Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.25.2011 at 3.05 p.m. by Paul Ohanian

39-Year Old Proving That It's Never Too Late

One of the motivational sayings that has always resonated with me is "it's never too late to become the person you wish you were."

I'm not sure Dave Zoni has ever heard that saying, but he's clearly a guy who wasn't content with the status quo and decided to do something about it.

Zoni, you see, is a 39-year old "sophomore" and lacrosse attackman at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J. And while he has to endure the expected taunts of "geezer" and "grandpa" from teammates and opponents alike, Zoni is making good on a lost opportunity from years earlier.

Here's a link to the full story, written by Jackie Friedman for The Star-Ledger and posted on

While reading Zoni's story, I was reminded of a similar person that I encountered while working at Salisbury (Md.) University in the late 1990s. His name was Tony, and he decided that being 40-years old would not keep him from pursuing his dream.

So Tony left behind his career as a police officer, enrolled at Salisbury to get his degree in teaching, and decided, what the heck, since he loved lacrosse and still had one year of college eligibility remaining, he'd try out for the nationally-ranked Sea Gulls.

Not only did Tony make the team, he soon became one of the team's starting defensemen. And even in the days before YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, Tony's story went viral. He became a media celebrity, with features in The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and The USA Today, among others.

The moment I realized that his story had truly connected with everybody who has lamented the missed opportunity came when a morning radio show in Oregon – over 3,000 miles from Salisbury - called to get Tony as an on-air guest. He was a sensation from coast-to-coast.

So Dave Zoni, enjoy your run as a 39-year old attackman at Brookdale. Whether you know it or not, there are a lot of people out there rooting for you.