but to see it for Packy, especially since he wanted it for such a long time, was great. He’s always had that goal of getting 300 and to see him do it in front of our rivals Notre Dame was incredible.”

Fellow senior Christian Dirusso had a strange feeling that something like this was going to happen.

“We’ve talked about him bowling a 300 for a long time now,” Dirusso said. “After the second game, he said that it got to be right now. He not only throws 12 strikes in a row, but throws 21 strikes in a row. You never talk about it when you bowl. It’s kind of like a jinx. He was dead-set on it and wanted it last year.”

Big Red also got solid scores from a plethora of athletes. Christian Dirusso finished with a 553, while teammate Don Maniscalco took home a score of 536. Joe Concepcione also bowled all three games and netted a score of 469.

Barefoot bowled the second and third games and combined for a score of 307. Rounding out the scoring for Greenwich was Ricky Okazaki, who bowled a 123 in the first game.

With the victory, Greenwich made sure that the CIBL championship remains at Greenwich High School for another year.

“I’m standing here 10 years ago with a group that was horrible and now people look to us for the new measuring stick for having a successful program,” Gioffre said. “I owe it all to the kids. I’m amazed by them every year and they motivate themselves. We had a kid at one of our lower levels bowl a 220 today. That’s unbelievable. The program has taken off and now it’s a program in our school that is respected and kids want to be a part of it.”

“This means a lot,” Hanrahan said. “I know most of the team is seniors and this is the last chance that they could do this. It means a lot to win and we’ve put in a lot of work, both on these lanes and outside of school.”

While winning the state championship was sweet for Barefoot, he said that he’ll remember the day for something else.

“It feels good, but I think the 300 says more about what type of leader and bowler that (Hanrahan) is than a state championship,” Barefoot said. “A 300 is a heck of a milestone and I know he’s going to get plenty more as he grows up and becomes better.”

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