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Ponaganset High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Induction Class of 2017

Joe Zajac

Class of 1995


Joe Zajac entered Ponaganset High School in the fall of 1991. Joe was an immediate star on the freshman and junior varsity football teams. His breakout football game came in his sophomore year during the annual Thanksgiving game against rival Burrillville. Joe ran for over 160 yards and scored two touchdowns. This catapulted Joe to the next two years which were record breaking, not only personally but as a team. Joe had the best two years of any football player in Ponaganset Football history at that time. He was the focus of the team's offense his junior and senior years and the target of every team. Despite all the attention, Joe broke the school rushing and touchdown records each of those two years. He was voted 1st team All-State his junior year and 2nd team All State in his senior year. He was also a two-time First Team All-Division running back and two time Woonsocket Call All Star. He was also voted The Gridiron Club running back of the year in 1993 and 1994 and the first recipient of the James Connealy Memorial Award. His career culminated in the school's first ever Super Bowl Championship and he was named the game's MVP.

Joe graduated from Ponaganset in June of 1995 and went onto attend Norwich University in Vermont. He graduated from Norwich University in May of 1999 with a BA in criminal justice. Joe also graduated from CCRI in 2013 with an AS in nursing. He presently works as a nurse at The Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, Rhode Island. He is married to fellow Ponaganset 1995 graduate Tania Zajac and he has a son Jarrett 12, a daughter Samantha 10 and a stepson Chase who is 9. They presently reside in North Providence.

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