DeBernardis Earns National Honor

UTICA, Sept. 10, 2011 – Thomas DeBernardis, a four-year member of the Utica Post 229 American Legion Baseball Team, has been named "Captain of the All Academic Team," receiving a national $2,500 Legion scholarship. Tom DeBernardis

The left-handed pitcher, who initially received a $500 Utica Post scholarship, was selected to represent the Utica Post team as its applicant for the Department of New York Scholarship. Tom was one of three winners of the Department scholarship, taking the top $1,000 prize, and advanced to represent the Department for the Northeast Regional Scholarship. Tom was awarded the $1,000 regional scholarship, then advanced to the national level as a member of the All Academic Team and was named captain during the Legion World Series in North Carolina in August.

“Tom is just a great kid, on and off the field,” Team Manager Greg Gaeta told the Observer-Dispatch. “He’s just a great kid, all-around – a kid you love to coach because he loves being at the field as much as you do. He has that same passion, and he’s a true student of the game. You really can’t ask for a better kid.”

The 17-year-old Proctor High graduate, who plans to play baseball and study communications at Cazenovia College, has helped Utica Post reach the District V finals each of the last three years, the O-D reported. The team won Oneida County and District V titles in 2010.

Off the field, DeBernardis plays the trumpet. At Proctor, he was a member of the band,  president of the student council and senior editor of the yearbook.