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Lucas Lowe: Brockport football's motivation

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Wed, Dec 5th 2018 12:00 pm
Lucas Lowe gives Brockport
junior quarterback, Joe Germinerio, a pat on
the shoulder for his great play in Courage Bowl XIII.
Lucas Lowe gives Brockport junior quarterback, Joe Germinerio, a pat on the shoulder for his great play in Courage Bowl XIII.
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When looking up and down the sidelines at a football game at The College at Brockport, there will be several players, coaches and trainers in sight. These are the people who will get the most attention from the media and students on campus. However, the biggest inspiration for the record-setting Golden Eagles is the smallest person on the sidelines. 

Lucas Lowe is a 15-year-old currently fighting Graft vs. Host Disease. The disease originated from a bone marrow transplant that was performed due to two stages of lymphoblastic leukemia. He was just seven years old when he was originally diagnosed with leukemia. 

Lucas got involved with the Brockport football team during last season’s surprising run to the national semifinals. He was an honorary captain in last season’s Courage Bowl, which was held at St. John Fisher College. There, Lucas watched Brockport claim a 38-7 victory over St. John Fisher. 

As the season continued and Brockport kept winning, Lucas continued to pay attention. He began writing letters of encouragement to the coaches and team when the undefeated squad entered the playoffs. The letters were impactful to both the coaches and players. 

“He wrote me a message the week of our national semifinal game in 2017,” football head coach Jason Mangone said. “During our team meeting the night before our game, I read it to our guys. We may not have been victorious in that game, but our effort was outstanding and a big credit for that is Lucas.” 

As the letters from Lucas kept coming, he was invited to be on the sidelines for any home games he wanted to attend. The invitation extended into the 2018 season and Lucas was not going to let the opportunity slip away. 

“We went to a couple last year, but not all of them,” Lucas’ mother, Maureen Warren, said. “But this year we were on board with going to every one of them because the boys wanted him to. They’re just an amazing group of guys.” 

Warren said the support the players show her son is unbelievable. She noticed how a group of Brockport players would disband from their teammates to come over to Lucas immediately after coming onto the field. Warren also recalled a moment from the 2018 season that portrayed how much her son is appreciated by the Brockport team. Brockport senior defensive back Rashad Baker intercepted a pass in the endzone and instead of celebrating with his team, celebrated with Lucas who was on the nearby sideline. Baker made sure to tell him “that was for you,” before running back to the bench. 

For as much as Lucas is an inspiration to the Brockport players, the players mean the world to him. 

“[The team] means the world to me. I’ve never met a team that has taken me in instantly and loved me,” Lucas said. “All the players come up to me. The quarterback, he doesn’t even go over and stretch or anything to start the game. He comes straight over to me and fist bumps me.” 

Being taken in by the football team has meant even more to Lucas because he is not able to play sports himself. Due to his condition, he has never been allowed to play in any contact sport. Mangone had given Lucas his own jersey and number to solidify his spot on the roster, something that he has longed for throughout his young life. 

For everything the players do for Lucas, coach Mangone has been the person he connects with the most. As the recipient of the letters and the coach of the team, Mangone has been able to do things for him that nobody else can. He has come to understand how Lucas truly feels about the team and has shown him the same love that he shows for the team. Lucas looks up to Mangone in a way that very few people look up to others. 

“He’s like a father to me,” Lucas said. “He’s done a lot of stuff for us. He’s brought us to banquets that normally you don’t go to, like the senior banquet that they have every year that he invited us to again this year. He comes over after the game and asks ‘Are you going to be at the next game?’ When I say I’m going to be at the next game, his face lights up like he’s all excited to see me.” 

While the Brockport football team receives boatloads of acclaim for its on-field accomplishments, it’s easy to overlook where the motivation and success stems from. 

Lucas, a permanent team captain, looks forward to being a part of the team and continuing his support for the Golden Eagles.