SAN JOSE -- The Kaspar family is preparing to watch an old-school backyard brawl, with several thousand unrelated spectators, when San Jose State hosts UC Davis on Saturday.
Brothers Nicholas and Anthony Kaspar will be on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage when the Spartans' offense takes the field against the Aggies at Spartan Stadium. It'll mark the first time the brothers from Dana Point have competed against each other in a game.
Nicholas is SJSU's starting right guard, while Anthony starts at left defensive tackle for UC Davis.
"They'll actually be hitting heads all night long," Spartans coach Mike MacIntyre said. "I don't know who won as little kids, but they're going to be going face to face. I know they'll be excited about it. It'll be a unique battle within the battle of the game."
Nicholas, a junior, did not appear in the 2010 game against Davis, a 14-13 Aggies win. Anthony, a sophomore, was injured and also did not play in the game. Anthony is a year older but redshirted in 2009 and was awarded a medical redshirt in 2010.
Expect the game to be the toughest on parents Tony and Denise Kaspar, who will attend the game with about 40 family members and wear customized "Spaggies" (half Spartans, half Aggies) T-shirts.
"They weren't looking forward to this game," Nicholas said. "They don't know who to root for. They're going to show up here and just root for us. But even then, it's going to be hard because the
The brothers were very close growing up and still work together during breaks from school. Anthony is looking forward to the reunion.
"I haven't seen him in a couple of months," he said. "I'm going to be staring across the line and give him a big ol' smile."
Nicholas is equally excited but acknowledged it will be strange initially.
"I think it's going to be weird the first couple of plays seeing him," Nicholas said. "But after a while, it's just going to be another player in the game and I'll treat it like that and just do my job. I'm sure he's going to do the same."
Hopefully their parents won't have to break up any fights, like they did while the standouts from Dana Hills High-Dana Point grew up.
"We played basketball together and would always have the hoop in the front yard," Anthony said. "One bump would lead to a harder bump and then we're fighting in the front yard. Our parents would have to break us up."
Anthony said the at-home battles were pretty even: "We each had a fair amount of wins."
The fights were always good-natured, even when Nicholas' rear end punched a hole in the wall during a wrestling match.
"Our parents were going to be home in three hours. We had to figure out how to fix it," Anthony said.
Nicholas is hoping to walk away with bragging rights from Anthony, who he said has tried to avoid the subject of the game.
"He doesn't talk about it, but it has been on my mind for a while, ever since we knew we were going to be playing," Nicholas said. "I would love to win the game."
Anthony doesn't plan to gloat if the Aggies pull off the upset.
"I don't really look at it like that," he said. "He's my brother. I wish him the best."
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