Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brothers bring competitive nature to Boulder City football team

By Anthony Fenech

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 | 11 p.m.

Many midsummer days ago, on a neighborhood street in suburban Cleveland, Ross and Jack Lamarca would grab the attention of their entire flock of friends.

It would happen after backyard baseball or a football game in the park, when Jack would get fed up with Ross taking him down or Ross would take objection to a dirty look from Jack.

“They’d call them the Lamarca fights,” Jack Lamarca said. “We’d wrestle and fight and all of our friends would love watching us.”

One is a taller, dark-haired senior and the other is a shorter, redheaded junior.

One is a musically inclined quarterback and catcher and the other is a musically challenged running back and pitcher.

For all of their differences, there are two things that make the Boulder City brothers friends on and off the fields they share together: A love for competition and a love for sports.

“No matter what we’re doing, there’s always a competition,” Jack Lamarca said. “We’re always trying to show each other up and push each other to be better.”

It started in the backyard of their Chardon, Ohio, home, when Ross would play cornerback and Jack would play wide receiver, each trying to outdo the other as their dad whipped footballs through the air.

It continued as they played football and baseball together since age 6, the younger Jack playing up in age groups just to hang tough with the older Ross.

Now, it’s brought them to Boulder City, where their family moved in January to pursue their parents' entertainment aspirations close to Las Vegas.

“When we first moved here, it was tough,” Ross Lamarca said. “We didn’t understand at first that it was just mom and dad trying to follow their dream.”

But they always stuck together.

“We’ve always been here for each other,” Jack Lamarca replied. “If I was an only child and had to move here by myself, I don’t know what I’d do,” Jack Lamarca said.

They’re best friends on the baseball diamond and at the dinner table, best friends on the football field and in class, and even best friends when Ross Lamarca drags Jack Lamarca into the studio to hear his band’s latest rendition.

“The biggest difference between us is he’s a musician and I’m not,” Jack Lamarca said before pausing. “At all.”

I always wanted to do the drums but it’s just not doing it for me.”

So on days when Ross Lamarca’s Friday Nite Jamz band is rocking out, older brother will bring little brother along, just to see what he thinks.

Ross Lamarca earns so-so grades and Jack Lamarca earns good grades.

So on days when Ross Lamarca gets his so-so report card, Jack Lamarca knows exactly why.

“He’s always in class, daydreaming about his songs,” Jack Lamarca said.

“We share the same things, we have the same friends, we know what each other is thinking and laugh about the same stuff,” he said.

On the football field, where the Eagles are 5-3 and eying a deep run through the playoffs, coach Alex Kazel has found the package he received last year with the Lamarca brothers in it to be a very welcoming gift.

“They have both been great assets this year,” Kazel said, noting Ross Lamarca leading the Eagles in a pinch when their starting quarterback goes down and Jack Lamarca’s ability to play running back, wide receiver and linebacker.

“They’re both tough kids and contribute quite a bit on the field. We’re lucky to have them.”

As Ross Lamarca’s last year of high school winds down with his brother Jack at his side, both envision a day when they can play college baseball together, prolonging their competition between each other.

“We both want to play in college, but probably me a little bit more than him because he wants to prolong his music career,” Jack Lamarca said.

“Yeah, but he can’t get rid of me that easy,” Ross Lamarca answered.

From backyard brawls in Ohio to football fields in Nevada and possibly beyond, the Lamarca brothers have stuck together.

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