OLD BRIDGE – The Old Bridge High School (OBHS) community inducted three graduates into its Wall of Fame on May 20 during Senior Awards Night.
The inductees were Ron Mazzola, Madison Central High School Class of 1978; Natalie Leong, OBHS Class of 2003; and the late Zachary Attianese, OBHS Class of 2016.
Some $140,000 was distributed to 186 students for excellence in academics, arts, athletics or community involvement during the senior scholarship awards assembly.
Attianese, who died last year from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, was posthumously named to the inaugural Wall of Fame’s Brunetti Old Bridge Community Award, which was created last year to honor John J. Brunetti, Sr. The award recognizes someone who has left his mark on Old Bridge.
Attianese was a dedicated student, compassionate citizen, talented athlete, devoted teammate, and a leader on and off the baseball field, according to a statement provided by the district. He was the 2014 New Jersey Gatorade Scholastic Player of the Year, a member of the third team All State in 2014, and a two-time All-Conference Greater Middlesex County baseball player in 2015 and 2016. He also was the 2018 Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year.
“Zach was a leader, a fierce competitor, a loving young man with passion and humility,” OBHS Principal Vincent Sasso said in the statement. “He inspired me to be a good and kind person.”
Mazzola, who owns Prestige Imaging, has volunteered in the community for a wide variety of organizations, including coaching in the Old Bridge Soccer League for 12 years; coaching in the Old Bridge Basketball League, where he served as league president; and coaching youth baseball for 15 years with the Sayre Woods South Little League, according to the statement.
For many years, he has been an announcer at a variety of sporting events at Lombardi Field. In 2011, he became the public address announcer for the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Wresting Team, a position he held for three years.
Mazzola has been the recipient of many awards over the years, including the Award of Honor in 1995 by the Old Bridge Coaches Association as part of its High School Athletic Wall of Fame.
He also is a charter member of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers and a contributor to the On the Mat wrestling blog on mycentraljersey.com, where he also hosts several online videos for wrestling and football.
He hosted a nine-hour telethon on Old Bridge Public Access TV, raising more than $66,000 for Old Bridge families who lost someone on Sept. 11, 2001.
Mazzola called the Wall of Fame honor something “truly like a life-time achievement award” according to the statement.
“As a proud member of the Old Bridge community you should always remember your roots and the great town you are from; remember Old Bridge first,” Mazzola said in the statement.
Leong, who was unable to attend the induction ceremony, is an accomplished surgeon, scientist, and researcher in orthopedic surgery; she is an assistant professor in sports medicine at the University of Maryland.
She earned her Bachelor of Science from Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
Leong specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopy of the knee and shoulder. She is an expert in the treatment of cartilage, ligament, and tendon injuries with the most advanced and minimally invasive techniques. She also is skilled in the use of cutting-edge biologics such as platelet rich plasma and stem cells, according to the statement.
She is currently a team physician for the University of Maryland Terrapins. She previously served as an assistant team physician for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire and Chicago Steel.
In additional to her clinical work as an orthopedic sports surgeon, she runs a ligament tissue engineering and regeneration laboratory at the University of Maryland, focusing on developing new treatments using stem cells and engineered biodegradable scaffolds to help heal ligament and tendon injuries, according to the statement.
To be eligible for nomination and consideration for the Wall of Fame, candidates must have graduated from one of Old Bridge’s high schools – Madison Township, Madison Central, Cedar Ridge, Old Bridge Adult High School or Old Bridge High School; earned notable employment/career achievements within their chosen fields; exhibited civic and/or community accomplishments through service, volunteer work, philanthropic endeavors, or have received notable local, state, or national honors; and graduated high school a minimum of five years prior to nomination.