BY KATELYN BUCHALTER
The school district dedicated the press box at Lombardi Field in honor of Ron Mazzola, a fixture in the Old Bridge sports scene and a beloved member of the community, to open the fall sports season.
Mazzola passed away last year at the age of 61. He was loved by many for playing such a significant role in the community. “Ron was the man that brought the community together, and his huge heart and pride in Old Bridge will always be remembered,” said Anthony Lanzafama, who was coached by Mazzola in his youth and who himself coached varsity football games called by Mazzola from the booth that now bears his name.
Mazzola grew up and lived in Old Bridge, making an impact on many people throughout his lifetime. “He was so involved at a young age with OBHS, with Old Bridge, recreational sports, and such,” shared Grace Patella, Mazzola’s sister and a secretary at OBHS.
The ceremony brought together individuals from Mazzola’s family, the Old Bridge Community, and beyond. “I was honored to speak at the Ron Mazzola Press Box Ceremony. I had the unique distinction of having Ron Mazzola as my little league coach when I was a kid and then worked with him professionally for over 20 years. He had become a lifelong friend and was very close with my family.”
“I thought it was an incredible night for the Mazzola family and the community,” said Athletic Director Daniel Dimino. Dimino began planning the event in the spring, almost as soon as he learned of Mazzola’s passing.
He was known specifically for being incredibly involved in sports and always connected with student-athletes. In addition to calling the football games and supporting all of the teams, he especially actively supported the wrestling and gymnastic teams. “Ron Mazzola was so important to the OBHS community because he cared deeply about the students and student-athletes of Old Bridge,” Said Lanzafama. “He was always encouraging, positive, supportive, and willing to help all our students, and for those reasons he is truly missed.”
Ron Mazzola will never be replaced or forgotten due to his impact on the Old Bridge community. Lanzafama shared, “It is fitting that Ron’s memory will always be celebrated in every community event that is hosted from the Ron Mazzola Press Box.”
Posted on 11/2/22
Photos provided by Grace Patella and Tim O’Neill