Superior athlete, outstanding football skill, one of the best athletes to play at Gloucester High School, wonderful human being.
Those were just a few of the words used to describe Frank Destino, a former GHS standout in both football and baseball. Destino passed away last Thursday at the age of 77, but the legacy he left behind in Gloucester will not soon be forgotten.
“He is without a doubt one of the best athletes to ever play at Gloucester High School,” said David Harrisson, a friend of Destino’s and a former teammate on the 1951 Gloucester football team. “He was a tailback in Gloucester’s old single wing offense and he could do it all, run, throw and if he had to he could even kick. His speed around the end was unmatched. He was one of those guys that was just good at everything he did.”
Destino, a 1954 graduate of GHS, was a standout on both the gridiron and the baseball field racking up individual accolades in both sports.
Gloucester’s four Super Bowl appearances from 2007-2010 saw the school’s record book undertake a bit of an overhaul, but Destino’s numbers have withstood the test of time, as he is still amongst the best of the best in several categories.
His 208 career points (32 touchdowns, 16 extra points) was a Gloucester High School record from 1953-2000, when Adam Orlando broke the mark. Orlando’s mark has since been bested by Andrew Fulford in 2007. His 90 points in 1953 is also one of the top 10 marks in school history.
Destino was a starting running back as a sophomore on Gloucester’s 1951 team that tied for the Class B state championship. He only got better in the two following seasons under iconic head coach Nate Ross.
Blessed with blazing speed and an ability to get tough yards up the middle, Destino gave opposing defenses fits from 1951-53.