Frank Zorica

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  • December 20, 2023
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“Big Frank” Zorica had it all come together in one day for him, and as a result he won a State Championship over some people who had come into the day with better reputations.

Frank had been a solid, but unspectacular, performer for Coach Jerry Breslin all year. His trademark had always been consistency…and many times in pressure-filled situations, the win goes to the person who handles the pressure and problems best and performs to the level of his ability.

It had rained for several days prior to the State Championship, and the slippery discus ring presented a challenge for throwers who used a full-spin technique to propel the discus. Frank had developed a far less complicated technique during the regular season. Instead of rotating a full 360 degrees in his throw; he found that he could get within 80 to 90 percent of his best throw simply by standing in place and shifting his weight to his back foot to gain momentum to the throw.

The slippery conditions presented the other competitors with problems in maintaining their balance…and the first two throws caused him the same problem. But on his final throw he went to his uncomplicated “half swing” technique and threw the discus 10 feet better than his previous best effort. And it was good enough to win the State Championship. Zorica also finished fourth in the shot put and accounted for 7 of the 9 points earned by the Tornadoes in the State Meet.

Zorica’s feat is one of the things that makes sports so much fun. Having an unknown come out of nowhere to conquer the elements and more heralded athletes is the kind of sports story people love.

Categories: 1997 Hall of Fame