For some families, it can also mean their younger generation playing on the same team together — taking bonds that were formed together while playing backyard football for years into a cohesive unit within the program.
Walker’s James, Andrew and John Michael Reed have made history this season with a special distinction — becoming the first trio of brothers to take the field together in the program’s 93-year history. It’s a source of great pride for the sons of Mitsy and Greg Reed, who often expressed their excitement to one another during summer workouts.
“At the beginning of the year, our family talked about how wonderful it was for the three of us to be playing together for Walker — we’ve even been coming up with a situation where all three of us can be in on a play together. That’s just how fun it has been,” James, a senior, said. “It’s also special for us because it’s a chance to show pride in our family, our school and in our community. When we go out on the field together, we’re representing more than just ourselves and that’s something we hold our heads high up about.”
“I remember one time we were playing a game in the yard together and everything just seemed to mesh together so well — with the three of us playing our own individual role — we looked pretty good doing it,” Andrew, also a senior, said. “From that, I could see us trying to work together as a team, and it worked out well. Now, here we are together as Vikings, working hard to make sure we do the very best for our school and team, while also being there to support and cheer each other on — it’s a great experience.”
“It makes me really proud for people to know that I was part of the Reed brothers’ group and that people got to see us all together on the field, doing our work for our team and our school,” John Michael, a sophomore, said. “With James and Andrew being two years ahead of me, I knew there was a chance that it could happen for us to be together if I could work hard and it’s wonderful to be out there with them.”
Those backyard football games that the Reed brothers took part in not only went a long way in helping hone their gridiron skills, but also assisted them in learning how to communicate with other teammates effectively.
“I spent all 17 of my years with James and 15 with John Michael. With all three of us having a profound love of the game, we grew up learning the aspects of teamwork and communication that would translate onto the field,” Andrew said. “I think when you have that much time playing football together as the three of us did, you tend to pick a wide range of skills that ended up helping us in the future.”
Having a trio of brothers on the team is also a first for Vikings coach John Holladay — who has been a head coach at four programs since 1996. Holladay stated that the Reed brothers are each other’s biggest supporters, with each one of them possessing outstanding character.
“Those three young men are good football players, but are phenomenal people in their character even more so,” Holladay said. “As a coach, you look for work ethic and quality in a young person’s demeanor and in James, Andrew and John Michael, you have those things. It’s a great asset to have them as a part of our program.”