- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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In speaking of the great Mount Carmel Area running backs, a certain style or particular trait usually associated with a particular back. For instance, “power” usually reminds you of Henry Hynoski. “Vision” can easily be associated with Jon Veach. “Speed” often brings up the name of Nick Sebes. “Shiftiness” most definitely reminds one of the great Gary Diminick. “Quickness” – How about Bobby Joe Niglio? “Balance” Ah yes, balance! Can anyone compare to Tony Mazzatesta? Tony wasn’t big, he wasn’t overly strong, he wasn’t fast; but boy did he have balance! That balance was what helped to make Tony one of the all-time great running backs in Mount Carmel Area history.
It didn’t start out that way for Tony, as coach Diminick thought about making him an offensive guard and nose guard, After all, his size and relative quickness put him in the mold of other great MCA guards. But Tony wouldn’t have any of it – He worked harder and harder and found a way to keep himself in the backfield – He wound up starting for three years as the tail back and would churn out 2,587 yards rushing -still good for 7th place on the all time MCA list. He excelled as a kick returner for coach Diminick and ended up being the all time kick return leader in history with 1,624 yards. On the way, Mazzy established a new season mark for kick off returns with 455 yards in 1988 and a new career mark with 1,023 yards. Both marks still rank number one today. His 601 yards in punt returns still ranks 4th today while his all-purpose yardage total of 4,846 still ranks 5th on the all time Tornado list.
Mazzy’s abilities helped the Tornadoes produce a number of good football teams in the late 80’s. The 88 team lost in the District II final to eventual state champion Bethlehem Cartholic, while the 89 team lost an Eastern Conference semi to the great Tim Ruddy-led Dunmore Bucks. The 86 team lost to the great Gary Brown team in the Eastern Conference Championship. Following the 89 season, Tony was named to the Reading Eagle All Anthracite team, was a Big 33 nominee, won the Mike Terry Award in 1988 and 89, and served as co-captain of the 89 squad. The “guard” also was named a third team running back by the Associated Press in the Big School category. He also forced the Breakfast Club (now Supper Club) to change its rules after he was a 10 time Player of the Week in a 12 game season.
Following graduate, Tony went to Lycoming College where he immediately became a letter winner as a kick returner – That 1990 team ended up being the Division III National Runer-Up. Mazzatesta then transferred to Wilkes University and led the MAC in punt returns until injuries cut short his career – He was named a First Team MAC Scholar Athlete in 1992.
Tony graduated from Wilkes in 1995 with a BS in Materials Engineering. He attended John Hopkins University in Baltimore where he received a Masters Degree in Materials Science and Enginieering. He currently works for Lucent Technologies/AGERE Systems in Allentown as a Process Engineer/Technologist. He is married to the former Patti Spears and has one child, Maci – 2.