ASTON >> The competition for the Joseph J. Barrett Sr. Memorial Scholarships this year was so fierce that Andrew Todaro and Deandre DePass weren’t exactly preparing accepting speeches.
When the call came from the late Barrett’s granddaughter, Patti Langdon, who chairs the committee and the Memorial All-Star game, they were ecstatic.
Todaro, from Springfield High and DePass, who hails from Penn Wood, are the 61st and 62nd academically worthy and financially needy baseball players to receive scholarships from the fund that has cut checks for $129,200 in aid over 32 years. Both received $3,000 scholarships. Over 1,100 baseball players have been part of the all-star game.
“It’s a big honor,” Todaro said. “To have that, to know that people know what I did on and off the field and in the classroom is very humbling. And to know that all the stuff that I’ve worked for has been put into rewards is very humbling. The Barrett family is awesome. I got the call and I’m very grateful towards them. Today was just a great time.”
Todaro’s season still is alive as the Cougars open the state playoffs Monday against Franklin Towne Charter at Widener (5 p.m.). Beyond that the honor roll student is headed to Villanova University.
DePass is on his way to Wilkes University to study business administration and sports management.
“It’s a big thing,” DePass said. “School is so expensive. It will help with everything. Honestly I applied but didn’t expect to win. I was surprised when I got the call saying I received it.”
The scholarship almost floored DePass’s mother, Korru Mendin Nippy, who called it, “A great honor.”
“Deandre, from the time he was a little boy, used to play around with baseball,” she said. “As he got older he said ‘Mommy, I’m going to play baseball.’ I said how are you going to manage school and sports? He said he could do it and I believed him. And he did such a tremendous job playing baseball, wrestling and playing football. And he was also able to be on the honor roll. He’s a very smart, intelligent kid.
“I’m very grateful (to the Barretts) for this.”