Peter Caggiano remembers throwing a block for running back Steven Staffier during their days together in the Winthrop Pop Warner football organization.
Asked to describe Staffier’s talent at that age, Caggiano replied, “He was indescribable. He was one of the best.”
Interestingly, Staffier, who went on to play at Miami, was an usher at Caggiano’s wedding.
Indeed, Peter Caggiano was part of one of the greatest generations of hometown Winthrop athletes. While Staffier went on to play on Winthrop High Super Bowl championship teams and win a New England sprint title for track coach Patricia McGee, Caggiano matriculated at Dom Savio High School in East Boston.
Caggiano was a very successful Spartan, helping to lead Savio to a Super Bowl title in 1982 as a starting offensive guard and defensive tackle and becoming a captain as a senior. He still has his Super Bowl ring.
Today Caggiano is still helping promote participation in youth sports as the president of Winthrop Youth Football. He is hoping that the 2020 football and cheerleading seasons can begin on time during the second week of September.
Now in his tenth year as president of WYF, Caggiano said that the COVID-19 pandemic has put all of the league’s plans on hold until there is a go-ahead from state and local officials.
“We have a conference call scheduled with the league commissioners to determine what our next steps are,” said Caggiano. “But we don’t really know. Our decision will be based on what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts says.”
Caggiano said more than 120 players and cheerleaders in grades 3-8 had participated last season. Winthrop competes in the Cape Ann Youth Football Conference. WYF practices are at Ingleside Park and home games are played at Miller Field.
“We’re going to open up registration once we have a clearer picture on what the summer and fall are going to look like,” said Caggiano, who credits Mark D’Ambrosio for being a key member of his WYF leadership team (“Mark’s one of the best – he’s my left and right hand man,’’ said the president.
The co-owner of Caggiano Funeral Home in Winthrop, Peter, 54, was part of a talented, multi-sport athletes who brought considerable success to the town.
“Jonathan Lanza, Steve Staffier, Johnny Hayes, Jimmy Adamson, David Gallo – we all grew up together, we played football, hockey, and baseball together,” recalled Caggiano.
And now Peter Caggiano, who has also been a board member of Winthrop Youth Hockey, is opening doors for other young and aspiring high school and college athletes.
In fact, this year’s incoming Winthrop High senior class, consisting of WYF alumni, looks ready to carry on the winning tradition of Winthrop football.