Replay: thank you Easton Red rovers


This past Saturday (4/4), I had the distinct pleasure to attend and actually participate in the Gatorade REPLAY pep rally, in Easton, PA.

It’s been 16 years since the Easton Red Rovers and Phillipsburg Stateliners played to a 7-7 draw, on Thanksgiving Day ’93. With REPLAY #1 three weeks away, I witnessed first hand the intensity and enthusiasm surrounding this rivalry.

The players and students sang their alma mater; the cheerleaders performed routines and the crowd roared each time anyone referenced “Suzy Stateliner” (the Phillipsburg mascot) at the event.

Darren Smith took the stage and spoke on behalf of Easton and pointed out how everyone has changed since high school.

“A lot of things have changed over 15 years,” he said to more than 150 former players, cheerleaders, fans and friends of the 1993 Easton football team.  “Some of us have less hair. Some of us are gaining weight. Some of us don’t run as fast as we used to. Some of us have become Democrats or Republicans. But hopefully after 15 years we can agree on one thing,” he said.

“And that’s to beat Phillipsburg.”

Krista Ensley Norwood, 32, a former cheerleader, spoke for 17 cheerleaders who have agreed to come back for the game. She recalled how it felt when the 1993 game ended in a 7-7 tie.

“It was our senior year and we were standing on the sideline, thinking ‘It can’t end this way.’  There’s no bragging rights. Nobody won the game,” she said.

Bob Shriver, a former Easton coach and retired athletic director, said the changes Smith noted won’t matter April 26.

“I don’t care how much hair Darren says some of us might have lost, the game means we’re all 18 again,”  said Shriver, who is coaching in the REPLAY game.

As the pep rally drew to a close, I was very fortunate to share the stage with the Red Rovers and talk about how much their story has inspired Brophy and Marcos to re-assemble its squads and potentially set up a REPLAY #2 match. To share in their event and be part of such a brilliant Gatorade campaign made for an exceptionally fun day on this chilly afternoon in PA.

At the same time, simply being in the REPLAY environment was magical. It was very easy to get caught up in the camaraderie and friendships the Red Rovers share as they celebrate this reunion and upcoming re-match.

As Brophy and Marcos continue to march forward with their campaign to stage a potential REPLAY #2, it would be an honor to wear a Brophy jersey … again … and face Marcos one more time since the ’90 state soccer championship wasn’t properly determined 19 years ago.  Upon speaking with many players on both teams over the past few weeks similar comments, tone and sentiment comes through on every call. Brophy vs. Marcos is a classic re-match and our time is hopefully coming soon.

Thank you Easton for including us in your momentous day, and giving us a forum to share our hopes and dreams to follow in your footsteps and make you proud.

Red Rovers, I will see you at the bonfire and REPLAY match in three weeks.

Gatorade, let’s talk soon!


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