Mazza triumphs amid defeats

Three-sport superstar Jack Mazza has suffered two excruciating injuries in his high school career.


Going into 2014, there was a lot of hype surrounding one particular freshman that was more unique than anyone else in recent years.

Jack Mazza walked into Elder with hopes of becoming the next superstar.  A freak athlete in grade school, he looked to bring his athleticism to the field in his first year of Elder football and he did just that.

He was so far ahead of all the teams we faced.

— Connor Johnson

His freshman season, Mazza recorded 759 rushing yards and and 15 touchdowns, including two receiving touchdowns and one kickoff return.

“Basically every time he got the ball it was a first down or it was a touchdown,” said teammate Connor Johnson.

It is clear that Mazza had a stellar first season and his athletic ability took him to his next sport, basketball.

Mazza was an explosive point guard known for vicious defense, but could occasionally drive and draw fouls.  The freshman team were eight games above 500 and had a pretty solid season.

The ending of basketball meant the start of another sport for Jack, lacrosse.  A season that would change Jack’s future forever.

The start of the season was mediocre and then tragedy struck.  Mazza injured his leg and didn’t know what was wrong with it until after a visit to a doctor he found out he had torn his ACL in his left knee.

“After Doc told me about the ACL tear, my mom started getting all sad,” said Mazza,” it didn’t hit me until i figured out how long i would be out and the damage that was done.”

I have hung around Jack a lot and I know this had to be devastating because he’s always active. If he’s not playing one sport, he’s playing another or training for another to be the best he can be, but being told he couldn’t play sports for almost a year I know just broke his heart.

Jack looked at this challenge ahead of him and faced it head on as only he would.  From the day after the visit, Jack was committed to come back as soon as possible.

taken from varsity views

He worked hard everyday to get better and stronger and make his return to Elder sports.

Mazza had to sit out the whole 2015 football and basketball season to recover.  After grueling physical therapy for almost a year, Mazza was back on the field in the sport that caused him to sit out for a year, lacrosse.

The 2016 lacrosse season was again mediocre.  Mazza was able to contribute 25 points with 14 goals and 11 assists.

Mazza had to wear a heavy brace on his knee and after the season it was obvious that Jack was back to full form.  Once the season ended, it was time to return the his favorite sport, football.

Mazza was back on the field after having to sit out the 2015 football season and he earned the starting running back job for the 2016 Elder Panthers.

The season started off good for the Panthers, winning two of their three first games, then the number one team in the state came to town, St. Edwards.

St. Edwards, in the past four years, have produced amazing athletes and teams to try to conquer the Panthers at home in The Pit, but the last time they visited they weren’t so lucky.

The motivation to win this game was no doubt very high for Jack, and he delivered.

“I had my first 100 yard rushing game and we beat the number one team in the state, I was feeling very good and the leg felt better than ever,” said Mazza.

The Panthers jumped out to a 3-1 start and next up was a game against Pittsburgh College Prep University, a very poor team and was an easy win for the Panthers, but this game would bring about another devastating injury for Mazza.

“I had my ankle rolled on early in the game, but thought nothing of it.  I decided to be a tough guy and stay in the game which was stupid of me and a couple possessions later I had excruciating pain and heard a loud pop in my right leg,” said Mazza.

Another trip to the hospital and yet more terrible news.

Mazza had shattered his fibula and damaged ligaments in his ankle.  He needed another surgery and they put a big plate and nine screws in his right leg.

Yet another devastating injury for Mazza after a very promising start to the season.  What would be the next move?

At the age of 17, he has had two surgeries on both legs to fix an ACL tear and damaged ligaments and a shattered bone.

The questions started surfacing.  Would he play anymore?  Can he come back from these injuries?  Will he ever be the same?

Jack didn’t listen to these rumors and questions.  He did what he does best and started working to get back to good shape for next year.

To put an end to all these questions and rumors, Mazza added, “Just to let everyone know, I will be coming back to play football for the Panthers next fall.”