Galeazzi Rules: Dave Galeazzi Referees as His Daughter Franki Shines for the NEC North Division All-stars

February 29, 2012
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Dave Galeazzi, one of the referees in the Northeastern Conference All-Star Game, Is pictured with his son Nicholas, his daughter Franki (far right) and Lynn Classical teammates Kristin Lauria and Monta Connolly before the game.

His daughter is one of Lynn’s best all-around athletes, so exceptionally talented that she could potentially play three different sports in college.

He is a former high school basketball player and coach who returned to basketball officiating last year.

Until Friday night Dave Galeazzi had been connected to his daughter Franki’s hoop career as a coach of her New England finalist CYO eighth grade team and Lynn Classical summer league team.

At the NEC Girls Basketball All-Star Game, Dave and Franki Galeazzi navigated unprecedented territory as he served as one of the officials in the game while his daughter played for the NEC North Division team.

Galeazzi said he was originally scheduled to referee the Cape Ann League All-Star Game but Mike Muchmore, a former IAABO Board 130 president, changed the assignment to the NEC Game to create the unique father-daughter association.

“I was excited when I heard I would be refereeing the game,” said Galeazzi, who has served as an assistant basketball coach in the Swampscott, Classical, and North Reading boys basketball programs. “I thought it would be fun but a little bit different with me refereeing and Franki playing in the game. I don’t know if it’s ever occurred before.”

At first look Franki Galeazzi wasn’t so sure it was such a good idea.

“I found out the day before and my reaction was that ‘I’m not playing in the game,” said Franki. “I always felt that if someone’s dad was refereeing, it leads to favoritism and some comments on the court. Players say things about referees and it’s definitely a different perspective being on the court and having your father refereeing. All around, it was a weird situation.”

Franki talked it over with her father on the automobile ride to Swampscott High School Friday night. “I said, ‘you’re really refereeing this game,’ and he said, ‘yes, I am.’’’

Franki said she realized the All-Star game was an exhibition contest as opposed to a league game. “It wasn’t that serious, but if it had been a regular season game, I would have looked at the situation from a different perspective. He has refereed some Classical scrimmages before. I think he did a good job in the All-Star game. The game went well (Franki scored 10 points in the game).”

Dave Galeazzi and fellow referee Heather Marino called few fouls in the wide-open all-star contest. “We let them play – but I did call a foul on Kristin Lauria [who joined Franki Galeazzi and Monta Connolly as Classical’s representatives in the game],” said Galeazzi. “I didn’t send Franki to the line, though.”

Dave Galeazzi said the Lynn Classical girls basketball team exceeded his expectations for the 2011-12 season.

“Rich Dumas [Taylor Dumas’ father] and I coached the summer league team and they were young with no seniors and we thought they might win a couple of games during the season,” said Galeazzi. “[Classical coach] Tom Sawyer did a phenomenal job coaching this team [Classical just missed qualifying for the State Tournament].”

Galeazzi said he’s proud of his daughter’s progression in high school athletics. He likes the fact that she plays three sports [soccer, basketball, and softball].

“I like going to watch all three sports,” said Galeazzi. “I’ve been coaching sports for 30 years and speaking as a coach and not as a parent, I think Franki’s a phenomenal athlete.”

Like other Classical parents and softball fans, he’s excited about the Rams’ season this spring. Classical is the heavy favorite to defend its NEC title and emerge as a contender for the state crown.

“I can’t wait for softball – they should go very far this season,” said Galeazzi. “That game with [state champion] King Phillip should be special.

Franki Galeazzi has also turned her attention to softball season. The 15-year-old returning starter could be the one to step in to All-Scholastic Hannah Byrne’s shortstop position for the powerful Rams.

“I’m definitely excited about softball – I can’t wait, I’m counting down the days,” she said.

Galeazzi is asked all the time which sport she intends to pursue in college. “I definitely would say either soccer or softball, more to soccer. I like the sports equally but people have told me more that soccer is my sport. I feel most confident in playing soccer but that could change.”

The three-sport standout has been a model of courage and fortitude this year after sustaining a serious injury in a soccer game during the first week of the season. She fractured her nose in two places and underwent surgery on Sept. 10.

She returned to the soccer field in mid-October and began wearing a facemask in games for the basketball season. “I’ve been playing in an indoor softball league and I think I’m going to try not to use the facemask for softball season because I don’t want to get in the habit of being afraid of the ball. I don’t feel nervous or afraid of the ball, so I’m doing well without it.” And unless Dave Galeazzi takes up softball umpiring, Franki won’t have to worry about her father being behind the plate. But you can be sure that he’ll be in the stands rooting for the Rams.

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