John F. Kennedy High School: The ROCK
In 2005, Coach Sarlo dedicated an award to honor the memory of his close family friend, Stephen Rockwell. The Stephen Rockwell Memorial Award, known as the 'ROCK' is awarded to the player who best models the principles of the Foundation of the Kennedy Eagles football program, TEAM, COMMITMENT and HARD WORK.
The 'ROCK' makes the commitment to work hard for the success of the TEAM. He leads with his actions not only on the playing field but also in the classroom. Above all, he is the player who can still crack a smile and make others laugh, even after an exhausting practice or after a tough loss on game day.
He is passionate not only about football, but about life itself. Stephen Rockwell had those same passions. A former football player and 1982 graduate of Kennedy, Steve was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1988. He left us way too early, but during his time on this Earth he made such a profound impact on everyone in his life. One of his favorite songs was Bobby McFarrin's 1988 hit, 'Don't worry, Be happy'. That is exactly how Steve lived his life. No matter what life threw his way, Steve never let anything or anyone bring him down. He made everyone laugh with his wonderful sense of humor and he made everyone smile with a tremendous smile that was contagious! The two student-athletes honored with the 2016 Stephen Rockwell Memorial Award are senior captains, Joe Schaff and JJ Cossette.
Joe was one of the most intelligent student-athletes that I have ever been blessed to coach. As the varsity quarterback Joe led the team in the huddle for the past 3 seasons. For his leadership, he earned selection to the 2016 ALL City Offensive team.
Off the field, Joe excelled in the classroom and in the community. He graduated from the JFK S.O.A.R. program as a member of the National Honor Society. In the community, his leadership and intelligence led him to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. A coachable and respectful student-athlete like Joe will surely be missed as he heads off to attend University of Wyoming in the fall. Good luck Joe!
JJ Cossette was a hard-working student-athlete who contributed at the varsity level since he was a freshman! As a result, JJ earned a selection to the 2016 ALL City Defensive team. As a quiet leader, JJ earned the 'ROCK' with his actions on the field. JJ played ALL sides of the ball, offense, D and Special Teams! A student-athlete of his caliber is extremely difficult to replace and so he will be greatly missed. JJ will attend UConn in the fall. Good luck next year JJ!
The 'ROCK' honorees, 2005-present...
2007-Steve Anton, Ken Fermin, James McColl
2010-Oscar Jean-Baptiste, Travis Johnson, Ryan Boland
2012-Steven M. Perrone Jr.
2014-Jake D'Alusio, Stanley Little, Eli Benjamin
2015-Jordan Crosby-Williams, Bryan Garcia-Medina
2016-Joe Schaff, JJ Cossette