Superfans organize bracket to determine play of the year


Mike Gregory, Sports Editor

The seven Farmington High School (FHS) seniors who make up the group called “FHS Superfans” were left with no sports to root for when the winter high school sports season was cancelled and the spring season was postponed. However, for Mitch Guglielmo, Sam Hogan, and the rest of the Superfans, having no sports did not mean their role as Superfans was bygone.

“It really sucked when we found out the winter season was cancelled, and now it looks like there may not be a spring season. The other Superfans and I felt like we needed an idea to keep everyone entertained while there are no sports going on,” Superfans member Mitch Guglielmo said.

The Superfans found their golden idea when they decided to hold an “FHS Play of the Year” tournament. The Superfans called on FHS athletes via Instagram to send in videos of their best plays from the 2019-2020 school year.

The Superfans received over 50 entries, and organized the top 32 plays into a single-elimination bracket, resembling the format of college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament.

The tournament had five rounds, and in each round two plays were matched up against each other, and a winner was determined by a vote held on the FHS Superfans Instagram account (@FHS_Superfans). Those who voted were able to watch videos of both plays in the matchup, then vote on which one they wanted to move onto the next round.

The seven members of the Superfans spent several hours on facetime working to decide which plays would be included in the bracket, and the seeding of all of the plays. When the bracket was finalized, they created a graphic to display all of the matchups and revealed it on Instagram.

“We ended up getting way more submissions than we anticipated. We planned on the bracket only being 16 plays, but with all the videos we got, we were able to make it 32. We worked really hard to create the bracket and we feel like it was a fair tournament,” Superfans member Sam Hogan said.

The tournament began on March 24, and lasted until April 7, when the championship was held. Each matchup received between 300 and 400 votes, with certain matchups being decided by just a handful of votes. The bracket brought some much-needed excitement to FHS sports fans, and celebrated the best plays from the year. The tournament’s championship came down to plays by senior hockey player Matt Arena, and junior soccer player David Coello. Arena’s play was a “coast to coast” hockey goal where he weaved through several defenders en route to scoring. Coello’s play was a soccer goal in which he smoothly evaded 2 defenders and sent the ball into the top corner of the net. The championship vote was close, but Coello’s goal came out on top, and now holds the title of the best play at FHS during the 2019/2020 school year.

Both plays faced a tough road to the championship, as they first had to get through a variety of great plays including a one-handed catch, a diving save, a half court shot, a game-winning goal, and others. The tournament included tons of unbelievable plays but voters felt that Coello’s was the best of the 32.

The highlight bracket kept FHS fans occupied for a few weeks, and it was a great way for athletes to display their talent and showcase their top plays. Although not to the same degree, this idea gave many people the “March Madness” excitement that they missed out on due to COVID-19.