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Westfield boys keep racking up the honors

Every member of the Westfield family enjoys playing sports. And they have been very successful in their various sports, too. (Contributed)

They don’t play the same sport, but the competitive is still there.

John Westfield is an accomplished baseball player. The soon-to-be freshman at Father Judge High school is a football player for the Little Quakers and expects to play for the Crusaders, but his top sport is baseball.

He’s such an accomplished baseball player that he was selected to try out for Team USA, which begins play next spring.

He can pitch, catch or play the field, usually first base, and when he’s not starring on the diamond, he’s a wide receiver and defensive back in football.

He’s one of the best athletes in the area, and he’s arguably not the best athlete in his house.

John’s brother, Frankie, is one of the top soccer players in the city. He’s heading into his seventh-grade year at Christ the King, and he spends his weekends playing for the Philadelphia Union elite soccer club, and will likely head to their academy when he graduates grade school.

They’re not the only great athletes in their family either.

The best could be Rocco, an 11-year-old football player who also plays basketball and baseball. Then there’s a pair of talented girls. Lola, 9, plays softball and is a cheerleader, and Honora, 5, plays soccer.

They all love to play and compete, but it’s not clear if they take after their dad or their mom.

Dad is John. He was a great soccer player. The graduate of Archbishop Ryan is in the Raiders soccer hall of fame, and he also was a star at Philadelphia University, where he served as a captain his senior year.

Mom, Margaret, was no slouch, either. She was a soccer player and later a swimmer at Ryan. Her maiden name is McFillin, which should be recognizable to football fans. She had brothers star on the football fields at Ryan and George Washington.

“John kind of followed in her family’s footsteps and Frankie went in the soccer direction,” said the father, who graduated from Ryan in 1997. “Competition breeds success. They don’t compete, but I think they all push each other to be better. I think they work hard, and it shows.

“I think having each other really helps. We spend a lot of time running to tournaments or games, and they really enjoy it. They like seeing each other succeed, and I think it pushes them to work hard.

“They all share the same room, I’m sure they talk about it a lot. They all get along great.”

The eldest took a huge step this year, getting an invitation to Team USA. He will bring those credentials to Judge.

“I got an email this week and it said I made the team,” he said. “It’s exciting, I think it will be fun, and it’s a good opportunity.”

“It’s really exciting, it was a proud parent moment,” his dad said. “It’s great, especially at that level, to get to that point. I know for myself and my wife, we’re really proud of it. It’s a remarkable achievement because it’s the best players.”

That’s the same type of achievement Frankie has been experiencing since he joined the Union a few years back.

He still attends Christ the King, and the plan is for Frankie to attend the school for the next two years until he graduates. Then, if all goes well, he’ll attend high school at the Philadelphia Union Academy, which prepares kids to play soccer at the highest level possible.

“I love it, it’s great competition and they help me get better,” said Frankie, who moved from offense to the back last year. “I’m learning a lot. (Playing for the Union) is a great opportunity because I’m playing with and against the best.”

Sports might be their calling card, but the boys excel away from athletics as well. And that’s what makes their parents the proudest.

It’s not just the older boys, either.

According to their dad, the family puts a lot of stock in helping out in their community, and it’s something his children enjoy doing.

“They take sports really seriously, but they’re all honor students and do a lot of community service,” their dad said.

“They are involved in a lot of things at Christ the King. They got a lot from going there, it gave them a good sense of community, and we think Father Judge will be the same way.” ••


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