Home Runs and Home Renovations with Harbor Stone Construction10/06/2023 12:29PM ● By Mark Abbott
I grew up a mile past the old High school on 5th St in Oxford PA. I played in the woods, I swam in my creek, my friends and I would ride our bikes all over town and the surrounding townships all summer long. We played school sports, took part in civic events and went to church with people of our community - life was great as a child for me. My dad was a Navy Vet, all of his friends were either Army, Navy or Marine Corps vets. Both of my grandfathers served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. My future was established long before I even knew it. But first things first, if I was going to be an all American boy, then I needed to learn to love and appreciate the most perfect game ever created, Baseball. I needed some help, so when I was 7 years old my parents made the decision to take me out of full time daycare and instead, have me spend my summer with a local family, the Rozichs...I suspect it was to learn how to play baseball correctly, and I’m sure the flexible schedule and lower cost had nothing to do with it.
So one summer morning, my parents took me over to that house not far from Lincoln University and they dropped me off. All I knew was that the family had a boy 6 years older than me named John Rozich with a killer baseball card collection. His room was in the basement of his parents house and the walls were covered in Phillies memorabilia, Mike Schmidt posters, and the coolest thing yet, his own home run balls. I thought “this dude was a real life superhero in the flesh, and I get to hang out with him.” I had no idea, but just like Smalls in the sandlot, that this house would form in me a love for a family and a game that would last my lifetime. We would spend 5 summers together total, filled with endless PB&J sandwiches and glasses of milk, and John letting me tag along to follow him everywhere.
John Rozich wasn’t an average ball player. He began playing at 9 years old when his family lived in Bucks County. After moving to Oxford, he played for the Oxford Little League and then Legion ball. Kutztown University picked John up on scholarship, where he currently sits in their Hall of Fame. He is noted as a 4 years starter catcher with stand-out performance, 192 career runs from 1996-99, and still holds school records with 49 doubles, 37 home runs and 378 total bases. It was this performance that led him to be the 18th round draft pick by the LA Dodgers farm team, the Yakima Bears based in Washington State. He played a year with the team before injuring his arm with a strained UCL, but was able to avoid a common surgery called Tommy John surgery. “I played the game more for fun and the business side was there. I lost the love for it,” explains John. “Once I stopped playing Baseball, I started playing Fast Pitch softball and started coaching my sons and found a new love for it.”
After his year with the Dodgers, John returned to Oxford and finished his degree, a dual major in Management and Marketing. He had worked construction jobs throughout high school and college, jobs that were actually brought to him by his Little League coach. When the economy took a dip in 2008, John lost his steady construction job and was left with a decision on where to go next. A friend and family attorney told John that he could work for anyone with his skills, and encouraged him to start his own company. “I had talked about it for years but when the economy went under in 2008-2010 I was let go of my company, and I decided it was sink or swim. I wiped out my 401k and started my business, Harbor Stone Construction,” John recounts. “And I had 3 kids at home,” John added, with his wife, Jamie Rozich agreeing “Casen was born!”
John and Jamie have 3 amazing boys, Brennan (21), Landen (16), Casen (13), who have been blazing their own paths in baseball. Brennan has made his own name at Kutztown while pay homage to his dad, keeping the same jersey number #20. He’s a utility player majoring in Criminal Justice, and in his Junior year, started 33 of their 39 games. Landen plays for Oxford High School and West Chester Dragons as a Shortstop and Second Baseman, and after his graduation in 2025, has committed to George Mason University in Virginia. Casen, a left-handed pitcher and 1st baseman, is listed with a fastball speed of 65 mph on his 13u team.
With the full weight of providing for his family and 3 growing boys, John knew he had to make his business plan work. “It was a drive to do something for myself, to make something for myself and it was hard as hell. I was always told you have to get through 4-5 years and if you make it through that, you will make it,” explained John. And make it, they did. Harbor Stone Construction started with one employee, and now they have a team of 10 including project managers and architects. Harbor Stone Construction handles every type of remodel or new build, from small to large, including drywall patching, kitchen and bathroom remodels, new home construction, and even commercial projects - they recently completed the locker room renovation for the YMCA in Delaware. Customers come with ideas in mind and Harbor Stone Construction runs with the plans. Designers work with customers to map out their goals and needs, architects work with the build requirements and then John’s team of construction professionals bring it to life. A standard kitchen or bathroom renovation averages 6-8 weeks.
John and Jamie are proud to be a home-grown business. “We’re from here, we grew up here, our kids went to school here,” explains Jamie, with John adding “It gives you a sense of pride, we grew up here so we’re established here. We know a lot of people here and we try to give back to the local sports teams and sponsor different events. It’s good to give back.”
John continues to coach for the West Chester Dragons travel organization. “I’m still tough and I demand a lot, but I’ve softened in other ways.” - John “Yea, but they still want to play for you” - Jamie. And growing up with John, I knew it best back then. John showed me how to be firm, but fair. He showed me when it was time to use strength and when it was time to use compassion. He showed me how to help people who needed it. John certainly wasn’t an adult, but he was older and more mature and it was his job to offer some sort of guidance and limits. Sometimes he could talk me out of my bad ideas…more often than not it took some strong arming - noogies, charley horses, punch buggies, and good old fashioned wrestling always ended with John showing me that he was right, and I was the kid brother who needed to listen.
You can find out more about Harbor Stone Construction by visiting their website at www.harborstonecc.com, or by phone at 610-467-0872.
Photos by HaLeigh Abbott, Abbott Imagery