Archive for May, 2010


Post-REPLAY Thoughts ….

As the media often reported leading up to the Brophy vs. Marcos match, what started off as a “zany idea” actually saw the light of day 14 months later.  Over the course of a year more than 3,200 emails were shared, hundreds of phone calls, text messages and IMs exchanged by teammates and rivals – all with the pursuit of re-assembling our teams to “settle the score.”

From a personal perspective the outcome of the match isn’t what we trained and planned for, although I am continually reminding myself about the positives which resulted from our REPLAY campaign.  In my gut and in my heart, I will always believe Brophy was the better team in ’90 and still is in 2010.

Below are a few highlights:

  • Each team was 100% re-assembled
  • Players flew in from San Jose, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Des Moines, Tampa, Washington, DC and New York
  • The game was sold out with standing room only along both sidelines around the track
  • Thousands of dollars raised for Brophy and Marcos charities
  • First soccer game in the Gatorade REPLAY League
  • First game on the West in the Gatorade REPLAY League
  • People who hadn’t spoken in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from both sides are now talking again, and friendships have been rekindled

There were times during our pursuit where it appeared we didn’t have any wind in our sail; but we pushed.  In this instance determination and perseverance prevailed.

I will look back fondly on our team meeting prior to the game, in the Brophy classroom, where we talked about our memories, experiences and what we valued most being a part of the BCP community; Brophy soccer and knowing Mic.  This was personal and meaningful, and thank you so much John for making this happen!

As I shared with the team, as I look back on my Brophy experience I am most thankful for the life lessons I learned as a Bronco and playing for Mic and John: self confidence and courage.

This entire REPLAY pursuit took courage for all of us to train, get in shape and take the field one more time in front of our family and friends.

Courage is a powerful trait.

Courage is the fuel that enables a lot of things.

It takes courage to:

  • Say no
  • Show your weakness
  • Start something new
  • Start over
  • Try a different approach
  • Take risks
  • Hold your ground when you believe you are right
  • Admit you are wrong
  • Not go with the crowd
  • Highlight errors and mistakes
  • Express unpopular opinions
  • Call out the elephant in the room
  • Be accountable for your mistakes (it’s easy to be accountable for successes)
  • Put others first
  • Try new things
  • Accept criticism
  • Be different
  • Be uncomfortable
  • Try
  • Fail

Courage is at the heart of all great efforts – and allows us to do the hard stuff.

All the great successes I have witnessed have come about because people had the courage to do something different, to challenge the status quo, to take a risk, to be willing to fail.

In the end, as a team we were courageous and took on the REPLAY challenge.

What kept me going was the more people I spoke with about our potential re-match it got me pumped up. The energy, enthusiasm and interest in seeing our “Co-Championship” game played again was amazing.  There is nothing more energetic and exciting than being around others who are passionate about their ideas and goals.

As our campaign marched on, interest grew and others wanted to participate in any way possible. Whether it was creating the game ticket, t-shirt design, making banners, emailing old friends/classmates to drum up support, etc the passion and excitement grew and it became infectious among our schools, classmates, family, friends and Valley soccer fans.

There are many REPLAY stories out there – as Gatorade has received more than 3,000 submissions – and our commitment to sharing the Brophy vs. Marcos story and following through by actually playing the match is a testament to what we all believe in our heart, mind and soul.

Everyone who attended the game at 7pm on Sat, 5/8 could tell the Brophy and Marcos players (and fans in the stands) has this feeling.  You could see it.  You could feel it.

Hope, optimism and excitement were abuzz.  It was awesome to be part of the Brophy vs. Marcos match … it was like being plugged into an outlet, the energy just got inside you.

Here’s to keeping this dose of optimism and hope alive among our Brophy soccer family as it will keep us all running for days – it certainly keeps me going.  Most importantly thank you for your ongoing support, commitment and friendship.  I am very thankful our paths crossed in life and Brophy is our common denominator.

Your friend and teammate,



Marcos de Niza defeats Brophy in replay of 1990 soccer state title game

by Jose E. Garcia – May. 9, 2010 12:13 AM
The Arizona Republic

On Saturday the 1990 edition of the boys soccer teams of Tempe Marcos de Niza High and Phoenix Brophy replayed their 1990 state title game that ended in a controversial 0-0 tie. The teams wanted to settle the score once and for all.

It took 20 years, but Marcos de Niza’s players can finally say they are the champions after beating Brophy 2-0 Saturday night. Fans packed Brophy’s new sports complex to watch the game.

After the game, the public address announcer said “The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s state champion Marcos de Niza Padres.” It’s doubtful that the AIA will recognize Saturday’s game as the official championship game between the teams.

But at least for one day Marcos de Niza was glad to say it won and will likely brag about it for the next 20 years or so. Before the game started there was a moment of silence for the teams’ former coaches, Jack Smythe of Marcos de Niza and Brophy’s Paul Micheletti.

Smythe died of cancer, and Micheletti died in a car accident.

“I was honored to hold his (Smythe) position tonight,” said Jim Vanney, Marcos de Niza’s coach on Saturday.

Former Brophy assistant under Micheletti, John Kelly, was Brophy’s coach on Saturday.

Vanney was an assistant on the 1990 team.

Vanney’s brother, Greg, turned out to be the star of Saturday’s game, but that didn’t really surprise many. Greg retired about 18 months ago as well-known professional.

Greg, a defender throughout his pro career, scored the first goal with 18:42 remaining in the second half and assisted on the second goal, a header by Kenny Wright.

“He (Greg) put it (free kick pass) on a platter,” Wright said.

For Marcos de Niza’s Steve Service, the game meant he can close a chapter of his life that kept chasing him.

Service has always said he scored a goal on a header during the 1990 game, but the goal was disallowed by a linesman.

“Tonight (Saturday) was totally about confirmation that we won in 1990,” Service said.

Marcos de Niza goalkeeper Scott Hileman and Brophy’s goalkeeper Robert Kaczmaryczyk made a handful of excellent saves.

The Brophy-Marcos de Niza rivalry was intense, and 20 years didn’t erase some of the bad blood. A couple of players came close to fighting on two occasions, but after the game all of the players shook hands and hugged each other.

“Once a competitive athlete,” Greg said, “always a competitive athlete. Nobody wanted to lose. That’s sports. You want to beat each other up, and in the end you hug.”

After the game, the players took pictures and chatted with friends and families.

There were one or two beer bellies (OK, three) and a few receding hairlines on the field during the game, but the players already etched their place in Arizona soccer history. That 1990 Marcos de Niza-Brophy rivalry produced 10 college players and six professionals.

To this day no other Arizona high school soccer rivalry can say it has produced that much talent. Former Brophy defender Briand Wendel deserves the credit for reuniting the two squads.

Wendel has attempted to organize this game since March 2009, and Gatorade finally granted Wendel’s wish to sponsor the game. This is just the third replay game Gatorade has sponsored.

Gatorade has received about 3,000 requests to replay games.

“Perseverance and determination won out in making this game possible,” Wendel said. “I’m sure we won’t go another 20 years without being in touch with each other.”


KDUS AM 1060 “The Fan” With Lauren Fritts

Listen to Lauren Fritts, Gatorade spokesperson, discussing the Gatorade REPLAY League and Brophy vs. Marcos.