From SciCoh Sharks to LA Chargers–Joe Gaziano Continues to Rack Up Achievements


Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Gaziano

Joe Gaziano takes the field for Northwestern University

Clay Belmarsh and Henry Gates

A 24-year-old beast of an edge rusher, Joe Gaziano just finished up his short time on the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers. A Scituate native, Gaziano started his football career in the second grade, playing for the SciCoh Sharks. He’s dominated on the football field ever since and hasn’t looked back, including his 4-year career with Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA, before heading to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and finally landing a practice squad contract with the Chargers. 

Long-time family friend and Gaziano’s former teacher, Matt Poirier, who is currently a social studies teacher at Gates Intermediate School, has seen Gaziano grow from when he was just an awkward 6th grader. Poirier describes Gaziano as a “freak athlete” and loves telling the story of how as an eighth-grader Gaziono was playing basketball when he “grabbed the ball and walked under the hoop and  jumped up and tried to dunk it and the ball shot up 400 feet in the air.” According to Poirier, Gaziano was larger than his peers when he was growing up, which played a role in him playing so many sports–and may have been a deciding factor in choosing to play football and lacrosse while attending high school at Xaverian.

According to Poirier, “the Gazianos are just straight-up winners,” pointing to Joe as a prime example of this statement. In fact, Gaziano has enjoyed an outstanding football career, racking up achievement after achievement, including a Super Bowl with Xaverian Brothers, and holding the most sacks at the D1 football program at Northwestern. 

Gaziano’s mother, Mary Ellen Gaziano, a Gates Intermediate School math teacher, explained that setting goals represented an important part of her son’s success: “He wanted to play for a D1 high school, and he did that, and he wanted to play for a D1 college, and he did that, and then when he was in college, he said, ‘I want to play in the NFL.’” Clearly, Gaziano’s determination represents one of many reasons his dream of playing in the NFL is coming true.

SHS parent Jack Gates also shared some input on Gaziano’s early football years. Gates coached Gaziano for a few years during SciCoh football: “He was an outstanding athlete–even when he was an adolescent–and I could tell that football was going to take him places.” 

Now standing at 6’4”, 280 pounds, Gaziano was called up recently from the Chargers’ practice because their star edge rusher, DE Joey Bosa, went out with an injury sustained from practice. Unfortunately, Gaziano never saw the field during the following game because Bosa came back in time, but it won’t be long until Gaziano makes his NFL debut for the Chargers.