With excitement in her voice, SUNY Cortland alumna Jamie Bucci recalls the day she found out she was named to the All-Decade team of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). “It’s such an honor,” says the Tarrytown resident. “The Cortland softball program has many talented athletes, so being recognized from Cortland as well as the SUNYAC conference is awesome.”
To be considered for the Decade distinction, players must have completed a minimum of one season between 2010-19. They had to be named either All-SUNYAC at least twice or SUNYAC Player/Pitcher of the Year once. Bucci and 13 other SUNY Cortland players met those lofty standards to be named to the SUNYAC All-Decade Team.
Jamie’s love of softball began at a young age. Her family members played a big role in supporting her passion. “My dad was always my coach,” she says. “We really had a lot of ties in the community, so growing up and playing in Tarrytown was pretty special.”
Besides her family, Jamie looked up to a lot of the older players in the area. “Women’s sports weren’t always as huge as they are now, so I also saw college players that I got to watch on TV as role models,” Jamie says.
Jamie’s head coach at Cortland, Julie Lenhart, describes the Sleepy Hollow High graduate as a tremendous success story. “Her smile lit up the dugout,” Lenhart fondly recalls. “She was an unselfish team player that would do anything to help her team.What put Jamie in the elite category was her excellence in all areas of the game. She could hit/slap, run the bases, defensively had a cannon for an arm and could catch practically anything hit to the outfield.”
TOWN REC SUPERVISOR
Right now, Jamie is working for the Town of Cortlandt as a recreation supervisor. She runs youth sport leagues, day camps, and special events for the town. “Playing a team sport has helped me grow and work in the field that I am in now,” Jamie says. “I am able to mesh with other personalities and learn to work with people off the field.”
SUNY Cortland’s softball legacy is to send their players out into the world after college and make an impact. Jamie encourages all younger athletes, especially softball players, to stick with it. “It’s a growing sport and it definitely shaped and changed my life.”
Rebeccah Worth is a freelance writer based in Northern Westchester.