Hines veterans make impact on St. Joe bowler Corsino
Hoffman Estates- Sam Corsino St. Joseph's lines up a shot during warmups. CCL Championship boys bowling tournament at Poplar Creek Bowling Center bringing together Catholic League schools from the north and south sides .| Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Saturday Wrestling: at Chicago Catholic League Championships at Brother Rice, 9 a.m.
Wrestling: at Chicago Catholic League Championships at Brother Rice, 9 a.m.
Monday Boys basketball: vs. Westinghouse at Marshall High School, 12:20 p.m.
Boys basketball: vs. Westinghouse at Marshall High School, 12:20 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:58PM
HOFFMAN ESTATES — Hanging out in the barber shop at Edward Hines VA Hospital in Maywood was not unusual for St. Joseph senior bowler Sam Corsino when he was a young lad.
After all, Leo Scola, his uncle, was manning the scissors and comb.
What differed from the typical barber shop was the clientele, which included wounded U.S. military veterans, from World War II through more recent global conflicts. Scola, who retired in November, 2011 after more than 15 years on the job, was no stranger to cutting the hair of vets who were unable to walk — or even sit up straight, for that matter.
“I’ve seen my uncle cutting hair laying down,” said Corsino, who finished 32nd with a 165.8 average at the Chicago Catholic League Championship, held at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates on Saturday.
“Sam has witnessed me holding heads for haircuts — 22- or 23-year-old guys — very sad,” said Chargers coach Andy Corsino, Sam’s father and a longtime volunteer at Hines. “Some of the war stories … it opens your eyes to what actually happens in battle. You get first-hand accounts.”
When Sam Corsino entered St. Joseph, he was required to put in time doing volunteer work during the summer. Hines — which treated more than 56,000 veterans in 2011 — was a natural fit and Corsino found himself pushing wheelchairs, stacking boxes and helping in the facility’s bowling alley.
“You see what they’ve gone through in a war, and how it affects the rest of their lives,” he said. “You develop relationships, too. They really appreciate the help. It makes me feel good — you’re helping people who can’t do things anymore.”
Andy Corsino, who said he’s “very proud” of his son for volunteering at Hines, believes that other high school students should follow suit.
“You’ll learn more there about what happens to vets overseas than you would in the school room,” he said. “You get to see what really happens in the real world.”
Sam Corsino, who held a 196 average in CCL play during the 2012-13 regular season, had a similar take.
“(Other students) should volunteer,” he said. “It’s important to respect our veterans.”
St. Joseph placed eighth at the CCL meet, totaling 3,923 pins. Senior Josh Grayson was the Chargers’ top bowler, finishing 11th with a 185 average.