Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

June 13, 2013

Lakemen mark 30-year anniversary

Wilson won the state Class C-D baseball title in June of 1983

WILSON —

It’s a small ball and a small world, really, when it comes to baseball.
Union-Sun & Journal Managing Editor John Hopkins grew up on the other side of the state, but he knows more about Wilson’s first and only New York state baseball championship than most Western New Yorkers.
That’s because 30 years ago this week, Hopkins, then just a tween growing up in Rome, witnessed the state Class C-D title game between the Lakemen and his eventual alma mater, Rome Catholic High School.
Led by pitchers Mark Woodard and Joe Okoniewski and sluggers that included George Cruickshank and Jim Voutour, head coach Pat Burke’s Lakemen defeated coach Bill Fleet’s Redwings, 5-2.
“I followed Rome Catholic teams closely because my brother Bill, eight years older than me, played hockey there,” Hopkins said. “I watched many of the 1983 baseball team’s games. The school and baseball field were only half a mile from home, so it was an easy bike ride for a 12-year-old.”
Woodard’s strong pitching and some defensive wizardry from Wilson catcher Paul Goodman led the Lakemen to their second straight state diamond title game in June of 1983. But this time, following a loss in 1982, it would be without their greatest hitter of all time, future Major League player Mike Twardoski, who Burke said was hitting nearly .700.
“I was extremely fortunate because Tim Schultz was the coach right before me and he already had the Wilson baseball program rolling. He was the architect,” said Burke, now the athletics director at Lockport High School and the 2013 state Administrator of the Year.
“I fell into a great situation. I had good kids who loved to play baseball — which was a sport at that time that the community embraced. The culture in the community was all about baseball — the year before being Twardoski’s senior year and Wilson was undefeated going to states.”

Text Only
Sports
  • 140423 HS Baseball MAIN ART.jpg Sobieraski hurls Lions past Jacks

    Winning pitcher Charlie Sobieraski did everything but babysit the kids on Monday, tossing five innings of no-hit ball and fanning 11, sparking the Lockport baseball Lions past visiting North Tonawanda, 10-2, topping Niagara Frontier League baseball action.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140423 R-H Preview ART.jpg Xapsos, Rams out-duel Newfane ace at Gasport Elementary

    A diving catch by Rams senior second baseman John O'Brien spoiled a bases-loaded, two-out threat by Newfane in the top of the seventh inning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pujols, Albert 2014.jpg Pujols cracks 500th

    Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140423 HS Roundup 1B ART.jpg Three's a charm for Patterson, Goodman

    Led by triple individual winners Mike Patterson and Angela Goodman, Wilson swept visiting Royalton-Hartland on Tuesday in a Niagara-Orleans League track and field contest, winning the boys' meet, 77-59; and the girls' meet, 73-63.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140418 Starpoint CP O'Donnell ART.jpg Grand Finale for Starpoint's O'Donnell

    The Spartans should be in position to make noise in what might be Western New York's toughest division.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 LHS Softball ART.JPG Big week ahead for Lady Lions

    The Lockport Lady Lions softball team has plenty to look forward to next week when it resumes its 2014 Niagara Frontier League schedule in a big way, with five games on tap.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417 Sabres ART.jpg Ted Nolan fires most of his assistants

    The overhaul is continuing in Buffalo after Sabres coach Ted Nolan purged most of his staff of assistants on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 Abdallah MAIN art.jpg Abdallah ranked No. 5 in the world

    Lockport's Amer Abdallah has been ranked No. 5 in the world in the Cruiserweight Division by the World Kickboxing Association.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 LBA art.png Voss is still boss at City Tournament

    Lockport bowling legend Don Voss rolled a Lockport City Bowling Tournament-record 862 three-game series to earn the handicap doubles title with his daughter, Angel Ritz.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 Sabres' wrap.jpg Sabres officially bottomed out with season over

    Things can't get much worse in Buffalo following a season during which the team set numerous dubious lows.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Sabres
Bills
AP Video
Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: World Cup Trophy Begins Tour in Brazil David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide