Fitchburg High Grad Donates Shooting Machine to Basketball Programs
FITCHBURG -- Harold Mateo loves Fitchburg High School. The 2000 FHS graduate will do anything in his power to help out the Red Raider athletic programs.
When first-year boys’ basketball coach Danny Ortiz -- a former classmate of Mateo -- mentioned that he wanted to get a shooting machine for the boys’ and girls’ basketball programs, Mateo made sure this request became a reality.
“I told (Ortiz) I would buy it for them,” said Mateo, who purchased the expensive Dr. Dish Rebel Shooting Machine and had it shipped to coach Ortiz at Fitchburg High. “I have always wanted to find a way to give back to the FHS and because I know he will do a great job coaching the students and help reach new goals on and off the court.”
The Dr. Dish Rebel is a programmable and fully automatic basketball shooting machine that is easy to set up and efficient to use, allowing players to take hundreds of shots from a variety of locations in a short amount of time.
“It’s always great to see alumni who are doing well in life help out kids in the city,” Ortiz said. “Harold grew up exactly like many students in Fitchburg, not having much as a youngster. However, he has done very well in life by staying committed, taking advantage of resources offered by Fitchburg High School and believing in life goals. His contribution of the Dr. Dish Shooting Machine will not only help the kids currently at the high school, boys and girls alike, but also those in the city.
“On behalf of Fitchburg High School basketball, thank you Harold Mateo for your generosity to the kids of the city.”
Fitchburg Athletic Director Ray Cosenza says Mateo is the type of guy who remembers where he came from and is constantly giving back to his school and his community.
“He appreciates the education he received at FHS and the teachers and coaches he worked with,” Cosenza said. “He has been an awesome asset to the FHS athletic department since he graduated.”
While attending Fitchburg High, Mateo participated in football, basketball and track.
He was a co-captain of the football and track teams. He went on to study and run track and Bentley College and graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in law. He earned his master’s in business administration from Babson in 2010.
Currently, Mateo resides in Wakefield and operates a few companies, including RSC Global Realty/Rayco Motors, Clearwater Real Estate Investment Group, Elevate ARC, and Strategic Real Estate Solutions, a HomeVestors Franchise of “We Buy Ugly Houses.”
But Mateo’s never forgotten how much Fitchburg Public Schools helped him in the early stages of his life.
“Fitchburg and FHS means so much to me and my family that I hope to be able to start a scholarship fund within the next year or so to provide opportunities to students of all backgrounds who are in need,” said Mateo, who said he was influenced in high school by Chris Woods, Cosenza and the late Fred Sullivan. “When I was growing up in the Fitchburg school system, I was blessed to have people in my life that genuinely cared about my education, my life as an athlete, and what I would do after leaving.
“I have had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world for work and pleasure, and for me Fitchburg will always be home. It gave me the foundation to see all people as equal, to learn about different cultures, to meet people of Asian descent, African-American, Hispanic, white.
“Fitchburg is a true boiling pot, with many opportunities, and I want our youth to know that it is possible to do good and give back to where you come from. There is no better joy for me than to help our FHS athletes be more competitive.”
Ortiz also thanked Mike Beaulac of Beaulac Brothers Landscaping for donating Under Armour backpacks to the varsity basketball team.
“People who went to Fitchburg High School giving back to the kids of the city,” Ortiz said. “Great people giving back.”