Chicago Bears player, Navy pilot, RI sports legend

A comment on a high school football photo caught my eye last week. It wasn’t the football action that caught my eye, but the fact that the photo was taken at Maznicki Field in West Warwick.

This activated the memory, so I started digging. The stadium is named after Frank “Monck” Maznicki, the legendary soccer player and coach who has been a lifelong resident of West Warwick. When he died, his obituary began, “Frank Monk Maznicki, 93, of Coaches Court [West Warwick]reached the end zone on Saturday 14th December 2013.”

Much is known about Maznicki’s career as a local high school sports star, All-American college football, NFL player and finally as longtime West Warwick High School coach.

Few people know that his professional football career was interrupted for three years during World War II while he was training and serving as a Navy pilot. Monk’s military service earns only the shortest mention in the numerous resumes found online, and even obituary He only gives her a brief acknowledgment.

December 17, 2013:Rhode Island mourns monk Mazniki

    Halfback Monk Maznicki of the NFL Boston Yanks, 1947. This same image was used on the Bowman football card that season.

Table setting

Frank Maznicki was born in West Warwick on July 19, 1920. His parents Stanislaw and Eleanor Maznicki were born in Poland.

He went to West Warwick High School and worked on the football team but sat on the bench until the last game of the 1935 season. West Warwick had a 1-6 record in the final against the Classical. Backup Maznicki finally saw his first act and made the most of it, scoring TD and kicking the extra point for a 7-7 draw.

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