Skip Vonsik "Big Guy" Memorial Scholarship
  • In picture: l-r: Coach Recor, Dan Cantafio, Coach Tulowicki, Coach Vastola

     2018-2019 Skip Vonsik Memorial Scholarship winner is Daniel Cantafio.  This scholarship is in memory of 1976 West Graduate Skip Vonsik.  Skip was affectionately known as “Big Guy” because he was the small guy on the team that was the hardest working.  Skip played football, hockey, and baseball for West.  Annually, his friends and family come together from all over the country for a golf tournament to raise money for scholarships given to West Athletes.  Close to $100,000 has been given to student athletes in scholarships and recognition programs.  West graduates from the 1960s to present support this great cause.  The criteria for this scholarship is a multi sport athlete who is known for being the hardest worker but is an undersized over achiever who puts the team first and does whatever is asked of them, just as Skip did.

     Dan Cantafio has competed in football, wrestling, and lacrosse since 7th grade.  In football, despite being only 5’6”, he was the starting center and earned honorable mention all star for ECIC A. As a wrestler he wrestled at 220 or 285, depending on what the team needed. Again, despite his size, he was able to place third in the Class Championships.  As a lacrosse goalie, Dan has been a three year starter.  Dan is a three sport Academic ALL WNY Athlete, ranked #17 in his class of 307. He was a 2019 Student of Excellence.  Dan will be attending Lycoming College in the Fall to study to be a Math teacher and coach. He will also play lacrosse.

     Head Football Coach Mike Vastola: Daniel has been “bleeding blue” since he was in 7th grade in our summer weight training program, and he and his brother John even offered to help with our program this past summer, offering assistance to our youngest Indian football players. He relished being in the role of an offseason captain. He always put everything he had into the program, doing what was asked of him as the glue that keeps teams together.

     Head Wrestling Coach Dave Recor: Daniel’s hard work and dedication along with a team first mentality has made him a player/wrestler that you would want on your team.  He has shown that hard work pays off

     Head Lacrosse Coach Bob Tulowicki: Dan is an extremely hardworking student athlete.  Whatever the task was, Dan was up for the challenge and offered whatever he could do to make sure the team was successful.  From being a team captain to organizing off season workouts and practices, Dan was always there to make sure it happened. As the starting goalie on varsity lacrosse since his Sophomore year, Dan’s leadership skills and play on the field contributed to West’s most successful season in 2018 and repeated trips to the Section 6 Class B semifinals.  We look forward to watching Dan continue his lacrosse career at Lycoming College.



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