Senior Spotlight: After football state title, TJ senior misses chance to shine on diamond

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Saturday, May 16, 2020 | 8:00 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas Jefferson senior Dylan Mallozzi got his final high school season off to a great start.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound running back rushed for 1,921 yards and 28 touchdowns, including a 216-yard and one-touchdown performance in the PIAA Class 4A state championship as the Jaguars completed their undefeated season under the lights in Hershey.

Heading into the season, Mallozzi said the Jaguars had a feeling they could accomplish a lot and they were motivated to achieve their goals. But, the journey to get there was something special.

“It was awesome. That was like our ultimate goal since the ninth grade, we really wanted to win a state championship,” Mallozzi said. “We were never able to get over the hump and we finally got it, so it was definitely a great way to start the year. It was definitely what we wanted to do.”

Even though Mallozzi’s senior year got off to a great start, it didn’t end the way he had hoped. After playing baseball since he was a little kid, Mallozzi said he always considered it his No. 1 sport. The coronavirus pandemic ended the season before it started.

Just two years ago, the Jaguars went 6-14 overall. Then coach Tim Vickers took over and helped the Jaguars reach a record of 13-6 and earn a berth into the WPIAL playoffs. As a shortstop and a pitcher, Mallozzi was a main contributor to the Jaguars’ success last season. He hit .323 with 18 RBIs and 20 hits.

He also had success on the mound, producing a 1.47 ERA over 33 innings with 39 strikeouts. Mallozzi said it was a special season to be a part of.

“It felt really good to be a part of that,” Mallozzi said. “Coach Vickers says it all the time that us seniors paved the pathway for everyone else, which makes you feel good. A school that is typically known as a football school is starting to have some success in baseball, and it’s just nice to see that you helped contribute to that.”

What’s your favorite memory while playing sports for Thomas Jefferson?

The state championship game was surreal. It was just a dream come true for everyone. Then for baseball, all the baseball trips down to Myrtle Beach were just a great time. Those couple of days were awesome.

Who is the one pitcher who would you want to face?

I’d think I’d want to face my high school baseball coach, Tim Vickers, in his prime because he’d always say if he was in his prime pitching, he’d strike me out if I was hitting against him. So, I think I’d definitely want to face him.

If you could change positions where would you play?

I think I’d want to give outfield a shot. Probably center field because I’ve never got play there because I was always an infielder from youth days.

What’s a day during quarantine look like?

Wake up, eat breakfast, do some schoolwork, work out, eat some dinner, hang out with some friends maybe, take a shower, go to bed. That’s about it.

Have you picked up any new hobbies?

I’ve been playing a lot more pingpong. We have a table in our basement, so my Dad and I have been playing every day.

What’s your favorite sports memory?

I was at the 2013 Pirates wild card game. That was awesome. That was a good experience. That was a fun time. Then any of the Steelers night games, Sunday night, primetime, those are a fun time too.

Where did you decide to go to college?

Kent State

What will your major be?

Finance

If you could switch places with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Probably Christian Yelich

If you could choose anyone to give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

I’d say Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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