It's been a good year for skiers in the Southern Tier, locally traded stocks, holiday shoppers and a Dunkirk athlete who answers to "Vinny Idol."
Senior Vinny Bomasuto has earned the adulation of his classmates and teammates for good reason. With the last season of his high school career in full swing, Bomasuto is in no danger of being voted off the stage. His accomplishments as a three-sport athlete will be remembered for a long time in the Chautauqua County town.
"What Vinny is, he's probably in Dunkirk the best athlete to come around in many, many years," said baseball coach Frank Jagoda. "He's not a rah-rah, get-in-your-face kid. He works very, very hard to get the job done, and that's where his leadership comes in."
Bomasuto, along with Thad Johnson of Frewsburg and Charles Mosey of Orchard Park, are returning first-team All-Western New York baseball players.
The Marauders have won CCIAC I in all three of Bomasuto's years as a starter, going undefeated (24-0) in league play the last two. A 5-foot-11, 180-pound cleanup batter, Bomasuto hit .565 last year, was 5-0 on the mound and was named the league's Player of the Year. He passed an early-season test last week, throwing three perfect innings against Orchard Park.
Bomasuto's senior year-to-remember started in the fall with football. He broke the school record for single-season rushing yards with 1,540 and finished with 17 TDs. He ended his career as the school's career rushing leader with 2,350 yards and 28 TDs. He was later named All-WNY honorable mention and the Offensive Player of the Year in Class B South.
Football coach Tim Makja said Bomasuto's last game against Cheektowaga in the Class B bowl was memorable. Bomasuto scored four touchdowns, including the last three of the game to rally his team from a 28-7 deficit to within 28-27, leaving them a two-point conversion from winning. Bomasuto got the carry on the two-point attempt, but was stopped.
"He came off the field apologizing for not getting in the end zone," said Makja. "I told him we would have never been in that position if it weren't for him, but he kept apologizing. That's the type of kid he is."
When the cleats were put away and the basketball sneakers came out, more success followed. Dunkirk won its first 19 games. Bomasuto scored 450 points, earning All-WNY honorable mention and CCAA I Player of the Year. He scored a school-record 47 points in a win over Buffalo Arts in the sectionals.
"Vinny prides himself in being in the best shape of anyone," said Dunkirk basketball coach Jerome Moss. "Last summer he really dedicated himself because he wanted to make a mark his senior year and so far he has."
Section VI co-chairman Bob Kowal, also the coach at Lake Shore, coached Bomasuto last summer in the Empire State Games. He said he's one of the best multisport athletes in Western New York along with Phil Stasiak of Williamsville South: "He's double-dangerous. He's a good fielder, a good hitter, and he can pitch. He's had a heck of a year."
Through all the success, Bomasuto has managed to stay humble and is comfortable in his own skin. He has no issues wearing a jersey with No. 13 and has no Facebook friends because he's not on Facebook.
"I see everyone, so I don't really need it [to be on Facebook]," said Bomasuto, "People ask me why and I just do my own thing. I don't have time for that with my schedule. I'm usually busy with sports."
Spoken like a true idol.