On a regular weekday, a 6 a.m. wakeup call in the Galasso household, for Brian and his brother Michael (known as Stu on the football team) is normal. The two share a room in their home in Port Richmond. The duo is out the door at 6:30, so their mother can drive them to the train station in her black Honda in order to catch the 7:15 train. Brian, who is one of nine, does not need to be doing this.
Brian has two brothers who attended Father Judge High School, only about fifteen minutes from their house, and two other brothers who attended Roman Catholic, which is only about ten minutes away.
Brian didn’t want to be the typical little brother and follow in his brother’s footsteps. Being the third youngest of this big family, there isn’t much room for Brian to be the role model and create his own path. He is finally able to step into that role for Michael, choosing to attend Haverford his freshman year, which Stu did a year later.
This decision has allowed Brian to create his own legacy for him and his brother, but not just in their immediate family, but in the whole neighborhood.
Where Brian is from, nobody attends private school–it is either public school or Catholic school. This is what sets him apart from the typical Haverford student.
Back on the train, Brian and Stu don’t typically sit next to each other. The busy Philadelphia mornings make it hard for them to find seats together, so they take what they can get. Brian puts in his headphones, turns on some Post Malone and sits there quietly, maybe taking a nap on the days where he is really tired, and waits for his and Stu’s stop.
The two haven’t arrived at 450 Lancaster Avenue just yet. They still have a decent walk until they get to the doors of the athletic building. They drop their bags off in the back of the locker room, and then split ways. Brian heads to the dining hall and routinely sits at the fourth table on the left. This is where Brian starts to become the same as his peers.
When “Haverford kid” comes to somebody’s mind, they typically think of the pastel color wearing, Merion Cricket Club-going boy who lives in a big house in the Main Line. This description couldn’t be further from Brian. But once he completes his long journey to school and gets inside the walls of Wilson Hall, every kid is the same.
Just like every other junior, Brian has to sit through biology, but when Ms. Lewis isn’t looking, he opens up his Hudl account and starts watching film. Pretty stereotypical of a football player. Brian says, “Football is extremely important to me because it is filled with so many opportunities that continue to impact my life for the better.”
It’s only first period and Brian can’t wait to step onto Sabol Field.
With all this experience only as a junior, number 33 leads the way for the younger players.
3:15 finally rolls around and Brian heads out of his last class, joking with friends on the way to the locker room. Once he’s in there it’s all business. He puts on his equipment, laces up his black Adidas cleats and hits the field.
Brian has been the starting middle linebacker since his freshman year. With all this experience only as a junior, number 33 leads the way for the younger players. He is one of only eleven players on the team with a black jersey, given only to defensive starters, which is something the underclassman look for in someone to follow.
“ Waddup, Bri” can be heard all over the field as he makes tackles left and right. This is where Brian feels most comfortable. Playing football has been something he does since he was a little kid playing for St. Anne’s. It just comes naturally to him.
Now that the fun is over, it is back to reality for Brian and Stu. They run into the locker room after practice to throw on their khakis as quickly as possible to catch the 6:45 train home. After their second thirty-minute train ride of the day, his brother Dominic is waiting there for him at the station around 7:15.
Once they get home, the rest of the family has already eaten dinner, so Brian and Stu have some time to catch up with each other. Brian values these moments because he and Stu have a special relationship being the only ones in his family at Haverford. Brian says, “ There’s always someone to talk to and be around before, after, and sometimes during the school day to relate to.”
After he eats, it’s time for homework and then bed. A pretty boring night, just like for most students. His adventurous day from Port Richmond to Haverford has come to a close, but he is just going to wake up at 6 a.m. and do it all over again. It does not even phase him anymore.
As a starter on the football team and a funny kid, Brian is a valued member of the school community. He fits right in once he is inside the walls of Fordville, but many people don’t know who he is outside of Haverford.
It takes a lot for him to come to school every day, but that is just the type of kid Brian is. He is a leader on the football field. He is a leader for his brother. Brian could easily be at Father Judge or Roman Catholic right now, but he wanted to be different. He wanted to be a role model. Having the mentorship of his older brothers, that leadership has come naturally.