Sports Round-Up Feb. 13

Congratulations to Maral Javadifar, assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for being part of the Super Bowl LV winning team. One of the first full-time female coaches in the NFL, Javadifar is a product of St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, Flushing, and The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates.

As has become customary during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Zoom meeting once again served as the link between fans and a local sports hero. Longtime New York Mets lefty closer John Franco was a special guest on a Mets alumni Zoom on Jan. 27, where he answered fans’ questions and told stories about his days in orange and blue.

The Bensonhurst native began his baseball career at Most Precious Blood and Lafayette H.S., both Bath Beach. He then pitched at St. John’s University, Jamaica, before enjoying a 21-season professional career.

After breaking into the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds, Franco spent 14 years with the Mets and eventually became team captain. The Mets Hall of Famer ranks fifth all-time with 424 saves – the most ever by a left-handed reliever.