Football runs deep in the veins of the Randazzo family.
Paul, the 46-year-old dad, played at Chino High in 1989 and 1990 and Chris, the 19-year-old Don Lugo grad and redshirt freshman at the University of Oregon, received the largest scholarship amount in the history of the Chino Valley school district.
Up next on the gridiron is 14-year-old Anthony Randazzo, an incoming freshman football player at Don Lugo High.
“I promised my principal a championship, league and CIF,” Anthony said. “Dr. (Kim) Cabrera said she wants a ring.”
This challenge may be far easier to complete compared to the life challenge he faced as a young child.
Just before his third birthday, Anthony was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, otherwise known as childhood kidney cancer. “His left kidney was completely tumor,” Paul Randazzo said. “When they did the pathology, doctors found the kidney trying to grow inside the tumor.”
Anthony underwent chemotherapy for about a year and has been in remission ever since. He doesn’t remember too much of that time.
His family has been a big part of the annual Chino Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, a 24-hour event scheduled for today (Aug. 3) through Sunday, Aug. 4 at Ayala Park in Chino.
Anthony has participated in the opening Survivor’s Lap for several years and plans to be there today with his mother Stacey.
“We’ve always made donations in Anthony’s name and in his grandmother’s name,” Mr. Randazzo said.
Anthony, nicknamed Boomer after former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason who was one his father’s favorite football players as a child, has been undergoing yearly checkups ever since.
“There have been no signs of cancer,” Mr. Randazzo said.
Anthony will suit up for the Don Lugo freshman football team for its scrimmage game on Friday, Aug. 16 at Bonita High in La Verne, and for the team’s season opener at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at Alta Loma High in Rancho Cucamonga.
His goal while at Don Lugo is simple — get a scholarship.
“I don’t want to be compared to my brother,” Anthony said. “I want to take my own path to success. I’ll play for any Division 1 school that wants to give me a chance.”
He’ll play left tackle at Don Lugo. “I just love how you get to hit people and not get into trouble,” Anthony said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Anthony and Chris have given their dad grief over the Chino-Don Lugo rivalry in football in recent years with Don Lugo winning four of the last five contests in the annual Milk Can Game series.
Chino, however, holds an overall record of 24-15 against Don Lugo.
When asked, Mr. Randazzo said he’ll always be on his boys’ side. “It always hurts when they play Chino, but I will always support my boys,” he said.
This year’s Milk Can Games between Chino and Don Lugo will be played in late October. The freshman contest will kick off at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 at Don Lugo High and the junior varsity game will start at the same time and date at Chino High. This year’s varsity game, the 40th annual, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at Don Lugo.
“Anthony will start the season on the freshman team, but could join the varsity squad soon,” Mr. Randazzo said.