By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Last Saturday’s “Sunset Showdown” triumph over Palisades was a milestone win for the Brentwood varsity football team. The Eagles have started the season 4-0 for the first time in Coach Jake Ford’s five-year tenure, thanks in large measure to the contributions of four fantastic Palisadians.
“They all played tackle here in middle school and they mean so much to this program,” Ford said.
Brentwood became 11-man in 1996 and the Eagles compete in Division 10, so they have grown accustomed to playing the role of David in a city of Goliaths.
Ford calls all-purpose senior Jack Tobey “the heart and soul of the team” and for good reason. Following in the footsteps of older brother Will (a two-year captain at Brentwood who is now a sophomore linebacker at Johns Hopkins University), Tobey leads the team in rushing (averaging 5.2 yards per carry) and total tackles (55).
“I was playing club soccer in seventh grade,” Tobey said. “I didn’t pick up football until eighth grade. My brother got me to fall in love with football and ever since then, I’ve been all in.”
Tobey’s neighbor in the Riviera is Johhny Bond, who may be the toughest kid Ford has ever coached. The senior lines up anywhere he’s asked and wore a soft cast on his left arm Saturday while stepping in at middle linebacker.
“He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but nothing keeps him off the field,” Ford said. “Johnny’s played through so many injuries.”
Bond’s older sister Kelly also attended Brentwood and is now a coxswain on the rowing team at the University of Washington.
Parker Barnes is the Eagles’ backup quarterback and although he didn’t throw a pass Saturday he was vital to his team’s success.
“He and Cole [Lourd] competed all last spring and neither rose above the other,” Ford said. “I finally decided to start Cole but Parker has been the ultimate teammate ever since. He doesn’t sulk or complain. He’s always pushing Cole in practice. He comes from a super family and he helps out with scouting. It’s like having another coach on the sideline. He’s always prepared and at his position you always have to be ready.”
Barnes lives in the Highlands and picked Brentwood for the academics. His younger brother Preston plays lacrosse at Loyola.
“It was between Pali, Loyola and Brentwood,” said Barnes, a 5-11 junior. “It’s hard to get in so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
Standing 6 feet, 4 inches and weighing 200 pounds, junior wide receiver/defensive end Jack Dyett is an intimidating presence.
Ford calls Dyett a “physical specimen, with great speed and hands.” He lives in the Huntington and his brother Scott plays on the freshman squad.
“We’re usually the best-conditioned team,” Dyett said. “Beating a big public school like Pali proves we can play with anyone.”
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