LHS senior baseball all-star and travel team standout makes it official on Wednesday
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
“It’s not what you accomplish on the field, it’s how you accomplished it.”
That’s coming from a Lockport senior stalwart who not only solidified a college scholarship this week, but has been a standout varsity basketball player for the past two years and just this past fall, turned in an all-star season at wide receiver as a first-year member of the varsity football team.
With his heart on his sleeve, Charlie Sobieraski has served faithfully as the LHS poster boy for the old adages that anything is possible through hard work, believing in yourself and giving it everything you got.
With his mother (Wendy) and father (Mike) by his side, Charlie signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday to attend the University at Buffalo next year on a baseball and academics scholarship. Among others attending a brief ceremony in the LHS Library were Lockport Athletics Director Patrick M. Burke, Lions varsity baseball coach Steve Styrzo, long-time basketball and baseball teammate Colin Dougherty and Charlie’s sister, former LHS athletics great Lea Sobieraski.
Charlie, the grandson of Charlie Sobieraski and Bob and Sheila Capen, said he’s been motivated all his life by his two older sisters, Lea and Emma — both standout LHS athletes with similar modus operandi.
“They taught me a lot about hard work and how hard work pays off and can help you get a scholarship,” Charlie said. “There was always competition between us and that’s what kept me motivated throughout my life.”
A great two-way baseball player, Sobieraski shined at third base, on the mound and at the plate for Styrzo’s baseball Lions, champions of the Niagara Frontier League last spring and a projected league-powerhouse next spring.
“Charlie’s a great young man and an excellent ball player,” Styrzo said. “I look forward to having him around again in this his senior year and hopefully his success will continue on in his college days.”
Bulls baseball coach Ron Torgalski came to a Lions practice last April and liked what he saw in the lanky, hard-throwing right-hander and clutch, contact hitter.
“My summer coach, Brian Charlton, is the former UB hitting coach. I met up with him going into my 10th grade year and Brian said that the UB coach really liked me. Here and there I talked to him and he came up for a couple of visits and then asked me to attend a camp over the summer. After that, he said UB would offer me a scholarship,” Charlie said.
“They said they’d like to keep me at third and pitch me sometimes. I told them, ‘Whatever you need me to do I’ll do it,’ “ Charlie said.
A consumate team player, Charlie credited his many teammates over the years with helping him to succeed.
“Just winning the league championship last spring with all my friends was something I’ll never forget,” Charlie said.
A standout student (3.2 GPA), Charlie plans to study, “something between sociology and business” at UB, but is leaning more towards business and something in the criminal justice field after college.
“College is very expensive and I know that baseball scholarships are hard to come by. The package that UB gave me is a great fit for me and the bottom line is I’m getting a great education,” Charlie said.