Former rivals setting records at Santa Margarita
SEP 12, 2013 10:33p ET
They were on different sides of a rivalry that divided community lines. Costello played for the Santa Margarita Eagles. Sweet was a member of the Santa Margarita Titans.
"It was as big as a Pop Warner rivalry can get," Sweet said. "We were on different teams in Santa Margarita, so naturally there's going to be some tension there."
Added Costello: "We obviously respected each other...but we obviously didn't like each other, I'd say."
Both described the rivalry as very intense. Costello, Santa Margarita High's first-year starting quarterback, remembers coming up on the losing end of a heavily contested matchup against Sweet's squad as a 10-year old. However, it wasn't as one-sided as Sweet recalls.
"We'd play each other and it'd kind of rotate every year," Sweet said. "They'd beat us. We'd beat them all throughout Pop Warner."
Once Costello entered high school, the two were teammates in football for the first time in their lives, but that doesn't mean the competition stopped.
In the offseason, they found themselves competing against each other to be the team's starting quarterback.
Sweet was the incumbent taking over for the injured Johnny Stanton in 2012. Costello was the hot shot rising sophomore called up from the freshman team. They went at it tooth and nail.
It was a close call and it all boiled down to head coach Harry Welch, who decided the team was better off with Sweet at wide receiver.
Since then, the rivals-turned-teammates have torched opposing defenses with their connections.
The Dana Hills passing tournament in June provided a glimpse. Costello would look for Sweet, who proved to be nearly unblockable.
Sure, a lot of players look good in 7-on-7, but could they duplicate the success on Friday nights?
The answer through the Eagles' first two games has been an overwhelming yes.
Costello made some mistakes in his first career start, but he showed he knew how to find No. 5.
The two hooked up seven times for 221 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, and the following week against national power Bishop Gorman became a record breaking affair for the both of them.
Sweet tied Santa Margarita alum and longtime Atlanta Falcon Brian Finneran's school record with 14 catches in a game, and also set a school record for receiving yards with 300 to go along with three touchdowns.
Costello set a school record of his own, passing for 449 yards as the Eagles nearly came away with an overtime upset of the Gaels in last Friday's CIF Southern Section Ford Game of the Week. (According to the Los Angeles Times, referee Bob Yoakum apologized to Santa Margarita on behalf of his crew for taking a Santa Margarita touchdown off of the board in overtime which would have given the Eagles the win).
For Costello, it's not short of what he envisioned. Growing up going against Sweet, he always knew he was a dynamic wideout and thought it'd be special to throw the ball to him.
Sweet, on the other hand, would've never guessed he and his newly found quarterback would go from rivals to a Southern Section record-setting tandem. If you would've told him three years ago, he wouldn't have believed you.
"I would have said 'No way!" Sweet said. "I would have said ‘Are you crazy?' "