Mike Warwick started the Rome Free Academy lacrosse program back in 1969. He passed away a few years ago (2011) but his athletes have never forgotten him. The RFA athletic director at that time was Charlie Dain and the players also honored his memory. So on June 7-9 RFA alum Mike McCarthy has organized a fabulous weekend for every former RFA lacrosse player to honor their coaches and teammates.
Friday night, June 7 there is a gathering at the Back Nine restaurant. I am sure a lot of old time stories will be told. Saturday, June 8 at 8:30 a.m. the alumni game will start, organized by current varsity coach Guy Calandra. Players will choose up sides and play until noon. After the game they will head over to the Rome Sports Hall of Fame for a tour and BBQ tailgate party. Special awards will be presented to the Warwick and Dain families.
After the BBQ everyone is going back to the Back Nine for goodbyes. Mike has told me that Tom Barry, Bill Fleet and Dave Sbaraglia have been instrumental in organizing this event. McCarthy was an outstanding athlete for the Black Knights back in 1972 and next week I will touch on his career.
Tom Meiss and his Oriskany baseball team continued their winning ways with a 8-4 victory over South Lewis last Wednesday. The team has just three losses and is my pick to win the Section III Class C championship.
Vernon-Verona-Sherrill scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 4-1 victory in Section III Class B play last Wednesday. Blake VanDreason is my sister Bonnie’s youngest son and is captain of the team. He plans on attending SUNY Oswego in the fall and will be on the baseball team.
Food of the week: I will be home this week and can’t wait for a slice from our city’s famous pizza parlors. In Charlotte they just can’t get pizza right.
Pick of the week: I think the NBA finals will be exciting but the Toronto Raptors have home court advantage. Kevin Durant is hurt so it’s the Raptors in 7.
What mayor from Rome was the best basketball player in their prime? Jim Brown? Carl Eilenberg? I played against these guys in fundraisers over the years. How about Jackie Izzo? She was an outstanding point guard for Rome Catholic High back in the day. But the best player of all our mayors? Joe Griffo or Joe Fusco? Nope? Bill Valentine was an outstanding player and played Division I basketball at Niagara University. Mayor Valentine was the greatest.
Happy birthday to my wife Nancy on May 29. She has been a great wife, mother and grandmother. She is the love of my life.