Verona Team Takes Bocce Tournament


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The Snowflake and Fume Cigar teams, with Anthony Fasano

It was perhaps only fitting. After the Anthony Fasano Foundation moved its bocce tournament to four new courts in Verona Park built with a lot of assistance by Verona volunteers, a team of Verona High School graduates won.

The Snowflake team of Dan Corrado, Phil Ladato, Jerry DeLuca and Greg D’Alessandro Jr. (all VHS 2002 and 2003) came from behind on Saturday, July 14, to beat the Fume Cigar Shop team in the finals. Lunar Sports Group finished in third place after losing in the semifinals to Snowflake.

Drew Gabbe, Manny Licitra, Sean Kirby and Malcolm McConnachie, the Famiglia team

The team sponsored by and Mia Famiglia, the Italian specialty foods store owned by Verona residents Manny and Sharon Licitra, defeated Lunar Sports in the opening match of the tournament. The double elimination format gave Lunar Sports, the winner of last year’s bocce tournament, a chance to rally. Famiglia narrowly lost its next two matches, to the Mathis Clan and Average Joes teams. But team members Licitra, Drew Gabbe, Sean Kirby and Malcolm McConnachie are already planning their strategy for next year. “We will definitely be back,” said Kirby.

The construction of the new courts was also a team effort. Anthony Fasano, who played with the Brentwood Bocce team, took time at the event to thank all the contractors and volunteers, including Carl Lombardi Construction, Kaslander Lumber, Yard Work Landscaping, Gary Mercadante, G Lombardi Pavers, Nevolis Contractor, Bo Battista, Pat Capra, Brett D’Alessandro, Coleen D’Alessandro, JR D’Alessandro, Greg D’Alessandro Sr., Greg D’Alessandro Jr., Ray DeCarlo, Jerry DeLuca, Steve DiGeronimo, Ken Dinolfo, Michael Fasano, Phil Ladato, Carl Lombardi, Bobby Lombardi, Richie Lombardi, Rich Mattesky, Ryan Mattesky, Gary Mercadante, Bill Montick, Drew Nevolis, Adrian O’Connell and Mark Panecki. Fasano also graciously signed many autographs for fans and spectators.

Participants were inspired to play their best bocce game by a steady stream of Italian and Italian-American music, and by food from several local restaurants, including Gelotti, the Grasshopper, Frank Anthony’s, Forte Pizzeria & Ristorante and the Cloverleaf Tavern.

Those of you planning on training for next year’s tourney (or just having fun in the meantime) should know that the county will be building a shed to keep the grooming equipment for the courts. But you will have to buy your own bocce ball set.

The construction crew
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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].



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