In Linton, as with most schools, the football team is a close net group. They will fight with each other, defend each other, and hurt anyone who hurts their team mates. But for 10 boys on the team this year, it is really a band of brothers.
This year Linton has a rare occurrence. We have four sets of brothers. AND one family has four boys on the team – Chance Howard, Chase Howard, Cash Howard, and Tyler Mongeau. The Clarks have Noah and Caleb. Along with theses, we have two sets of twins, Lance and Trevor Dyer as well as Dylan and Dalton Smith. If the freshmen all continue, we will have 3 sets of brothers on the team for the next four years. Plus the Smith twins have a brother named Drew who plans to be on the team in two years, giving us another opportunity for 3 brothers on one team.
I spoke with Rex Tuttle, who is the “unofficial football historian” for Linton. He told me he could not recall anyone having four brothers on the team before, or having four sets of brothers on the team at one time. Rex did share that there was a family that had 10 boys and all of them played football for Linton. Their last name was Stockrahm. Three of the brothers were on the team in the late 70’s and another three played in 1982. There were also a couple of times that the Stockrahms also had two brothers on the team, but never four. Rex said “This shows what a great tradition football is in our town.”
I also checked with Charlie Karazsia, Athletic Director for Linton Stockton High School, who remembered the Weaver’s had three brothers, Jeff, Eric, and Dennis, in the early 80’s. He could not recall a time when there were four sets of brothers on the team, or 4 brothers from any one family. His comment was, “Well, looks like the Linton family is doing their job well.”
That statement is absolutely correct. Football in Linton is definitely a family affair. It’s also an affair that starts early. When these boys were in 2nd grade, it started with Youth Football league, which is Dad’s giving their time to coach kids. It is five years and two “divisions” of weeknight practices and Sunday games. Next comes the Junior High years and traveling to games plus practices. Finally, the “Big Dance” – being part of the High School football team. Through this entire process, there are parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, and unc that do whatever is needed to support these boys. If you don’t believe it, come watch a Friday night game. You will see Linton’s bleachers filled with families. No room for a pep squad here!
In talking with Coach Oliver, he believes there’s no real problem with having all the brothers on the team – other than the usual squabbles between brothers. The only issue is remembering the names –especially the Howard’s. They call Chance “Howie”, Cash is still Cash, and Chase is “Mouse”. He also cannot tell the Smith twins apart without their numbers. I asked him if he was aware that he is the first coach that has had four sets of brothers or one family with 4 boys on the team. He answered, “I did not. It’s a real testament of the families of Linton and their dedication.”
In case you don’t know, I am the grandmother of the Howard family. But most of the team calls me “Mammy”. My husband (AKA Pappy) and I have waited for 6 years for this occurrence. We could not be prouder of the entire team and coaching staff. Come out to the field and check this out – GO MINERS!
Debby “Mammy” Kuhn is a Miner football fan and family member.