By Ian C. Beck ’12
As the team emerged onto the field, Aug. 27 against Deer Valley, senior linebacker Ethan Cooper burst through the Brophy banner as music blared and the crowd cheered.
Cooper looked to the sidelines and locked eyes with one of his closest friends on the team, Joe Maggi ’11, then pounded his fist against the white No. 7 emblazoned on his jersey.
Cooper, a team captain and defensive leader who was since been injured, normally wears No. 44. The Deer Valley game was a tribute to an injured teammate.
Safety Maggi had torn his ACL in his knee week earlier during practice on Friday, Aug. 20.
As Maggi backpedaled during a defensive drill, he began to open up his stance and his foot caught in the turf of Brophy’s new sports campus. Maggi said he felt his knee pop.
In an e-mail to The Roundup, Maggi explained the injury will take five to six months for his ACL to fully heal and for his hamstring to regenerate.
Maggi also plays outfield and pitches for the Brophy varsity baseball team and he hopes his rehab will allow him to come back for baseball season in the spring.
“I’m still there for my teammates because they are what keeps me going and motivated to get back as soon as possible for baseball,” Maggi wrote.
In his absence, the football team has been passing around Maggi’s No. 7 jersey all season long.
Before the season’s opening game against Deer Valley, Cooper, one of Maggi’s closest friends on the team, approached him requesting to wear the No. 7 jersey in Maggi’s place.
“I kind of froze at first because I was amazed at the fact that he wanted to wear it for me,” Maggi wrote. “When I have players on the team coming up to me asking if they can wear it for that week it makes me realize how bad they feel about me getting hurt.”
Maggi said that he would never forget watching Cooper burst through the Brophy banner wearing No. 7.
Running back Kevin Molloy ’11 and wide receiver/running back Josh Dennard ’11 have also worn Maggi’s uniform.
In recent games, the No. 7 jersey was carried out with team captains Cooper, Molloy, Dennard and Kyle Veldman ’11 for the pregame coin toss and Maggi himself has worn the jersey while watching from the sidelines.