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Carmazzi to trade sidelines in rivalry

Published: Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012 - 12:20 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 - 10:00 am

This is how members of the Christian Brothers High School student body greeted Dan Carmazzi on Tuesday night for a home volleyball match.

They chanted his name. Welcome home, coach.

Tonight's Holy Bowl XLII pitting No. 16 CBS and No. 15 Jesuit will have its own fresh coat of paint in this rivalry game at refurbished Hughes Stadium. For starters, Carmazzi is back on the CBS sideline as an assistant coach, the first time he has worn the Falcons' blue and red since his assistant coaching days at his alma mater in the mid-1970s. Carmazzi was a quarterback in the first two Holy Bowls in 1969 and 1970, a decade before his tenure as Jesuit head coach from 1980 through last season.

"We know it's going to be extra-emotional for coach Carmazzi because of his ties to Jesuit," CBS wide receiver Jalen Walker said. "This game is always fun, and knowing coach Carmazzi will be there will make this even more fun."

Jesuit leads the all-time series 25-14-2, losing the first meeting at American River College 20-13 behind touchdowns by Dennis Bertacchi and Danny Galvez, and winning the second showdown 8-7 when sophomore quarterback Dano McGinn scrambled in for the winning two-point conversion on the final play – his only snap of the game.

There have been close contests in the mud, wild finishes in the fog, shootouts in the rain and varying results on warm fall evenings.

Tonight, Jesuit introduces new coach Marlon Blanton to its top non-league rival in which a crowd of 16,000 is expected.

Jesuit quarterback Thomas Sperbeck had just one carry in last year's Holy Bowl, slowed by mononucleosis. He enters tonight's game healthy and eager – and to embrace Carmazzi regardless of the outcome.

"Coach Carmazzi was a great coach here," Sperbeck said. "We're all excited about this game. We think Jesuit made a great choice in getting coach Blanton."

Carmazzi coached three of his sons in the Holy Bowl – Gio, Matt and Dominic in the 1990s. The Sperbeck name also has ties to the Holy Bowl. Dick Sperbeck – Thomas' grandfather – coached CBS in the 1960s and '70s.

Carmazzi has been involved in more Holy Bowls than anyone, as a player, assistant coach and head coach with 39 total games. As a head coach, he lost his first six Holy Bowls, then beat CBS 13-10 in 1986 when quarterback Mike McIntee hit Dan Cahill for a touchdown pass. Carmazzi joked years later that the breakthrough victory "saved my soul."

All told, Carmazzi went 22-10 against CBS in the Holy Bowl, winning nine in a row at one point.

None of that matters tonight, a new era with the same old desire for bragging rights.


• Where: Hughes Stadium

• When: Freshman 3 p.m., junior varsity 5 p.m., varsity 7 p.m.

• Tickets: Adults $8, students/children $6, under 3 free.


• Rivalry revisited: Check out more on the Jesuit-Christian Brothers rivalry through the years.

• Snapshots: Going to tonight's game? Look for The Bee's "Snapshots" photographer and go online to see if you made the cut.

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Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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