by Al Myers
A couple of weeks ago I had a very nice “sit down” visit with Joe Ciavattone Jr. and Joe Ciavattone Sr. following the Heavy Lift Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts. That’s one thing I really like about the USAWA, most all of us know each other and the after-meet conversations are very enjoyable where we can just relax following a day of competition and enjoy each other’s company. It’s often in these talks that I learn new information about the lives of other all-rounders. This is exactly what happened during my visit with Joe Jr. and Sr.
This past year this father-son All Round Weightlifting duo has been involved in another sport – FOOTBALL! They both have been part of the Middleboro Cobras, a semi-pro team in the Eastern Football League. Both were rookies on the team, with Joe Sr. being the oldest rookie on the team. However, the years of lifting and training has kept him much younger in “athletic years”. Most guys in their 40’s would NEVER consider making an upstart in a hard physical game like football at that age. But most guys are not Joe Ciavattone Sr.! They were the first Father-Son combo that ever played on this team at the same time. There were other son’s that followed in Dad’s footsteps and played on the team – but in later years. Not at the same time!!! The history of the Cobras goes back over 70 years to give a perspective on that accomplishment.
Their team had outstanding success. They played an eleven game season, and with the playoffs and Championship game, finished with a record of 12 and 1. This included winning the conference championship! Both Joe Jr. and Joe Sr. had their championship rings on hand to prove this to me. By the size of their rings, I would have said they won the Superbowl! The Cobras are an excellent team, winning the conference championship in “back to back” seasons, and winning 8 of the last 10 titles!
Joe Jr was the starting fullback at a strapping 220 pounds, and was the youngest player on the team. Joe Jr. had a stellar High School athletic career, earning All League honors in High School football and varsity All Star recognition in Lacrosse. His strong contributions to the team during the season resulted in him being named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Before this, it had been 27 years since Joe Sr. played his last football game (which was in High School!). However, he has always been involved in coaching and has a keen understanding of the game before he began playing on the Cobras. Joe Sr. played offensive guard and special teams.
The season begins next month for them and runs through October. So if you are wondering why you are not seeing Joe Jr & Sr in USAWA meet results, you know why. They are busy playing football!!!