Medicis guides RFA boys hoop team to stellar 17-3 record

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Congratulations to Rome Free Academy basketball coach Nick Medicis and his staff for putting RFA basketball back on the map.

The Black Knights’ record of 17-3 goes down in history as one of the best of all time. To beat teams like Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, Proctor, Notre Dame and Bishop Ludden was quite the accomplishment and puts them as a favorite to win the Class AA sectionals. I saw them play two weeks ago and it was so much fun. Good luck to one of the most exciting RFA teams I have ever watched.

Getting a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye will give Coach Medicis’ squad time to heal and rest up for a big game at home this Tuesday.

Rick Cooke did his usual outstanding coaching job this year as the boys JV basketball team finished at 16-4. He is a man who just keeps on giving back  to our community. I played basketball against him in the old Rome Civic League and one year around 1975 he was the league’s MVP. He had a great jump shot for a big man which was rare in those days.

Rome sport nickname: Rick “Cookie” Cooke.

Greg Dombrowski is back as the varsity baseball coach at Lely High School in Naples, Florida. He was one of the greatest pitchers of all time for RFA back in 2001 and for Smith Post. Did you know he is the all-time winningest pitcher for the University of Kentucky? He is the school’s all-time leader by winning percentage and is married to the former Tracie Abone. They have a baby boy.

Food of the week: Tony’s Trackside Diner. It has been closed for a few years now but the cheeseburgers were the best in town. Anthony Mandronico passed away last week and he was the owner and best short-order cook I ever met. He was almost 90 years old and served his country in the Army during World War ll.  He made my lunch for me for many years and I will never forget him. May he Rest In Peace.

This is the time of year to nominate a deserving person for the Rome Sports Hall of Fame. I served on the selection committee for many years and they do an outstanding job led by Bill Fleet. 

Did you know the best player on the North Carolina basketball team is Luke Maye? He played high school basketball at Hough High School in Charlotte, which is in my backyard. I literally walk to the games and this year he has two younger brothers on the varsity who are also outstanding players. 

Congratulations to RFA 1992 lacrosse athlete Terry Goetz for being selected into the Nazareth College Hall of Fame. He is a 1996 college graduate, who was a Division lll All-American for the Golden Flyers. Did you know he is coaching youth lacrosse in Rochester?  He is married with three young boys.

I love Jim Boeheim but have you noticed how grouchy he is this year? I know this is not one of his best teams but it seems to me when he is berating some of his players that they are tuning him out. I know next year they have a great recruiting class and things will get better.

The shootings in South Florida have shocked our nation this week. I know a way to stop school shootings. There are thousands of unemployed trained veterans and hundreds of thousands of older retired vets like me who would love the job of protecting our children.

I will send this idea to Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and state Senator Joe Griffo. 

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