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Buccieri to play in Kensington Classic

Life is more than football for Elliot Buccieri. The former star on the St. Francis football team will have one more chance to showcase his skill and play the game he loves before he begins another journey in his life, which will begin in August at the University of Dayton.

The 2013 Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year will take part in the 39th Kensington Lions All-Star Football Classic being held June 30 at Depew High School. Buccieri will play on the South team along with former St. Francis teammate Austin Taylor.

St. Francis head coach Jerry Smith approached his team defensive MVP about playing in the game after their season had ended. The opportunity to play against some of Western New York’s best athletes is something that attracted him to the game, along with the passion to continue playing.

“I’m looking at (this game) as another opportunity to play football,” Buccieri said. “Because I love football so much, I jumped right on the opportunity and I wanted to play in it.”

During his senior campaign, Buccieri played all over the field, including some plays at quarterback after starter Jack Dolegala went down early in the season. On senior night against St. Mary’s, Buccieri had a punt return for a touchdown and an interception. Against Cathedral Prep, he recorded a rushing touchdown as a quarterback and against Edison Tech, he had another punt return touchdown en route to a 53-14 victory.

The success on the football field started right away at St. Francis for Buccieri. As a freshman, he was named MVP for a team that won the freshman championship.

Four years as a Red Raider transformed Buccieri into what he calls a “jack of all trades.” He took after his older brother Dominic, who graduated from St. Francis in 2012 and got involved in different activities during school along with being an All-Catholic punter. Elliot participated in male chorus, multiple plays and musicals, and K-OS – the school’s one-of-a-kind drum line. He was also a member of the school’s campus ministry while serving as the senior class vice president as well.

“Going into (St. Francis), I knew I wanted to become a really well rounded individual,” Buccieri said. “The greatest thing I learned from high school is you want to be a jack of all trades. In being a jack of all trades, you want to excel in each of them and by the end of my senior year I was a supporting lead in a musical, I was vice president of male chorus, and I was pretty good on the football field”

The love of football for Buccieri started at the age of 6, when he got involved with East Aurora Little Loop Football. Playing with East Aurora up until and into eighth grade, he went from a 6-year-old, not knowing what side of the football to hold, to a playmaker, ready to make an impact at the high school level.

The choice of where to attend high school was a no-brainer. Both his father, Brian, and brother, Dominic, graduated St. Francis gentlemen. Both were football players but both cared about things that went beyond football.

Dominic is now at the University of Syracuse studying television, radio, and film. There is another Buccieri brother, Lincoln, who will be a junior at St. Francis in the fall. A sister, Gretel, the youngest, also accompanies the three brothers.

“Before high school, I was known as an athlete,” Buccieri said. “My older brother was a great influence on me. He did musicals, he did chorus and everything so when I got to high school, I joined in as well. I became a part of our theater program, I joined the chorus, and I just fell in love with it.”

While football isn’t the most important thing in Buccieri’s life, it’s not even the only sport he plays. He also runs track and was most recently an All-Catholic 400-meter runner.

Buccieri will be studying psychology at Dayton beginning in the fall. Unsure of exactly what he wants to do with the rest of his life, it’s almost inevitable, that after the way St. Francis has helped shape his life and personality, he will have no problem finding whatever door leads to success.


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