I find it very fascinating to watch young high school student athletes progress through their sports careers. You watch the athletes understand becoming one unit, one heart beat, and the brotherhood and bonds that takes place. I find this even more fascinating for someone who is fortunate enough to play with their siblings.
Brandon and Brent Robley are your normal high school student athletes. Both are very hard working, respectful young men. Brandon, a senior, and Brent, a junior, compete in almost everything they do. This competitive edge has helped both of them become very successful not only on the football field, but in the class room and their daily lives.
This past fall, the two brothers hoisted a football state championship trophy above their heads along with the rest of the team, the Caledonia Warriors. Unless Brent(a defensive linemen) or Brandon( a middle linebacker) blew up the play in the backfield, they usually weren't recognized or had there picture on the front of paper. These two were also the offensive linemen who helped open up holes and protect the people who were highlighted.
The connection that siblings can have during sports is mind blowing. “They have that six sense that just comes natural from having a sibling" Said head football coach Carl Fruechte. “Brandon just knows what Brent is thinking and Brent knows what Brandon is thinking. It’s really really special, there’s not a lot of brothers that get to do that." Brandon, the offensive center said, “He didn’t always get to play next to me, but once we moved him down to guard, we had that connection. He wouldn’t even have to say anything, just point and I knew. It’s cool things like that that made it special.”
While siblings are fighting most of the time, they still have that soft spot for each other. “Playing next to Brandon is unlike anything I’ve done before, not only are you trying to win for the team and yourself, you’re working for your brother too and he just pushes you that much harder,” Brent said. Brandon stated, “I know he’s going to give 100% every play and I don’t have to worry about him. If he does do something wrong, I don’t have to jump him because I know he will take it the right way."
But soon, a separation will happen and Brandon will graduate. Brandon's advice for Brent, “Lead, he’s a big strong kid, do his job first and then once he does that, go help out his other teammates. Do what he has to for the team." What does Brent want to accomplish next year when Brandon is gone? “I just want to mimic what Brandon did, always be yelling and talking and making sure everybody is on the same page. It’s not about just your individual play but making sure everyone is knowing what they are doing and making the team as good as it can be.”
When asked about being competitive elsewhere, they stated.
Brandon-“We are always competitive, and when it was during practice and I wasn’t doing so good and Brent was going crazy, it really made me step it up a level. We always know we are gonna hear about it from each other.” “We compete in a lot of other things as well. If dad says “Go move that wood pile.” We see who can move the most, carry the most, or who can throw it the fastest”
Brent- “And even if we went to run hills, we would always try to beat each other or see who would go a little bit farther”
Brent- “Back when Brandon was in wrestling, we would always go after the whistle and try to get the last shot in. It would get far more physical between us than with someone else.”
Brandon-“ We used to be in karate together and they used to tell us “do not hit too hard.” We would just beat the heck out of each other(with a laugh and smile).
Simultaneously, the brothers said, “weightlifting is another big one!”
Brent- "We are always asking what you get, what you get."
Brandon- "If Brent gets a weight, I’m always gonna try to put 5 more pounds on.”
Favorite or funniest memory playing with each other, they stated.
Brent- “My favorite thing was if we both had our own guy or double teamed a guy, just ramming them into each other and stacking them up.
Brandon- “The Triton game, I snapped the ball 20 yards over Owen King’s head and we got back into the huddle, I started yelling at every body. I go “Come on guys, get it together” and Brent looks at me and was like “What the heck, you just snapped it over his head, what are we suppose to do?” I knew he was the only one that would call me out on it.
As we talked, the two brothers knew their football playing days with each other were over, but they knew the memories that took place would last forever.
“It’s a good reminder to a coach of how important family is, family is huge and I think it’s good for our kids nowadays with how society is going, that they know family is very very important," said Fruechte.
"It made me play that much harder knowing that playing in the state championship, would be the last game playing with my brother.” Brent said.