When Thomas Brown takes the sphere on Thanksgiving morning, he’ll construct on the legacy of a soccer household steeped in historical past.
A sophomore linebacker, Brown is the newest in a storied soccer household that not solely starred for Chelmsford, however is entrenched within the Chelmsford-Billerica Thanksgiving rivalry that has existed since 1927.
He’ll get an opportunity Thursday to cement himself in this system’s lore as an integral member of a Chelmsford staff trying to seize the Merrimack Valley Convention Small crown for the primary time in 11 years.
“I am actually excited to be part of this factor,” Thomas mentioned. “I am proud to be part of all of this now.”
Thomas emerged rapidly as a freshman because it was clear that his energy, footwork and physicality would make him an elite tackler. He was accepted by his senior teammates, however his actual burst onto the scene got here throughout his freshman winter when he gained wrestling championships on the Div. 1 North Sectional, Div. 1 State and All State Finals.
“Soccer is the principle motive I combat,” Thomas mentioned. “It helps with my arms, leg and conditioning. Hand-to-hand fight in wrestling is nearly the identical factor as offensive line.”
It is simple to see how Thomas fell in love with the sport of soccer. Wherever Thomas turns, a member of the family finds himself on the middle of one among Massachusetts’ most traditional rivalries. Bob Brown Sr., Thomas’ grandfather, was a star Billerica captain and led the Indians to a Thanksgiving Day victory over Chelmsford in 1958.
Thomas’ father, Bob Brown Jr. was one of many prime gamers to come back by way of Massachusetts within the final half century. Within the late Seventies he starred for Chelmsford and was a member of the 1978 Lions staff that made the Tremendous Bowl. He additionally helped lead the Lions to a Thanksgiving Day win over Billerica his senior 12 months. His faculty profession at Pittsburgh was crammed with unbelievable alternatives. He blocked for some of the storied quarterbacks in soccer historical past in Dan Marino whereas taking part in within the Sugar, Cotton and Fiesta Bowls.
“It is so enjoyable to relive these days,” Brown Jr. mentioned. “It was such a good time in my life.”
At present Brown Jr. patrols the sidelines as an assistant coach on George Peterson’s employees in Chelmsford. It is a supply of power and pleasure as he tries to recreate these highschool moments he sees Thomas take pleasure in.
“Regardless of all the good instances in faculty, I do not suppose I’ve ever had the identical expertise as a highschool soccer recreation, particularly the Chelmsford-Billerica rivalry,” Brown Jr. mentioned. “It is extra of a school job. It is all about soccer and you will not get that have once more.”
Thomas, for his half, is fast to level out how his dad is rarely shy about sharing the occasional tip whether or not it is on a automobile trip dwelling or at a household film. At six-foot-four, 260 kilos, he is aware of he largely has a bodily benefit over every of his opponents. It is all about forging the approach.
“Each Saturday after a Friday evening recreation, we sit on a sofa and watch a film for 2 hours,” Thomas mentioned with a smile. “He yells at me with technical recommendation. It is nice to have a dad who is aware of all of the facets and is aware of what he is speaking about.”
Thomas’ faculty focus has already skyrocketed as he has drawn curiosity from a number of Energy 5 faculties, together with his father’s alma mater. All that is on Thomas’ thoughts, nonetheless, is how you can get bragging rights at Thanksgiving dinner. Thomas’ father and uncle by no means missed Billerica. His older brother, Bob Brown III, was a part of the final Chelmsford staff that beat Billerica for the league title in 2005. His different brother, Willy Brown, knocked off Billerica in 2007 en path to a Tremendous Bowl.
“He wished to make them one on the Thanksgiving desk,” Brown Jr. mentioned. “Neither of them has their title on the wrestling wall like Thomas.”
Now he hopes to match them on the soccer area.
“They’ve gained extra Billerica video games, so there is not any actual argument for me proper now,” Thomas mentioned. “Hopefully that can change.”