They’re former high school teammates at the prep level and now adversaries in college. At the end of the day, though, they’re brothers.
This Saturday, Matt and Dan DeRosa play one another in Portland, Oregon. Matt’s Lewis & Clark squad hosts Dan’s University of Puget Sound team for Homecoming, the third and final time the two have squared off in their post Union Mine careers.
“Matt’s team is 2-0 against Dan’s team, both games have been very close and came down to the last drive to determine the winner” said Don, the boy’s father. “Even though both play left guard on offense, their coaches said they might try put one brother on defense against the other at the end of the game.”
That prospect, before about 12 family and friends who’ll make the trip, excites Denise, the boy’s mother.
“That would be a memory of a lifetime,” she said.
The DeRosa clan will wear special shirts honoring both sons and remain neutral during the game and both school’s tailgate parties.
Matt, a senior, became a starter at left guard midway through his freshman year. He is a math major and is earning a minor in music. Matt also throws discus, shot put and hammer for the track and field team in the spring. He is currently an intern with the college coordinating activities for Student Services.
Dan, a junior, starts at left guard for Puget Sound. Dan, a Business Major with a minor in Religion, is extremely active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and coordinates meetings and activities on campus and with other local colleges in Tacoma.
Both spent the summer living in Tacoma, lifting weights and preparing for the upcoming season in the weight room on the Univ. of Puget Sound campus.
“It was kind of fun lifting and conditioning with players from the other team,” said Matt, a member of the 2006 D’backs team that played Grant for the section title. “They didn’t look at me like the enemy, just another athlete doing what they were doing.”
Dan said “The UPS coaches didn’t care at all, especially the day that Matt had to wear UPS football shorts and football t-shirt while working out because he didn’t have any clean clothes to wear. He made sure he did his laundry every week after that so he didn’t have to wear UPS gear ever again.”
Don and Denise have driven up to Portland or Tacoma every week for the past three years to watch them play.