(Story by Joe Quartarone. Most photos on the results page are by Jan Abate and Joe Quartarone)
Methuen Sons of Italy Lodge, Methuen, MA
In June 2022, the Methuen Sons of Italy hosted its 3rd US Nationals in the last 8 years. This was an extra exciting event since the USBF qualified players for both the 2022 World Championships and the 2022 Men’s Pan Am Championships which were held in the fall. Although those are Punto Raffa Volo tournaments, female and male athletes also competed in 2 USBF “Open” Bocce events, 2 shooting competitions and the Methuen “Open” Bocce Money Tournament.
Overall, there were 8 events over 7 days, starting at 8:00 am and some nights games were played until approximately midnight. That’s lots of bocce for both the casual and advanced players.
Methuen has always run a successful “Open B” event because of the huge number “Open” Bocce players across New England and New York. This year was truly a national event with players attending from the Greater San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, several cities in the Midwest (KC, STL, CHI, DET) and from places along the East Coast, including Miami, Key West, Virginia, Upstate New York, NYC metro and New England. This was the first time competing in the US Bocce Nationals for 1/3 of all players. California, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Florida are their home states, however the majority of them are from New England and New York.
Amy Lazzeretti won the Women’s Singles Gold and also won Gold in the Mixed Doubles with Miles Russell. They qualified for the World Championships in those two categories. Both are younger players from the Highwood Bocce Club who dedicated themselves to training there the past few years! Paolo Pro and Alan Knox, playing for Campo di Bocce, won Gold in Men’s Doubles and Highwood Bocce Club partners Gordon Gruenes and Danko Dykyj, took Sliver. Together, the 4 guys earned the spot to proudly represent the USA at the Pan Am Men’s Championships. USBF Medalists hail from Florida and Ohio (1 each), New York (2), Missouri (4), Massachusetts (15), Illinois (15) and California (18). Bocce Assassins from Massachusetts finished in First Place in the Methuen Money Tournament and the 3 other teams rounding out the Final Four are from California, Rhode Island and Illinois.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR THE NATIONALS
Representing both the Methuen Sons of Italy and the US Bocce Federation, we want to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in our week-long event, including the veteran players, new members to the Nationals, sponsors and volunteers. Without all the players, the Nationals would not exist. Your dedication to league play and training in your local cities, as well as your desire to compete at the highest level in Open Bocce and Punto Raffa Volo, gives us the reason to gather for this special yearly event. Thank you for your demonstration of good sportsmanship and respecting the referees the whole week. Your willingness to spend the money to travel and time away from your families is recognized by the USBF Board of Directors and members of the Methuen Sons of Italy.
We, the Methuen Sons of Italy, love hosting all the players and try our best to offer you a fun, friendly and clean environment, serving you hearty New England and Italian foods with big smiles and warm hospitality. Additionally, “thank you” to our sponsors because with your donations, we can serve the seniors, the youth and other causes in our community. Our sponsors include those who purchased banners that hang from the ceiling. This effort was successfully headed up by Pio. Sponsors also contributed to our event program or provided in-kind sponsorship. We appreciate those who submitted memorials for loved ones, and others such as Barbara DeLucca, Don from Borrelli’s Deli, Da Vinci Bocce, Jerry South, Mayor Neil Perry, Tuscan Kitchen, Mann Orchard, Joy of Bocce, Salem Co-op, FBN Construction, Italia America Bocce Club, Kiwanis of Everett, Joseph Beninato, The Bernardis, Bay Colony Wine Cellars and Global Bocce.
Thank you to all who volunteered in helping to plan and execute the event. This includes our Kitchen Committee and Bocce Committee members who were tremendous as you stuffed the swag bags, prepared and served food, cleaned, made baskets, organized Bunco, collected sponsorships, sold raffle tickets and helped with the bocce tournaments. Marge, our guests love your personality. Thank you for taking care of everyone at the bar.
The kitchen committee, bocce committee and facility volunteers are: Armand Buonanno, Gina Neve, Pio Frittitta, Eileen and Larry Giordano, Don Smeriglio, Bobby, Charlie and Billy Bonanno, Carmela Pagoni, Mary Early, Maureen and Jim Famolare, Linda Fay, Pauline Trembly, Michael Schroth, Ron and Carol Demers, Lisa Labadini, Merle Weber, Laurie O’Donnell, Jerry and Terry Smith and Janice Abate (Photograper)
Those who helped with Bocce Operations and Referring were: Danny Passaglia, Vince Tersigni, Brad Thayer, Lenny Christopher, Ron Demers, George Plouffe, Josephine Napoli, Natalina Bernardi and all who stepped in to ref games when they were not playing.
Thank you also to our partners Atkinson Graphics who produced our apparel, Allegra Printing for our beautiful program and Esco Awards for engraving our medals. Additional, we appreciate the media coverage from Channel 7, WBZ Radio and The Eagle Tribune.
The Methuen Sons of Italy is excited to host the US Bocce Nationals again in the near future.
There are more photos from the 2022 Nationals to share with you. Stay tuned for them on Facebook and the USBF website.
More photos will be posted and if you want to contribute photos, please email them to us.
Joe Quartarone contributed to the article