Appreciation: EHS Sports Great Stephen Anzalone, 70

The local sports community is mourning the loss of Stephen “Steve” Anzalone, one of Everett High School’s greatest athletes of all time, who died on April 2, 2024, at the age of 70.

Mr. Anzalone was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball during his career for the Crimson Tide. He was especially known for his excellence on the football field for head coach Moody Sarno’s teams and helped lead Everett past Chelsea in the annual Thanksgiving game between the two former GBL rivals. Mr. Anzalone was highly recruited by major college football programs and decided to stay local and attend Division 1 Boston College in Chestnut Hill.

At 6-feet, 2 inches tall, strong and athletic, Mr. Anzalone was known as a rugged middle linebacker and tight end, a powerful tackler and agile defender for the EHS football team. He was the starting center and leading rebounder for the basketball team, defending and boxing out  opposing centers underneath the boards when the Greater Boston League was a superpower in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“Steve was one of the nicest, toughest guys with whom I grew up in Woodlawn,” said Councilor-at-Large Michael Marchese, who was an EHS football teammate. “I’m proud to be his friend. He was a great guy and a superb Everett man and athlete.”

Marchese, who was a sophomore on the EHS football team when Steve Anzalone was the senior captain, remembered competing against him in practice.

“It was clear that Steve had the ability to play Division 1 college football,” said Marchese, who played football at UNH. “The first time I lined up against him in practice I was wearing one of those old leather helmets. Steve came off the line and hit me 30 feet backwards. When I got home, I told my father, ‘I want to play basketball,’ and my father said, ‘Son, you go down there and play football.”

“Steve was one of the toughest men I ever met in my life,” added Marchese. “He was invincible. His passing breaks my heart.”

John DiBiaso, Everett High’s legendary, former head football coach, was a sophomore when Steve Anzalone was the football captain.

“He was a great guy,” said DiBiaso. “And he always supported Everett High football. We actually gave Steve a championship ring after one of our Super Bowls. He was very supportive from my first year on. He was nice to all our players. He was just a great, great man.”

Off the playing field, Steve Anzalone was known as a “gentle giant,” a member of the EHS Class of 1971 who was widely respected and admired by his classmates and friends who knew they were in the company of a generational student-athlete.

“When Steve Anzalone walked down the hallway, you got out of his way,” said City Councilor Peter Pietrantonio, who was a freshman when Steve was a senior at EHS. “But I have to say he was a complete gentleman. He was the biggest, toughest guy you ever want to know, but a gentleman at heart. He was one of the best to ever play for Everett High.”

“Stephen was a gentleman and brought a lot of honor to the City of Everett,” said City Councilor Wayne Matewsky. “I saw him play many times and he was a great one. We in Everett extend our sincerest condolences to his family. He left a lasting impact on our athletic program and our community.”

 Mr. Anzalone’s sons, Jason and Steve, carried on the family’s legacy of excellence in their careers at Weymouth High School and later in the Northeastern University football program. In fact, son Steve Anzalone was an All-American and a captain of Northeastern’s first Atlantic-10 championship team. He was inducted into the Weymouth High School Hall of Fame in 2023, an esteemed honor that brought much joy and pride to his father. Steve has served as a football coach himself, passing on the positive qualities and competitive instincts of his father to his own players.

Jason was a star running back at Weymouth High before his matriculation at Northeastern.

The Everett High football team will pay tribute to Mr. Stephen Anzalone’s life and career at its first home game in the 2024 season.

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