When the Union football team arrived, supplanting Westfield as the top team in its section, it was senior Dave D’Addio at the lead for the Farmers.
One of the top running backs in the state of New Jersey in the late 1970s, D’Addio led Union to its first of a record 10 playoff championships in North 2, Group 4 when the Farmers blanked Plainfield 27-0 in the 1978 final at Giants Stadium.
A 1979 graduate of Union who went on to star collegiately at Maryland and then play in the NFL for the Detroit Lions, it is sad to report that D’Addio passed away Monday, May 29, at the young age of 55.
D’Addio was one of the best to ever play for Union legendary head coach Lou Rettino.
He then excelled at Maryland, gaining over 200 yards both rushing and receiving for the Terrapins his junior and senior seasons of 1982 and 1983.
D’Addio was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1984 NFL Draft, the 106th pick selected that year. That was his only year in the NFL.
A running back in high school, college and the pros and who wore uniform No. 44, D’Addio was born in Newark on July 13, 1961.
D’Addio also helped Rettino out as a volunteer coach during Union’s 11-0 state championship season of 1991 when the Farmers became the first team in five years to defeat Randolph.
More to come.