First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
Senior Michael Prappas caught three passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns to lead San Marino to a 52-0 Homecoming win over Temple City on Oct. 8, earning the Earl Bruce Award for his efforts.
“Michael is playing at another level,” head coach Ray Torres said of Prappas after the game. “He has a mental toughness and he will not stop.”
Prappas also was credited with six tackles in the game.
Named for a former San Marino High School football player who never in his career defeated Temple City, the Earl Bruce Award is given annually to the player who has the best performance in the annual game against the Rams. “Annual” until the pandemic, that is. A former Titan, Earl Bruce passed away in 2009 after a bout with cancer.
“Something that stuck with my brother for all of his 55 years was the fact that he never beat Temple City,” Earl’s brother, Steve, said shortly after Earl’s death. “We would tease him that Temple City hadn’t just beaten them, but humiliated them. San Marino lost to Temple City 55-0 one year. Temple City had an undefeated perfect season winning the AAA CIF championship that year. For years and years when our family and friends would come together over the holidays, without exception, we would bring up the Temple City football team and we were guaranteed to get Earl to tear up.”
It reached a new level when Steve and friends saved a few of the ashes from Earl’s memorial service at sea and tossed a few of them — where else — on the 50-yard line of Hitchcock Stadium at Temple City High School.
“As kids and even later as adults, we would play ‘last hit’ and I wanted Earl to have the ‘last hit’ on Temple City,” Steve Bruce said.