Page 14 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRiDAy, MAy 17, 2024 ANZALONE | FROM PAGE 1 cer in the city, remembered Steve as a teammate. Nuzzo was one year behind the bigger than life defensive specialist, who was all over the field making plays. Anzalone, who grew up in the Woodlawn section of the city, was capable of playing all seven positions up front. “I got to play with Steve during my sophomore and junior seasons,” Nuzzo said. “I was a halfback and defensive back, and Steve was a defensive lineman and linebacker. He was also a tight end on offense. My first impressions of him were that of a man amongst boys. He was as tough as they come, and was dominant on every play.” There were no Super Bowls until the 1972 season, but during Steve’s sophomore and junior seasons (1970 and 1971) the Tide won the Greater Boston League (GBL) title. Besides Anzalone, John Romboli, Frank Nazzaro, Jimmy DiNuccio and Joe DeGeorge, who was Steve’s cousin, were some of the standouts on those powerful Everett teams, according to Nuzzo. “There were a lot of tough players on both sides of the ball, and I was lucky enough to play with them,” said Nuzzo. “The GBL was a tough league back then, and we also played some tough non-league opponents like Newton, Quincy, North Quincy and Beverly.” The annual regular season schedule made the Tide’s accomplishments, led by players like Anzalone, even more impressive. But football was not the only sport that Anzalone impacted, he also played significant roles on the basketball and baseball teams. Away from the gridiron, Steve hung out with his friends at Glendale Park. They were The 1971 Everett High School football team is shown posing for a yearbook photo. That team went on to win the GBL championship for the second year in a row. Senior captain Steve Anzalone (72), center, front row, holding the football, passed away last month after a long illness. His teammate Frank Nuzzo (24), front row, third, right, said his first impressions of Steve were that he was a “man amongst boys.”(Courtesy photo) known as the ‘Glendale Park Association’ to all who knew them, according to Nuzzo. Nuzzo recalled that the players were only a byproduct of some great coaching at the high school in that era. “I played football and baseball, and it was a great experience playing for Moody Sarno, who had his players in leather helmets until 1973, and Ralph Cecere. They were also great coaches and athletes at Fordham and Villanova Universities,” he said. The Everett native and father of three sons – Frank, Matt and Brian – credits his coaches’ expertise for him being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973. Just prior to the MLB (Major League Baseball) Draft, he had already signed a letter of intent to play football at UMass-Amherst on a full scholarship. He ended up signing with the Cardinals, where he played two years in their minor league system before an arm injury ended his baseball career. “l attributed both these opportunities to playing with great teammates like Steve and coaches like Moody and Ralph at EHS,” Nuzzo added. Nuzzo attended Boston State College during the off season, before transferring to Northeastern University after retiring from baseball, majoring in Criminal Justice. He left Northeastern in his senior year to go to work for Air Canada as an aircraft service coordinator. “Jobs were hard to come by back then, and when a position opened up, I took it, because I just got married and wanted to start a family,” he said. Frank grew up on Chelsea Everett High School football great Steve Anzalone is shown having a good time along the sidelines during a game in the early 1970s. (Courtesy photo/Charles Giacobbe) Street with his parents Frank and Mary, also lifelong Everett residents. He has two younger brothers, Louis and Joe, and a younger sister, Debbie. He and his wife Diane raised three sons. Frank, his oldest son, is Everett High School football great Steve Anzalone, shown catching a pass for the Tide during a game in the early 1970s, passed away last month after a brief illness. (Courtesy photo/Charles Giacobbe) an Everett Police Officer; Matt is employed by New Balance; and Brian works for Local 22. Steve’s life as an Eagle Steve’s path after graduating from EHS took him to Boston College, where he played football with Pete Cronan, the team’s longtime radio analyst, and former NFL great Fred Smerlas, who, according to Nuzzo, said that he was “the toughest player he ever played against,” and that was just in practice. Cronan summed up Steve as a physically menacing individual, who was big, long and athletic. “He looked to be several years older than the rest of us in our freshman class, although he wasn’t,” Cronan added. “But it’s important to note that despite his tough demeanor he was a softie at heart. He was blessed with a great sense of humor to go along with an infectious laugh. He seemed to care about people, and was the antithesis of a bully.” Anzalone started out as a Everett High School football great Steve Anzalone is shown on the basketball court. He was also a baseball player. The three-sport athlete suited up for the Tide all four years, before graduating in 1973. (Courtesy photo/Charles Giacobbe) defensive tackle, before eventually becoming a defensive end at BC. “He saw plenty of playing time, and was a physical presence,” said Cronan. “His MO was toughness.” But away from Alumni Stadium, he was like any other college student. His favorite band at the time was “The Spinners,” according to Cronan. “(Steve) would routinely sing their songs, and he had a pretty good voice to boot,” said The Voice of the Football Eagles. “On occasion, he would be singing a song, more to himself and then he would randomly spin on one foot mimicking the band members. It was very funny stuff.” There was another random Anzalone story that has since become BC folklore. “It was called the great MBTA train caper,” said Cronan. “Trains would routinely idle outside MaryAnn’s, our local haunt, in Cleveland Circle, and, as the story goes, Steve felt compelled to commandeer an idling train and take it down the line, all the while stopping and picking up waiting passengers. He made it as far as Brookline before exiting ahead of the authorities. When he returned to Molly’s, his teammates and patrons cheered him on. File this one under: no harm, no foul.” Steve’s Eagles teams always had winning records, and by today’s standards would have been bowl eligible all four years. They were 7-4 in 1973; 8-3 in 1974; 7-4 in 1975; and 8-3 in 1976. “For a small, non-conference regional program, we did pretty well against national-ranked caliber opponents,” said Cronan. “Our opponents included Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Miami, Army and Navy with a sprinkling of non-regional opponents like Texas, Texas A&M, Tulane and Notre Dame mixed into the schedule. “It’s important to note that those BC teams were chock full of oversized personalities,” added Cronan. “They were unique and colorful people. ANZALONE | SEE PAGE 15

15 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication