North Rockland High School Class of 1973
Being the son of a football and wrestling coach tends to make you gravitate toward those sports. Growing up in Haverstraw and watching the teams that Chuck’s father, Frank Maze, coached gave him the strong desire to participate and excel in those sports. Chuck’s dad was the head wrestling coach and football line coach from 1958 to 1961, assisting legendary head coach Ralph Cordisco on Haverstraw High School’s 1960 PSAL championship gridiron unit.
Chuck later had the good fortune to play football under Coach Cordisco on what most people believe was the premier football program of that era. The 1970, 1971 and 1972 teams were all undefeated, amassing a collective 26-0 record. Back then there were no Sectional playoffs, bowl games or state championships; the only rankings were done by the New York Sports Writers Association. The 1971, 9-0 team was ranked fifth in New York and the 1972, 9-0 team was ranked ninth by the NYSSWA.
In 1971 Chuck was selected The Journal-News’ first team All-County fullback and second team All-County linebacker. And in 1972 Chuck was again selected as the first team All-County fullback and as a first team All-County linebacker. In addition, in 1972, Chuck was named the Rockland County “Back of the Year” by The Journal-News as voted by the Rockland County football coaches. Chuck led Rockland County in rushing that year with 833 yards, in yards per carry at 5.6 yards, and scoring with 60 points (10 touchdowns). He was a first team Daily News All-Star for Section 9 and named by the New York State Sports Writers as the first team All- State fullback.
In addition, Chuck was selected as an honorable mention All-American running back by Scholastic Coach Maga- zine for the 1972 season. (Teammate Jim Brechbiel also earned the All-American running back distinction in 1971.) Scott Keyser, Chuck’s teammate at North Rock- land, says of him, “Chuck’s accomplishments aren’t only what we saw on the field, it’s his leadership to those championship teams that should be noted. He was our leader, teammate and friend to all that had the privilege of playing alongside of him. I’m proud to call him our ‘captain’ and our friend.”
Interestingly, the 1972 North Rockland team was not picked to repeat as RCPSAL champion despite carrying an 18-game winning streak into the season. The ’72 Red Raiders’ first test came in the pouring rain at Pearl River in a “mud bowl” against a tenacious Pirates team. The game was scoreless until the fourth quarter, when Ed Rotella kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Red Raiders. On their next possession, Chuck ran off tackle for a 39-yard touchdown. Moments later he intercepted a pass to give his team possession on the 15-yard line. Lou Lanton then threw a 12-yard TD pass to Ben Beamon on a tackle-eligible play, with Beamon galloping the final 8 yards on the ground. Paced by Chuck’s 181 yards on 30 carries behind a ground-clearing offensive line, the Raiders blanked the Pirates, 15-0.
North Rockland played yet another game in the teeming rain, this time against visiting Nanuet. Chuck ran for 167 yards on 29 carries and scored two TDs, on a 4-yard run and 27-yard interception return. Coupled with Scott Keyser’s 37-yard field goal, as well as a staunch defense and power-running offense, The Red Raiders white- washed the Golden Knights, 17-0. Ralph Cordisco’s two varsity assistant coaches, Joe Casarella and the late Bob Nadal (both fellow Rockland Hall of Famers), remarked that Chuck was “a great mudder” because of his effec- tive two-way play in the slop.
North Rockland’s closest game in the unforgettable 1972 campaign was waged against archrival Nyack, which had one of the biggest and best defensive units led by All-American linebacker Steve Wanamaker. The only score of the game came on Chuck’s 59-yard off-tackle run in the first quarter. A stout defensive effort held the Indians’ offense in check and helped preserve a 6-0 win to clinch the RCPSAL championship in their penultimate game of the season. In their season finale on a snowy Thanksgiving Day, the Raiders parlayed a 30-yard off-tackle TD romp by Chuck and a 67-yard score on a punt return by safety Victor Santiago into a 14-0 blank- ing of Clarkstown. It was the North Rockland program’s 27th consecutive win, a streak that began with a victory in the last game of the 1969 season, ironically also against Clarkstown.
When football season ended Chuck moved inside to the wrestling mats and had an outstanding career at North Rockland under Coach Don Daniels and Assistant Coach Jerry McGuire, including their most successful season when the team finished 9-1-2 in 1971. In his four years on the varsity team, Chuck placed in the Rockland County Tournament all four times. As a freshman in 1970 Chuck placed third at 137 lbs. In 1971 Chuck won the Hastings Tournament at 148 lbs., was the District 3 champion and again placed third in the Rockland County Tournament, at 145 lbs. In 1972 Chuck moved up to the 155-lb. weight class and won the District 3 title again and placed second in the Rockland County Tournament.
The year 1973 was Chuck’s senior year and he was a shining star on the mat. Wrestling in the 170-lb. weight class, Chuck was the Rockland County champion – overcoming a loaded field including the likes of Nan- uet’s Luke Vaccaro and Tappan Zee’s Jim Scaringe. He also was the District 3 champion, where he was voted the “Most Outstanding Wrestler” in the tournament, and the Section 9 titleholder, earning him the right to represent North Rockland and Section 9 in the New York State Tournament. For his efforts on the football field and wrestling mats, Chuck was inducted as an individual into the North Rockland Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and separately inducted as a member of the 1971 and 1972 championship football teams.
As a standout athlete in two sports Chuck had the opportunity to further his education at quite a few colleges. Chuck chose Brown University, where he could continue to participate in both football and wrestling. During the 1973 football season Chuck led the freshman football team in scoring, and during his sophomore year on the varsity Chuck played halfback and averaged more than 5 yards a carry, including a 50-yard touchdown ramble in the season opener. His presence on the team contributed to Brown’s successful 5-4 season under Coach John Anderson. On the wrestling mats, Chuck consistently won his matches in dual meets and placed third in back-to-back New England Wrestling Champion- ships, first at 190 lbs. in 1975 and then at 170 lbs. in 1976. He served proudly as co-captain of the wrestling team after being elected at the conclusion of his junior year.
While Chuck savored the team accomplishments of his football teams in high school and college, wrestling also imparted some important life lessons for him. At the New England championships, he learned the value of perseverance. After losing to a University of New Hampshire wrestler in the quarterfinals, he progressed through the wrestle-backs to the consolation final, in which he defeated the same New Hampshire wrestler to clinch third place in the tournament.
After graduating from Brown in 1977 with an AB, or Bachelor of Arts, degree in Sociology (he also earned a master’s degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Lehman College, CUNY, in 1980), Chuck went to work for the YMCA, where he has held many positions at six different YMCAs. He has served as a Youth and Camping Director, managed athletic facilities and pro- grams including sports camps, athletic teams and suc- cessful swim teams and instructional programs. Chuck has served as the CEO of the Rockland County YMCA for the past 13 years and celebrates 40 years of service to the YMCA on May 8, which also happens to be his birthday. About his service to the YMCA, Chuck said, “I am fortunate to work together with so many dedicated staff and volunteer board members at the ‘Y’ who promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility in our community.”
Chuck expressed appreciation to all those who help mold him into the well-rounded person he is today. “I would also like to acknowledge my coaches, teachers and teammates who were instrumental in our develop- ment as student athletes and learning how to play on successful teams, starting with the Haverstraw Midget football team all the way through athletics in the North Rockland Schools and Brown University.”
He added, “I’m thankful for my parents, Frank and Marian, who were both physical educators and encouraged my siblings, Betsy, Barbara, Richard, and I to always do our best in school and sports.”
Chuck met his wife, Maureen, while both were students at North Rockland High School. Residing in Pearl River, Chuck and Maureen raised their two children, Dan and Elizabeth, who both live and work in New York City.
Congratulations Chuck on your well-deserved induction into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame!