Lakeview’s Lazzari commits to Coast Guard

Hayden Lazzari knew his path in the seventh grade.

The Lakeview High School senior wanted to serve his country.

That explains his commitment to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., to attend and play football for the NCAA Division III institution next season.

He will officially sign Feb. 1.

“That’s where he wants to be,” Lakeview football coach Tom Pavlansky said.

Lazzari’s passion to serve his country began in the seventh grade, after talking to his great-grandfather Chester Galbreath, 93, who served in the Marines.

Lazzari heard the stories of Galbreath proudly defending this country in World War II during battles in the South Pacific (Guadalcanal) and off the coast of Japan (Okinawa).

“He did something with his life that was a significant part of history,” Lazzari said. “I always thought of making my life important like that is something that is worthwhile, worth doing as a human and a U.S. citizen.”

Lazzari, a three-year starter on the offensive line and two way-starter the last two seasons, including being a co-captain this year, had his appendix removed after Week 4 of the 2015 season against Hubbard.

Lazzari sat out the loss to Niles and win against Jefferson the next two weeks before returning Week 7 against Ashtabula Edgewood.

“I saw a loss that I wasn’t a part of and I didn’t want that to happen again,” he said. “I came back to play against Edgewood. It was a couple of weeks to getting back to playing without a part of your body that was just recovering.”

The toughness was part of his upbringing.

“I grew up in a household where being hurt is not OK,” Lazzari said. “Being tough is a great thing in our household and in our family. I never want to be the guy who let somebody down because they weren’t tough enough to get a job done. I want to be that guy who can come back after two weeks of recovery.”

His father, Greg, is a Lakeview assistant coach. Greg coached at Champion, Newton Falls and Cuyahoga Falls.

Hayden said his father helped him become a great lineman.

“He even got me a blocking sled for Christmas once,” Hayden said. “That was a great gift. Growing up around his football teams helped me love the game.”

Pavlansky sees that passion in Hayden.

“He loves the physical aspect of it,” Pavlansky said. “He loves to work at it. That’s helped him to have success. Helped us overall to have success. Hayden is a strong young man. He’s created opportunites for himself. We couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Hayden said he’s excited to serve his country, get a great education and play football in the process.

“That’s one of the best deals anyone could ask for,” he said.