Almost every sport, it seems, is a game of numbers. It’s not unusual for a homerun hitter to be “one-upped” by the next guy at bat. A quarterback can be a “double threat” when he’s both a passer and a runner.
But a triple threat? That’s where the numbers don’t get thrown around as much.
Trouble times three is a seasonal phenomenon in the Southeast Valley Youth Football League, which this year has not one, but two, sets of triplets.
Both sets of threesomes love to play the game. They also are key contributors to their teams.
Ryan, Marc and Anthony Farina, 13, have been playing football since they were six years old. They play for the Aztecs football team, where Marc is a nose tackle, Ryan is a halfback and linebacker and Anthony is a tight end and defensive back.
They are triplets, but far from similar, their father, Lou Farina, said.
Anthony is a free spirit. He is rarely worried about much and focuses on enjoying the moment.
“He’s a great kid, enjoys life and smiles a lot,” Lou said.
Ryan is the serious member of the trio. He’s focused and is the most athletic. Marc is the more emotional brother.
“He gets people all fired up,” Lou said.
Their personalities, Lou said, make them a well-rounded unit.
“They have all the bases covered,” he said.
Though they share the same birthdate, they have different personalities and qualities. Lou said this was encouraged by the family. He believes it is important that they develop their own identities.
“We raised them that way,” he said. “We tried to make them individuals.”
The triplets have established a reputation of being hard workers and fierce competitors.
The McCollough triplets have their sights set on doing the same.
Brendon, Colton and Preston McCollough have been playing football for two years. A friend introduced them to the sport and they’ve loved it ever since.
Brendan plays on the offensive line, while Colton is a linebacker and Preston is a cornerback. Their father, Rob McCollough, said they are improving each day and developing well. He said Colton sees the field well. He has also developed a great feel for the game. Brendan is one of the strongest players on the field and Preston has the speed and quickness to impact games on each play.
They’re close, but like the Farina triplets, they have their own individual personalities. Preston is the more aggressive of the brothers, while Brendan is laid back and Colton is the most observant. Having three highly competitive 10-year-olds with different qualities is a treat.
“(It creates) kind of a unique family atmosphere,” Rob said
Rob said all three brothers work extremely hard and ask questions. After a solid season last year, he said they’re looking forward to contributing even more this season.
The Farinas had a good season as well.
Anthony had two interceptions in a game, a 100-yard game and Marc enjoyed a game where he had 12 tackles and two sacks.
But this, for both sets of triplets is just the beginning. They hope to improve each day and become the best they can be on the football field.
They’re looking forward to becoming leaders and even bigger contributors. Their goals are high, but they are confident they can reach them.
Editor’s note: What better occasion than Father’s Day to profile a couple of dads and their total of six sons, packaged in the form of two sets of triplets. Both Lou Farina’s and Rob McCollough’s boys play on separate teams in the SEV Football League. (The cover photo on this issue shows the McCollough boys when they played on another team.)