BOCA RATON, Fla.
While some air traffic controllers sleep, Richard Baroff doesn’t get much sleep.
Since graduating from Liberty High in 2004, Baroff has been juggling his time with duties as a flight instructor and his spare time bowling — much more of the former than the latter.
After high school, Baroff moved to Florida to attend flight training school at Lynn University.
Now that he’s nearing the end of graduate school, Baroff will have earned an MBA in business with a special specialization in aviation management.
From here, his career could take off.
His bowling is another story, but the 25-year-old makes the most of his down time.
That’s why he used vacation for his vocation and entered the USBC national tournament in Reno this week.
“Hopefully, I’ll bowl good for a couple days and get my name on the leaderboard,” Baroff said. “That would be nice.”
Baroff was involved in golf, tennis and bowling in high school and he continued to play golf at Lynn.
Bowling, however, is still calling his name.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but, like any professional sports, you’ve got to be dedicated. I’m not able to do that at a high level, but I can as a hobby.”
Richard is in the upper end of his four local bowling leagues and he considers himself a “decent amateur.”
In the regional arena, however, the competition is more difficult.
“I’ve finished maybe 10 places out-of-the-money on some regionals,” Baroff said of tournaments such as two in Florida last year and another in Ohio this year.
“Those guys commit themselves to practice,” Baroff said. “I try to work on a couple things every week, but not nearly as much as I could.”
The two regionals were in Milton, Fla., and Jupiter, Fla,, while the Ohio event was the Hubbard Open in March.
“It was a combination of wanting to bowl up there because I had family and grew up there and because I like competing in tournaments,” he said. “The fact that it was at Bell-Wick was nice because I grew up bowling junior leagues up there from the time I was 7.”
Bell-Wick proprietor Francis Zitnik and his assistant, Kandy Budd, re-acquainted themselves with Baroff when he bowled at Bell-Wick, on March 18-20.
They remember Baroff as a kid.
“I remember when he was knee-high running around here,” Kandy said.
Richard, the son of Mindy Baroff of Cleveland and David Baroff of Liberty, finished 55th out of 100 in the Hubbard Open.
He was fortunate to have the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport at his disposal when he started flight training while in high school.
“I was flying solo when I was 16, got my first couple ratings when I was a junior and got my first [pilot’s] license when I was 17.”
Getting hours in high school certainly helped.
“Usually, freshmen don’t have flight experience, so I might not have been offered an instructor’s job my junior year [at Lynn] if not for the head start in high school.
Baroff has discovered that he’s learned as much being an instructor as he would have learned through actual training.
“In aviation, they don’t want someone who’s had 200 hours, they want someone with 2,000 hours and flight instructing is best way to get that.”
Now, he hopes to get job offers as a pilot.
“I’ve got a pretty good resume for how old I am and teaching at Lynn [teaching the ground and flight portion of aviation]. Now, I may have time to do other stuff I like to do.”
Mike Zimbardi Jr. had his second 300 game of the season in DePizzo Sausage/Champion Men at West Side where DePizzo’s fourth-quarter winner was the team of Ruse’s Seamless Gutters with members Don Kovach, Bud Hahn Jr., Ricky Smith, Kirk Ruse, John Rosenberg and Bill Bisker Sr.
Tiffany Terlecki’s 277-701 paced Boardman Juniors of which The Trilogy team of Robby Childs, Tyler Fitzgerald, Cory Winebold and Brandon McClain was champ, while We Are of Tyler Richter, Eric Lemmon, Jon Tiberio and Dante Lovell was the runner-up team.
Winner of the final roll-off in Strikers at Boardman was the team of Dakota Gorgie, David Grim, Cody Creque and Chase Felger, while the Majors’ roll-off winner was the team of Christian Dama, Danielle Knight, Michael Knight and Ryan McBride.
The Monte Carlos of Carol Morrison, Julie Stas, Sara Bayless and Toni Krut are Try Hards’ second-half champs at Wedgewood.