When Granby Memorial High School established its first football team in 2008, Frankie Rome, class of 2010, was not only the team’s first quarterback but also scored its first touchdown. Now, his younger brother, Jackson Rome, is also the GMHS quarterback.
“It was an unreal opportunity. It’s been 10 years since that first season and I still think about it all the time, especially that first touchdown,” Frankie said.
“I remember we were 15 or 20 yards out, it was supposed to be a passing play but no one was open and I saw a hole to my left and took it,” Frankie said. “I don’t remember much after that but I’m sure that’s the fastest I’ve ever run. All I was thinking from the start was how it was the first touchdown I ever scored,” he said. “I guess I was in shock.”
Frankie’s teammates came up to him to celebrate and told him that he’d just scored Granby’s first touchdown, which he thought was even better. Frankie said that his first touchdown didn’t really hit him until after he graduated when he realized how lucky he was to have had that chance. Frankie said that he always wanted to be quarterback because when he was growing up, he watched Brady Quinn. The quarterback who wore the #10 jersey for Notre Dame was his biggest influence.
Frankie’s favorite part about being the first quarterback for GMHS was that years later, he watched Jackson get the same #10 jersey and play starting varsity quarterback as a freshman.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to play quarterback at the high school level,” Jackson said.
When he was growing up, he watched GMHS football. He never imagined playing in one of those games. He has played football since he was seven years old and is currently playing his 10th season.
Jackson became interested in football after watching Frankie play during its first two years. After watching Frankie play as quarterback, Jackson realized that he wanted to be quarterback one day. He began his football career by playing for the Simsbury/Granby Raiders on the D team, just as Frankie did. Jackson’s first touchdown came during his freshman year against North Branford.
“It was my first start at quarterback,” Jackson said. “I had never been more nervous in my life. It was just a screen pass to Gage Fiorentino, a student at GMHS. All Jackson had to do was to get the ball into his hands and he did the rest from there. Gage broke two or three tackles for Jackson to score the touchdown.
“Though I started off in youth football as a running back for my first couple years, I played that until I was maybe 10 years old and then the coaches had me play quarterback,” Jackson said. “I’ve played it ever since then.”
Frankie and Jackson want to thank their mother, Jennifer Rome, one of the founders of the GMHS football team. If it wasn’t for her work, Frankie and Jackson wouldn’t have had the chance to play high school football.