NEW HARTFORD, NY – The New Hartford Spartans Boy’s Basketball Team, past and present players, coaches and families included, are coming together this Thanksgiving Weekend to honor one of their own, in a very special way.
On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Head Coach John Randall and his Spartans will host the “All In For Vin” Memorial Tip-off Classic across three different schools around Central New York. The tournament is in honor of Vincent “Vinny” Maugeri, a 2013 graduate of New Hartford High School who was tragically lost in a car accident last year.
“He (Vinny) was very personable,” New Hartford head coach John Randall said of Maugeri. “Big heart, great teammate.”
Maugeri, a two-sport athlete, was remembered by Randall as a light-hearted presence on and off both the basketball court and the baseball diamond. He was a member of the 2012 Spartans team that won a sectional championship and a member of another finalist team during his time under Randall.
“He knew how to keep things light and work at the same time,” Randall said. “Some kids are loose, some kids are wound too tight…Vinny could do both. He brought a lot…he brought leadership and passion. I don’t think he could make an enemy.”
When Maugeri passed in October 2016, it devastated the New Hartford community right to its core. Then as teammates so often do, some Spartan Alumni, led by teammates Mark Chanatry, Tom Clifford and Connor Manderson, approached Randall with a way to honor their teammate’s memory.
“About a month after he passed, I started talking with people and coaches and decided an award wasn’t enough,” Randall said. “I decided this tournament was the best way to do it…It just really came together quickly. I talked with some of his classmates, we thought this would be a good way to honor him. [They all wanted] to be a part of it. That’s the kind of kid Vinny was.”
So quickly, in fact, that Randall had seven other teams before he knew it. While one team was forced to drop out, Randall still had the problem of accommodating them all. That was when an unlikely school stepped up to help out. Oriskany High School head coach Chris Mahoney offered his gym to the cause (they will host the small school junior varsity, while Cicero-North Syracuse will host the large schools), knowing Maugeri quite personally himself.
“The response was great,” Randall said. “Coach Mahoney knew Vinny from baseball, and that will make Oriskany a representative for the small schools. It’s going to be special and that’s all I can ask for.”
Not only that, but the donations have been rolling in. All of the money donated will go toward a fund in Maugeri’s name that will benefit not only a scholarship in his name, but also the possibility of helping fund youth sports in the town of New Hartford, another thing in which Maugeri was a big part of.
While the Spartans have set lofty goals for their donators (with even a “layup” level donation being $100), Randall has confidence in the generosity of all involved, especially during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“People in this area, when it comes to youth sports and education, are always willing to step up,” Randall said. “The amount we raise doesn’t really matter, but the number of people that have donated is great. I hope it will bring a lot of people together.”
Given the generosity of the town from which it originated, there is no doubt the event will not only bring everyone together, but give great honor to a generous member of the Spartans who will never be forgotten.
All In For Vin Memorial Tip-Off Classic Schedule
New Hartford, Oriskany and Cicero-North Syracuse High Schools
Wednesday’s Game @ New Hartford High School
Frankfort-Schuyler vs. Canastota – 3 PM
Friday’s Games @ New Hartford High School
Frankfort-Schuyler vs. Oriskany – 3 PM
Proctor vs. Auburn – 5:00 PM
New Hartford vs. Cicero-North Syracuse – 6:45 PM
Saturday’s Games @ New Hartford High School
Canastota vs. Oriskany – 3 PM
Large School Consolation – 5:00 PM
Large School Final – 6:45 PM
Large School JV Games are at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
Small School JV Games are at Oriskany High School