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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club


Feature article in 2011 All Star Program
by Dick Sparrer

If Jacob and Anthony Barrow ever needed inspiration as they struggled through the hot, grueling Indian summer football practices at Archbishop Mitty High School, they needed to look no farther than the family room wall of their Santa Clara home. There, framed in a shadow box and hanging on the wall, was a football jersey - the 33 jersey worn by their father, Randy, when he played in an all-star game as a semi-pro football player back in the early 1980s.

Randy Barrow was an all-Central Coast Section linebacker at Sunnyvale High School in the late '70s who went on to play at De Anza College and later for the Tigers, a local semi-pro squad. Two decades later, the Barrow brothers have followed in their father's footsteps. Like their dad, they would both become All-CCS linebackers, and like their dad, they would both serve as defensive captains for their high school teams. And like their dad, both Jacob and Anthony Barrow would go on to become all-star football players. The family will come full circle when Jacob Barrow represents Mitty in the Silicon Valley Youth Classic, better known as the Charlie Wedemeyer All-Star Football Game. The 37th edition of that annual North-South rivalry returns to Spartan Stadium on July 20, 7:30 p.m., when football players from the class of 2011 follow in the footsteps of the many greats who have preceded them in the summer classic. For Jacob Barrow, that means following in the footsteps of his older brother, Anthony, who was a defensive leader with five tackles for the North squad in a tight 27-25 loss to the South in the 2003 summer classic.

Jacob Barrow earned his place on the summer squad after winning all-league and all-CCS honors as a linebacker at Mitty, where he was a three-year varsity player. "This is a big deal for us," said the Barrows' mother, Michelle. "It's something we're really excited about. We're a very big football family."

That tradition started more than 30 years ago when Randy Barrow starred for the now-defunct Sunnyvale Jets. He went on to win the Most Valuable Player award in the Potato Bowl at De Anza Community College before playing some semi-pro ball. When his playing days were through, the elder Barrow joined the coaching ranks as the defensive coordinator for the Santa Clara Lions youth football organization. Both of his boys were linebackers for him before they went on to stardom at Mitty.

In addition to playing football, Anthony was a standout wrestler - winning the only CCS championship in Mitty history - and Jacob played a year of baseball for the Monarchs. The boys are also both accomplished martial artists. Not to be left out, their sister, Stephanie, was a national-calibre gymnast.

It's football, though, where the Barrows have left their biggest mark. And family from as far away as Arizona and South Dakota will be flying in to share another Barrow all-star experience this summer. "We're very excited," said Michelle. "We're going to frame both of their high school jerseys and both of their all-star jerseys." And they will hang on the family room wall alongside their father's No. 33 all-star jersey that served as the inspiration for them all.

Jacob Barrow won't be the only player following in an older brother's footsteps in the 2011 summer game. Stephen Economy, a standout linebacker at Leland in the fall of 2010, will play for the South squad a year after his brother, Michael, played in the offensive line for a south team that pulled out a thrilling 27-24 victory. Michael Economy was selected as the Most Outstanding Lineman in the Mt. Hamilton Division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League following the 2009 season, and a year later Stephen Economy was named the division's Senior of the Year. Now, with Stephen's participation in the summer classic, both will end their high school careers as all-stars.

The Barrows and the Economy brothers join an elite list of past "star siblings." Topping that list are five families that set three players each into all-star play. Saratoga and Oak Grove each had two of them. Larry, Steve and Rick Worman and Mike, Kyle and Kurt Heinrich all played for legendary head coach Benny Pierce, the North co-head coach in the first all-star game back in 1974, and were selected to represent the Falcons in the summer classic.

At Oak Grove, the Mornhinweg brothers - Marty, Shanon and Brad - played for veteran coach Phil Stearns, and Leone, Lancer and Burton Iosefa each played for coach Ed Buller - himself an all-star as a wide receiver for Leland in 1975 - and all of them would later play in the summer all-star game. Eric, Mark and Matt Scharrenberg of St. Francis made up the other trio of brother to complete their prep football careers with all-star appearances.

Saratoga - Larry, Steve and Rick Worman; Mike, Kyle and Kurt Heinrich; David and Daniel Goni; Bob and Gary Gatiss; Brady and Scott Moran; Augie and Alex Lagemann; Phil and Matthew Spencer. Oak Grove - Leone, Lancer and Burton Iosefa; Marty, Shanon and Brad Mornhinweg; Lonnie and Lin Klinkhammer; Omari and Jabari Carr. St. Francis - Eric, Mark and Matt Scharrenberg; Matt and Mike Manoukian. Pioneer - Kyle and Jason Murdock; Grant and Travis Murdock; Shaun and Justin Souza. Los Gatos - Alex and Erik Rollin; Joe and Gus Farwell; Carlos and Kiko Alonso. Peterson - Darren and Steve Nill; Cupertino - Andrew and Matt Ravadge. James Lick - Tim and Tom Nelson. Overfelt - Richard and Tony Randall. Leigh - Kyle and Kasey Padia; Brian and Keith Usry; Chris and Patrick Guthrie. Palo Alto - Timi and Tolu Wusu. Leland - Pat and Richard Tillman; Michael and Stephen Economy. Fremont - Steve and Scott Savage. Campbell/Blackford - Steve Aimonetti of Campbell and John Aimonetti of Blackford. Santa Clara - Eric and Chris Volta. Gilroy - Robert and Mike Fortino. Archbishop Mitty - Anthony and Jacob Barrow. Bellarmine/Prospect - Marc Rebboah of Bellarmine and Phil Rebboah of Prospect. Los Gatos/Bellarmine - Chris Danser of Los Gatos and Tim Danser of Bellarmine.