By Kate Quesada

FishHawk resident Martino Cosimo has been playing bocce ball in FishHawk Ranch twice a week for more than 10 years, and during that time he has gained a lot more than a love for the game.

Cosimo is one of approximately 20 members of the FishHawk Bocce Ball group, mostly made up of senior males, which meets twice a week at either the Osprey Club lawn or the FishHawk Sports Complex, depending on the time of year.

“It is my life,” said Cosimo, the oldest member of the group, who moved to FishHawk in 1992 from Chicago for the warmer weather and to be close to his daughter.

The group meets Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and usually plays three rounds of the game before heading to McDonald’s for coffee and more laughs.

“We have a lot of fun,” said FishHawk resident Dimitri Tripodi, the second oldest member of the group. “We come out here and have a lot of laughs, but really it is all about camaraderie.”

According to member Ed Harewood, in addition to playing bocce, the group meets regularly to celebrate birthdays and other life events.

“It is such a great group of guys,” said Harewood. “When I moved here, they took me in, taught me the game and gave me the gift of fellowship.”

Many members of the group are also active with O.W.L.S., Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors, which is open to all seniors, 50 or older, living in FishHawk Ranch.
The group is open to anyone and according to member Allan Roit, whose wife Sheila is administrator of the group’s Facebook page, more women have joined in recent months.
Members state that only one thing could make the group better, a permanent bocce court somewhere in FishHawk.

“We have been lobbying for years,” said Roit. “And are hoping one day they will find a permanent space for us.”

Find the group on Facebook at FishHawk Bocce for more information or to learn how to become a member.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.