A True Measure(ment) of a Man

Comments on the dedication of John D. Modica Field, Oct 1997

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Wayne Von Stetten Stadium at Brandywine high School where, today, we recognize Coach John D. Modica for his many years of contributions to the district and community . . . ." So began the comments of Principal Alfred D. Di Emedio at the dedication of the John D. Modica Field at Brandywine High School prior to the Homecoming game on October 25, versus Delcastle High School. It was truly an exciting time for Coach Modica and the Brandywine High School fans and football players . . . each of whom gathered wonderful and treasured memories of that day.

John D. Modica . . . teacher, coach, community advocate . . . was honored earlier in the day at a reception attended by over 80 family members, friends, fellow teachers, and former athletes. Old times were remembered, news of recent years was presented, and general laughter and appreciation were mutually shared by all that attended. The reception was followed by a short ceremony on the football field during which several special people presented comments. Among this group was: Dr. Joseph DeJohn, Superintendent of the Brandywine School District; Mr. Daniel Lyons, Esq. (BHS, '65); Mr. Peter Lips (BHS, '65); and, Mr. Michael Modica (BHS, '75). Dr. DeJohn presented some personal comments on Coach Modica and also shared a letter of tribute received from Governor Thomas R. Carper. Mr. Lyons and Mr. Lips, both members of Coach Modica's undefeated team, shared close reflections about their years as athletes and the positive impact Coach Modica had on their lives. Lyons received his Law Degree for Georgetown University; Lips is a Princeton graduate and was one of four brothers who played for Coach Modica. Finally, son Mike, the second of three children, and former board member of the Brandywine School District, offered his personal reflections. Mike played for his father in the early 70's, and went on to play for Western Maryland College during a time when they were Division III Champions.

Prior to the unveiling of the sign honoring John D. Modica which hangs from the scoreboard in the stadium, Di Emedio read comments from a letter received from Senator Joseph R. Biden commending Coach Modica for all that he has done in the fields of education and athletics. Coach Modica followed with brief comments of appreciation, sincere thanks to all who attended, and recognition of those who had made his life so fulfilling. He was 'moved' by the sign, which was purchased, using funds assigned to Brandywine High School from the Classes of '96 and '97.

Oh, yes, Brandywine High School defeated Delcastle High School to climax an exceptional Homecoming!