MOUNT CARMEL — Teammates, classmates, football fans and friends of Mount Carmel Area (MCA) graduate Brett Veach gathered for a Super Bowl party to support his team, the Kansas City Chiefs, in Sunday’s big game.
A crowd of nearly 50 people celebrated football, food and fun at a house party across the street from the Silver Bowl at a place locals refer to as the Halftime Club. Most wore Chiefs jerseys, T-shirts, hats or the color red in some form or fashion in support of Veach — the team’s general manager — and their choice to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the National Football League’s ultimate prize awarded to the Super Bowl champion.
Halftime Club party
Food preparations for the Halftime Club’s tailgating party began early Sunday morning and featured nearly every food imaginable, including homemade roast beef, turkey, barbecue ribs, kielbasa and other smoked and grilled meats. There was also pasta salad, an assortment of snacks and, of course, lots of drinks.
“It’s great to see someone from our area go on and have the success that he’s having,” said Cory Hepler, who was teammates with Veach on Mount Carmel Area’s 1994 and 1996 state championship teams. “To me, he’s already a winner, the Super Bowl doesn’t mean anything in that regard. Hopefully for him and Andy, they do win but it’s just great to see somebody from our area go on and do things like this.”
One of Veach’s classmates at MCA, Kristy Bogovich, who graduated with him in 1997, spoke about him as a person.
“I’m a friend of his. He was a great athlete and a very nice person, who was nice to everybody, and I’m really proud of what he’s doing right now,” she said.
Simon Morady, a former assistant baseball coach at MCA, shared his feelings about the entire Veach family.
“Very good family, all unbelievable,” Morady said. “Just like the Diminicks. My brother-in-law, Dennis Lentini, played end on MCA’s 1969 championship team with Brett’s father, Bob Veach.”
Bob Ditchey added: “I’ve been a friend of the Veach family for the past 40 years and I’m so excited that he’s helped bring the Chiefs to this point.”
At Dorko’s Cafe, Fourth and Poplar streets, others shared their thoughts about Veach and his team reaching the big game.
“We’ve been hosting Super Bowl parties for many years, but this year it’s special because we’re rooting on a hometown hero,” Dorko’s owner, Bob Marinelli, said.
Employee Bob Scicchitano, who is a teacher at MCA and longtime friend of Veach, recalled when Brett worked for him at the Mount Carmel Public Pool back when he was the manager.
“Brett was a genuine person who would do anything for anyone. He was a hardworking guy who always showed up on time and never took a day off work. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty and do anything I’d ask of him,” Scicchitano said.
“Today is the day he’s always dreamed of. He’s a good friend of mine and I communicate with him often. The greatest thing about Brett Veach is that he shows what can be accomplished through hard work and determination. He’s a great role model who shows what can be achieved by doing things the right way.”
Megan Rathosky, decked out in a red shirt, said, “We’re rooting for them, for him (Veach).”
“(It’s) just good to see a local hometown boy in a Super Bowl,” said Deke River.
Joe Wozney, who played on the Mount Carmel Area’s 1969 championship team added, “I just want to wish him a lot of luck and hope they do well.”