Senior football standout proves determination trumps size

By Beau W. Peterlin ’10

Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Peter Kelly '10 is a receiver and team captain on the varsity football team.
Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Peter Kelly '10 is a receiver and team captain on the varsity football team.

Walking through campus on Friday, the white numbers on Brophy football jerseys pop out amongst the sea of red t-shirts.

The jersey number and size are sometimes a clear insight into what position each player holds. However, this is not always the case and sometimes can be much different than any fan might expect.

The most evident example of this might possibly be senior Peter Kelly ’10.

The wide receiver and running back stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, something uncommon for high school players in today’s game.

However, size is not what Kelly is known for. He holds two and a half years of experience playing on the varsity team since being called up during his sophomore year.

His first glimpse of the pig-skin game came while watching Notre Dame play as youngster. He said this motivated him to play football as he always wanted to play for the Fighting Irish.

His motivation now simply comes at the end of the week on Friday nights when he stands with his teammates.

The role he plays “is to be a teammate to everybody and sacrifice everything for my brothers,” Kelly said.  Kelly is one of the team’s captains, but he said “everybody is a leader on the team—it isn’t just one person.”

Kelly attests his idea of his role on the team comes from the tradition of the brotherhood that is Brophy.

Another tradition for Kelly is wearing No. 9 across his chest and back. This is the former number of wide receiver Matt Smith ’07.

Smith was the hero of the 2005 state championship game, catching the winning touchdown against Hamilton to give Brophy the title.

Kelly said he believes that Smith inspired him to play football at Brophy. When Smith graduated, his mom asked Kelly to carry on the tradition of wearing No. 9, something he said he is honored to do.

He also said that he doesn’t have just one influential person in his life, but a group of people that he interacts with during football from coaches to alumni to speakers.

Kelly said these people help him realize football is the best game.

“Everybody knows that we are a team of brotherhood rather than huge talent like Hamilton and that is why we are successful.  We trust each other and always have their back,” Kelly said.