Ozzy Trapilo was two years old when his father Steve suffered a fatal heart attack while on a family vacation in New Hampshire in May of 2004.
Even though the younger Trapilo had precious little time with his famous dad, who excelled at BC High and Boston College before embarking on a six-year career with the New Orleans Saints, he’s heard a lifetime’s worth of memories.
“The one message that always seems to stick out was his character,” said Trapilo, a standout senior tackle at BC High. “He was someone who would give you the shirt off his back. He was a selfless person, someone who worked hard for everything he had.”
Former BC High football coach and current athletic director Jon Bartlett can attest to Steve Trapilo’s largess. The weight room at BC High is named for him and with good reason.
“Steve was one of the most generous guys anyone could ever meet,” Bartlett said. “He donated the weight room free of charge. He was just a great, great guy.”
Trapilo would love nothing more than to follow his father’s trajectory in athletics. Ever since he was a youngster in Norwell, he had big dreams and wasn’t shy about telling anyone.
“I know a lot of kids always say that they want to go play college football and then go on the NFL,” Trapilo said. “I was one of those kids. I grew up with football in my family and this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
While Steve Trapilo had a more of a stocky build (6-foot-5, 290-pounds in his prime), Ozzy is more of the modern day prototypical offensive tackle. He’s close to 6-foot-8 and his 275-pound frame is fully capable of adding 30-40 pounds of muscle.
The childhood dreams started to take fruition last year when Trapilo cracked the starting lineup as a tight end and was shifted to tackle where he earned Catholic Conference honors.
“He’s got a great mind for football, he’s a very smart kid (Trapilo carries a 4.0 GPA),” said current BC High coach Jonathan Brillo. “Then you look at how active he is a for a kid his size.”
Those were a few of the attributes which opened up the eyes of several football coaches. Ironically, as much as the football coaches were impressed with Trapilo’s football tapes, they may have just as impressed with his athletic ability on the basketball court. Trapilo was the MVP of the Catholic Conference after leading the Eagles to a share of the league title.
“Coaches loved seeing his basketball tapes, especially the way someone his size got up and down the floor,” Bartlett said. “In this day of football where everyone seems to have rush ends who run 4.5 (in the 40), coaches are looking for athletic tackles who can get out there and block and that’s why they were attracted to Ozzy.”
Trapilo began visiting schools last summer and eventually focused on one school – Boston College. He decided to give a verbal commitment to BC in late June, feeling the school had everything he was looking for. The coaches there also spoke fondly of his father’s legacy at the school, yet went out of their way not to pressure Trapilo into feeling he had to be his father.
“We talked about it and they said they he came here and made his mark,” Trapilo said. “They said it would be time for me to do my thing here. Don’t come here to follow in his footsteps, but to make my own footsteps.
“I’m going to have the opportunity to do the same thing. All I’m going to do is go out there and do my best. I’m thankful that I’ve been blessed with size and now it’s up to me to use it to the best of my ability.”
With the potential headaches of recruitment out of the way, Trapilo can devote all his attention to the upcoming season. The Eagles struggled through a 4-7 season, but Trapilo feels they can turn things around. He and his teammates have noticed the lack of respect being paid to his Eagles in the preseason.
“We’ve talked about it practice a lot,” Trapilo said. “Everyone seems to be mentioning St. John’s Prep, Catholic Memorial and Xaverian as teams who can win the Catholic Conference and no one mentions us. We’re feeding off it and it’s our goal to prove them wrong.”