Ageless Athletes: Joseph Scozzaro

By Ray Flint and Daniel Kats
Published: September 2010

Joseph “Scozzy Scozzaro has been teaching English at Newton South for eight years. He is known around school for his sarcastic sense of humor and for taking months to grade even the shortest assignments, but Scozzy is more than an English teacher.
Scozzaro began coaching at South in 2004, first for the Boys’ Baseball team at the freshmen level, and now currently for the Girls’ Freshman Basketball team. While many students are aware that Scozzaro is an avid sports fan, his personal accomplishments as a high school athlete have gone surprisingly unnoticed.
Scozzaro was born in Wilmington, Massachusetts, but he moved to Miramar, Florida at the age of 10. Scozzaro played baseball and soccer for Miramar High School in Florida.
Scozzaro started off his high school sports career on the Boys’ Soccer team, on which he played during his freshman and sophomore years. However, Scozzaro stopped playing soccer and picked up baseball later in his sophomore year, playing until the end of his high school career.
“I remember soccer [having] a lot of guys, and not everybody played and started, and I definitely didn’t play and start, so that’s probably why I quit. I did play and start in baseball so I stuck with that, Scozzaro said.
During his three-year Varsity career, Scozzaro had a batting average of over .300 during one season, a very difficult accomplishment.
Despite his impressive batting average, Scozzaro found himself playing on the Junior Varsity team after a controversial demotion from the Varsity squad one month into his sophomore season.
“After hitting a triple, Scozzaro said of the incident that led to his demotion, “I thought the coach gave the squeeze play sign, so I stole home. The batter didn’t show bunt and I was tagged out. The coach went ballistic and screamed at me for like 20 minutes in the dugout. It was pretty humiliating.
The coach was fired after the school year, and according to Scozzaro, “It all worked out in the end.
Scozzaro’s athletic career did not end high school, however. He played intramural flag football in college. However, after graduating from college, Scozzaro made another switch in his athletic career.
“I started basketball. I played when I was really little, but then I really got into it again when I was working in New York City and I coached, he said. “I was assistant coach for a Varsity team, and that’s when I started playing a lot. We had maybe 11 guys on the team and so to make the numbers even I often played in practice, and so that’s when I realized that it’s a great game.
He has continued to fuel his love for basketball for the past seven years by playing on the faculty team every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the morning at South.
However, playing only three days a week is not enough for the incredibly athletic English teacher. Scozzaro is currently training for the half-marathon, which he has run for the past two years. He runs several miles three times a week to work his way up to the 13.1-mile race.
“I was very proud to finish the half-marathon the first two times, because I thought I was going to die, Scozzaro said with his typical hint of sarcasm.
Scozzaro has shared his love for athletics with his family, and specifically his two kids. “They go running with me, they really like to go on the jogs, he said. “The only thing I don’t like is that they make it really hard because they’re heavy and I have to push them up hill, but they like going on runs.
Earlier in his life, Scozzaro had worked as a counselor for a camp in Switzerland. It is at this camp where one of Scozzaro’s proudest athletic moments occurred.
“We had a men’s league soccer team, and we were pretty good, and I was the keeper [or goalie], and I made a bunch of really good saves and that was kind of cool, he said.
Scozzaro’s passion for sports is never-ending; he is constantly looking for new sports to try and to pick back up.
“I would like to join a baseball team, but it’s hard to find adult baseball teams, Scozzaro said. “There is [a softball team] in my town, but I think I would like to play baseball again, not softball.

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