Between the Columns

In Opinion

My roving reporter, Mike Munich, sent me this excellent article on Jason Lucarelli.  It was written by Melissa Brawdy of “Down on the Ice”.  I would like to share with the readers a condensed version of the article.

“Jason Lucarelli treasured every moment of playing sports in high school, from football to hockey to baseball, but once he graduated from Hamburg High School in 2016, life got busier. He began working 30 hours a week at Wegmans and when fall came, Lucarelli continued his education at the University at Buffalo.

“I was gonna play hockey at UB, and then I started working at Wegmans, and then I realized how much work school is,” Lucarelli explained. “I was doing around 30 hours a week at Wegmans and then full-time at school, and I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ especially commuting every day. But after a full year of not doing any sports besides [men’s league hockey], I realized I did miss it.”

So it’s to baseball that Lucarelli has decided to make his return. He played varsity baseball for three years at Hamburg and was a leader on his team as an outfielder, pitcher, hitter, and baserunner. (Unfortunately, UB dropped baseball as a sport for next year).

His cousin, Robert Sawicki, plays for the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, and after sending coach Zach Foster his high school statistics and some film, Lucarelli has committed to join the team next year. “I started emailing him. I sent him my stats from last year, and then I went down in March, and I visited and talked to him.” Lucarelli knows he’ll have to prove himself to his new coach with the limited knowledge the coach currently has of him, but he’s looking forward to his opportunities at Pitt-Bradford.

Lucarelli plans to work hard over the summer to prepare himself, from some legion baseball for the Allegany Legion team to just getting to the diamond every chance he gets. Pitt-Bradford’s fall ball program will not only prepare him further, but it will also give his new coaches an idea of what kind of player they’re getting.

Pitt-Bradford finished the 2017 season 16-25 overall and 8-8 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, in what was expected to be a rebuilding year, according to Lucarelli. The No. 5 seed Panthers lost to the No. 1 seed La Roche College in the championship round of the AMCC tournament. They’ve lost a few outfielders, so Lucarelli, who plans to play outfield there, knows he’ll have some good opportunities in the future.

Lucarelli won’t soon forget his time playing high school sports as he moves to the next level, and he knows he has Hamburg baseball coaches Steve Chaffee and Derek Hill to thank for the player he is today. “They were incredible coaches,” Lucarelli said. “They play off of each other so well. Hill is the intense baseball technique, baseball-oriented coach, and Chaffee’s more of the player’s coach. They made me into a better baseball player and taught me more about the sport than I ever thought I would know.

Lucarelli is excited to be part of a team again; the bonds formed with teammates and the fun of playing a sport are what he missed most and hopefully some baseball success to look forward to at Pitt-Bradford.”

Tid-bit: Anxiously waiting for next baseball season is the Lucarelli family; proud parents Marcy & Joe, siblings Marc, Justin, Megan, grandparents Norm & Linda Lucarelli and Don & Mary Kukoleca. Also uncle and aunt Robert & Missy Sawicki, who will not only be cheering Jason, but their son Robby, who is one of the upcoming stars on Pitt-Bradford baseball team!


The yearly “Men’s Bethlehem Park Get-Together” will be held on Wednesday, August 9th at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant, on South Park Avenue, Blasdell. A deluxe lunch will be served at l2 noon.  The cost is $25 per person. For reservations or information call one of the following committee members: Jerry Baldelli (627-3001), Don Lucarelli (674-9395), Remo Ferrelli (932-7066) or Pat Bonitatibus (825-0299).


The family of Anthony DePasquale Jr., who passed away last May, would like to announce there will be a celebration of Tony’s life on Saturday, August 5th.

Tony, who was affectionately known as Deeps, did not want a funeral service and requested two things upon his passing. One, that he be cremated and his ashes mixed with his wife’s so they could remain together for eternity. Secondly, that friends and family would have the opportunity to come together and celebrate his life, legacy and his transition into the great eternal adventure. A life celebration party will be held for Deeps on Saturday August 5th from 1 PM to 3 PM at J’s White Elephant at 1404 Abbott Rd, Lackawanna, NY 14218. Lunch and refreshments will be served. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to his son, Tony III at



Good Guy Awards: Tony DePasquale III, Steve Chaffee and Derek Hill

Good Gal Awards: Melissa Brawdy, Linda Lucarelli and Mary Kukoleca.

Good Young People Awards: Jason Lucarelli and Rob Sawicki.


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