SOMERS, N.Y. -- James Lucadamo is just a teenager who loves playing football, but the Somers High School student-athlete is already helping other young players live their football dreams.
Lucadamo, who will be working at Somers football coach Tony DeMatteo's Block & Tackle Football Camp this summer, learned some youth football players from Yonkers might need financial help in attending the camp, so he launched his own personal fundraiser.
"I have been taught so many important life lessons as well as football by Coach DeMatteo, so I wanted to give something back to young kids," Lucadamo said. "I raised donations from sponsors for a Mud Run at FDR Park and went out and raised about $1,800 dollars."
The young philanthropist visited Yonkers on Wednesday, to present a dozen North Yonkers Boys Club football players and their parents with their camp scholarships. He was joined his coach, Danny DeMatteo, Yonkers School Superintendent Michael Yazurlo and North Yonkers coaches.
Lucadamo said his coach's ties to Danny DeMatteo and the North Yonkers Youth Football Club inspired him to help the Yonkers players.
"James did this all himself and when Coach DeMatteo told me about it I was really impressed with his wanting to help these young kids," Danny DeMatteo said of his uncle. "This is a Somers kid who wanted to reach out to the Yonkers community. What a great thing to do."
Young James Rabadi, a budding lineman, said he was excited about going to camp.
"We're going to learn more about football and work hard," Rabadi said.
Tony DeMatteo, who has run Block and Tackle Camp for three decades and taught young football players from every school in Westchester. He ran the camp along with his brother, Donald, who coached at Gorton for 20 years before his death 15 years ago.
"James took this on himself and went out and made it happen for these kids," Tony DeMatteo said. "Coming back to Yonkers, where I grew up and had so many great memories, is very satisfying especially when I'm here to support one of my players."
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