From left, front and back, Corey and Jamall Bias, Dominik and Gabe Grayson, Ore and T.J. Fatinikun, Dan and Derrick Garcia, Weston and Grant Klinksiek, and Corey and Kyle Szczublewski see a lot of each other on the football field at Perrysburg ... and at home as well.
When Perrysburg football coach Matt Kregel shouts instructions, he can't just belt out last names.
If Kregel reprimands a player by screaming, "Come on, Garcia!" he'll have two kids sheepishly acknowledge his displeasure. The 2006 Yellow Jackets have an astounding six sets of brothers who play significant roles on the varsity, so Kregel must use first names to get his point across.
"The thing that really sticks out is that they're all pretty good football players too," Kregel said. "They all help us."
Appropriately enough, the 12 brothers and their teammates have adopted the motto "Band of Brothers." The older brothers are mostly seniors and the younger siblings are generally juniors.
"Having so many brothers on the team brings the rest of the team together," said senior center Dan Garcia, whose brother Derrick is a junior wide receiver. "We're all very close. This has built up over the years. We grew up together. They see how close we are with our natural brothers; I think it pulls everyone else together. They see if we can live together and still get along there should be no problems. All differences are set aside on the football field."
Senior quarterback Ore Fatinikun, who has thrown for 392 yards and rushed for 198, agreed. Ore, whose sophomore brother T.J. is one of his targets, has thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for six more while averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
Ore Fatinikun led the Yellow Jackets to a 48-12 thumping of Waite last Friday. Perrysburg (1-2) hosts preseason Northern Lakes League favorite Northview (1-2) tonight.
"We're closer than ever. Everyone on this team are brothers no matter who they are," Ore said. "But I get on [T.J.] a little bit harder so he can be better."
T.J., who also plays defensive end, has caught four passes from his brother. He had three sacks last week.
"He gets on me if I drop a pass," T.J. said. "He just wants me to play up to my potential. He'll give me a pat on the back, too."
Gabe and Dominik Grayson also share a typical tough love relationship. Dominik, a senior defensive end, routinely admonishes his brother Gabe, a junior linebacker.
"I'm harder on him just because he's my younger brother. I just want him to get better," Dominik said.
"Oh yeah, if I mess up he tells me what I did wrong," Gabe agreed.
But overall, Kregel said with so many brothers on the team, there's kind of "an extended network of friends."
"I've never experienced this many on one team," said Kregel, who has been coaching since 1993 and is in his first year as Perrysburg's head man. "It's fun. They're all good kids. They all come from good families. I know their parents better. It's kind of a community kind of thing."
Weston Klinksiek, a senior back up quarterback and defensive back, said he doesn't "constantly rip" his sophomore brother Grant, a starting linebacker.
"We can laugh about things too," Weston said. "We played every day after school when we were growing up. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Dan Garcia said the team's theme of Band of Brothers goes beyond the fact that the team has so many siblings.
"It's because anything we do, we do together," he said. "It's different. We're comfortable. No matter what happens, your brother is there to help you out. You talk about plays year-round no matter where you're at."
Still, the younger brothers all agreed that their older siblings are just a bit harder on them.
"We'll fight with each other, but I'm always trying to help him out," said senior defensive back Corey Szczublewski of his sophomore brother Kyle. "We're both corners, so I know what he needs to work on."
Senior tailback Corey Bias, who has rushed for 198 yards, gives similar support to his junior brother Jamall, who is also a running back.
Kregel said sometimes there will be battles between the brothers, but the bond has helped the Yellow Jackets' camaraderie.
"They can get under each other's skin," Kregel said. "But I think it makes us a tighter group because of the friendships. A lot of these guys have younger brothers who will come up through the program. That will make it even more fun."
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