ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury community is invited to attend an Oct. 20 ceremony honoring the Tardive family for its role in starting youth football in the township 60 years ago.
The ceremony will take place around 6 p.m. at the Horseshoe Lake Park football field before the Roxbury Jr. Gaels varsity team takes the field, said Jr. Gaels Assistant Coach Kevin Spitzer, who is helping organize the event.
“The Tardive family established Roxbury Colts football, Roxbury Colts wresting and brought youth baseball to the town around the same time frame,” Spitzer said. The youth football program became the Jr. Gaels about a decade ago when it came under the umbrella of the township recreation department, he noted.
The Roxbury Colts teams were established end of 1958, with the first season played in 1959, according to Spitzer. He said the first president was Dominic Tardive while Vince Tardive was vice president and Bill Tardive was head coach.
The brothers established the program to enable boys in Roxbury to play organized sports without needing to travel long distances. “Some of the Tardives told me that, prior to the Colts being established, if they wanted to play organized football the closest place to play was in Newton,” Spitzer said.
He also noted the big contributions made by Tardive family women, “the backbone of the fundraising efforts” that made the Colts succeed, such as bake sales and operating the snack stands.
Tardive family members Steve Stetz, Gerry Tardive and Nick D’Ottavio are slated to attend the Oct. 20 ceremony to accept awards on behalf of the family. Spitzer said it would be wonderful if all former Roxbury Colts, Jr. Gaels players and coaches would show up to express appreciation.