CORNING - The Corning Hawks boys bowling team will be taking its talents to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association state tournament for a second year in a row starting Friday at AMF Strike 'N Spare Lanes in Syracuse.

“Our goal for states is to compete,” Corning head coach Eric Kizis said. “We think we can medal again, we think that top three is very doable and if we have a good day we have a legitimate shot to win a state title.”

Last season Corning finished third in the state tournament, getting hot at the end after an average regular season, but this year the Hawks have rolled through the competition on their way to winning a STAC West title, a STAC title and state qualifiers.

“I think last year [finishing third] was more of a surprise than anything, but this year I feel like we definitely have a real chance at a state title.” said Derik Lisi.

Participating in the tournament a season ago could play a role in the Hawks quest to win a state title.

“To have that experience of that big environment at the OnCenter last year, that will be a good advantage for us to have coming into this.” said Eric Kizis.

The thought of winning it all isn’t that far-fetched for the Hawks, as five of Corning’s bowlers averaged 198 or higher on a per-game average this season.

Corning is led by Lisi, who averaged a score of 221 through 39 games in the regular season and has kept up the strong play through the postseason.

Lisi will be making his fourth appearance at the state tournament and has a state title on his resumé with the Section IV All-Star team in 2017. The senior finished fourth individually last year, but is looking forward to another shot to showcase his skills.

“I think last year, I personally struggled, but this year I feel a lot more confident going in to it,” Lisi said. “I think the previous times I’ve been to states will help me.”

Lisi is one of four seniors on the squad that also includes Tanner Kizis, Alex Chang and Jacob Freeland that will be looking to end their high school careers on a high note.

Tanner Kizis didn’t bowl competitively until his freshman year and has grown into one of Corning’s top bowlers, finishing ninth overall in the STAC in the regular season with a 203 per game average. The senior reflected upon his time in the program fondly.

“It’s been really fun, there’s a lot of great kids on this team,” said Tanner Kizis. “It’s been great, I’ve had a great coach, I’ve had Derik’s help and I’ve had older kids that have graduated help me along the way, it’s been great.”

Bowling will start Friday at noon with three games from noon-3 p.m. and three more games from 4 p.m.- 7 p.m.

Corning will be competing against Clarkstown (Section I), Columbia (Section II), Liverpool (Section III), Fairport (Section V), Orchard Park (Section VI), Bellmore Merrick (Section VIII), Kingston (Section IX) and East Islip (Section XI). East Islip finished second a season ago and 2018 state champion North Rockland did not qualify.