Tweet stirs old memories for St. Thomas Aquinas grads credited with school’s first TD

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Two metro schools facing off Friday night have deep roots in common long before they met on the football field.

Before the football titans of today could pop the pads, St. Thomas Aquinas graduates John Seibolt and Jay Novacek were setting the stage.

"The goalpost would have been over here," Seibolt could be overheard saying, as he assessed 30 years worth of change to the gridiron he used to play on.

This week, the Aquinas Football account on Twitter sent out a series of black and white photos from 1988.

They show a young Seibolt throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Novacek in a junior varsity game. That play happened to be the first touchdown in St. Thomas Aquinas' football history.

The two old friends met up Friday for some laughs and a look back. Novacek drew big laughter, referring to Friday's reminiscence as his "Uncle Rico moment," referencing a character from the film Napoleon Dynamite, who was always talking about his long lost glory days on the grid.

"We were laughing," Seibolt said between laughs. "It's funny to pull those old pictures out and remind us it was 30 years ago."

"There's been many miles for sure," Novacek said. "I remember thinking to myself, 'I think that was the first touchdown.'"

The two gentlemen have moved on, starting families of their own. In fact, Novacek is now the principal at Olathe West High School. The Owls (5-6) faced off against Aquinas (10-0) on Friday night in the Class 5 State Semifinals. The winner will play for a state championship next weekend.

In that game, the sons of Seibolt and Novacek were due line up against each other in that Friday night game. Jackson Novacek is a junior wide receiver for the Owls, and speedy Max Seibolt plays strong safety for the Saints.

"It's brought up a lot of memories. It's made the football is family statement more relevant with the opportunity the boys have," John Seibolt said.

The two high school players of today said they didn't know much about the play from back in the day. They're busy focusing on right now.

"When I saw the tweet, I asked him about it. He said it was a freshman game," Jackson Novacek said. "He liked the tweet, but he's more focused on us beating Aquinas. I think that would feel better."

"I thought it was really funny," Max Seibolt said Thursday. "Greatness is kind of what we produce at Aquinas, whether its in the classroom or on the football field."

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