Central Valley High School athletic director Greg Magni has enjoyed watching one of his former teammates reach all-time great status in the NFL.
Quarterback Tom Brady claimed his record seventh Super Bowl title at the age of 43 as the Buccaneers upset the reigning-champion Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 on Feb. 7 in Florida.
Magni played baseball with Brady 26 years ago at Serra High School in San Mateo.
“It’s fun rooting for someone you’re familiar with,” Magni said. “I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this again. It’s unbelievable.”
Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the fifth time in his career.
He completed 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Chiefs. He was sacked just one time.
“As soon as the 49ers got eliminated (from playoff consideration), which was really early, I started pulling for Tampa Bay,” Magni said. “I never bet against Tom Brady. With that being said, I wasn’t overconfident.”
Brady made his NFL record 10th Super Bowl appearance.
He improved his all-time record to 7-3.
Brady won his first six titles with the New England Patriots.
Magni has been following Brady’s football career since his college days at the University of Michigan.
Brady was selected 199th overall by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
“I remember being in college pitching at Stanislaus State and I was excited when he got to play for Michigan,” Magni said. “I would have never guessed this. It’s amazing how things developed. He’s the greatest quarterback of all time.”
Magni graduated from Serra High School in 1996.
Magni was a junior when he became teammates with Brady (class of 1995).
He was promoted to varsity after compiling an 8-1 record for the JV team.
Magni was a pitcher.
Brady was a catcher.
“I was teammates with him for three weeks,” Magni said. “I came up late in the season. He wasn’t arrogant or selfish. He was dedicated to what he does. He was always a leader.”
Magni and Brady also hung out in the same social circle.
“He was a fun guy to be around,” Magni said. “He was a normal kid.”
Magni played at the varsity level full-time during his senior year. Serra, which ranked fifth in the nation at the beginning of the season, finished second in league and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
More than 60 Serra alumni have signed professional baseball contracts. Around 10 made it to the Major League, including most notably Jim Fregosi, Barry Bonds and Gregg Jeffries.
“The team I played on had five kids drafted for pro ball,” Magni said.
Magni stepped down as leader of Central Valley High School’s varsity baseball program to become the Hawks’ new athletic director in 2013-14.
He oversees an athletic department with more than 20 sports teams, including football, cross country, water polo, girls golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball, wrestling, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer, swimming, track and field, baseball, boys golf, boys volleyball and softball.
Magni was named 2018-19 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year by the California State Athletic Directors Association.