Brothers; on the field and off.

Brothers; on the field and off. 

Allie Stanton

September 13, 2017

It is no secret that when it comes to football, there is a brotherhood. Teammates that have become like family to each other, and coaches that become father figures. For the Edmonton Wildcats, the brotherhood goes a little bit deeper than the locker room and on the field. With four sets of brothers on the team actively playing and coaching, the Wildcats are in a unique position.

There’s the Lawson brothers, Mackenzie and Carter. At first glance they could be mistaken for twins, but in fact, Mackenzie is two years older. Mackenzie and Carter are close, they do everything together. They live together and even drive to practices and games together. They haven’t always played on the same team, having only previously played together during Mackenzie’s grade nine and twelve years back in their hometown. When it comes to competition and competing against each other they are known to start scrums and hold grudges against one another. Back home there are five brothers, and in the yard, it can get quite competitive playing sports all together. When asked if they enjoy playing football together, both Mackenzie and Carter agreed that it has brought them even closer together – especially since Mackenzie has not been home for the past two years. When asked each other’s strengths and weaknesses there was a bit of hesitation, but Mackenzie was quick to note that Carter is faster and has better hands. But Carter decided to go the other direction, and throw Mackenzie under the bus saying he doesn’t clean very much, but then was eager to say that when it comes to football his brother is the one he would go to when he didn’t understand the plays and credits him with knowing plays  off the top of his head. The best part of having your older brother on the team is that you always have someone who has your back. And just when you thought two Lawson brothers was enough, there is a possibility of a third Lawson brother with an itch to play with the Wildcats next season.

Rasheed and Rashaad Robinson are the Wildcats twins. Affectionately known as Sheed Shaad, these identical twins have always played sports together. When asked if they are competitive with one another, you could see each of their faces light up as if they knew the question was coming their way. They credit this to being twins, and constantly being compared to each other in various situations. They have a lot of fun playing football together, but the downside to that is that they are constantly being mistaken for each other – and this is where the Sheed Shaad nickname comes into play. Rasheed credits himself to being the more laid back twin, saying the Rashaad is much more serious and needs to relax more. When it comes to their future of playing football together, Rasheed and Rashaad know that at some point they may have to play football against one another but they are looking forward to the possibility.

It isn’t very often where teams find themselves with three brothers who are on the active roster. The Olson family lives, breathes and sleeps football. With the oldest brother, Jordan now coaching with the Wildcats and younger brothers Cody and Brandon playing you can really see that football is a family affair. When asked what it’s like coaching his brother’s Jordan says he  has a different approach compared to other coaches on the team,  he finds that you have to be a friend and a coach at the same time. And since Jordan has been specifically in Cody’s position as a Quarterback, he can offer advice in a way that maybe other coaches can’t. For Cody, he finds that Jordan knows how to talk to him, and how to communicate and understand his personality and attitude. Conversations are  a lot easier to have between the two of them. When it comes to competition, with these brothers it seems to be even more heightened. Although Cody and Jordan have never played together, Cody has found that with Brandon that they have become closer because now they can talk about the same things – football. Jordan and Brandon have played together, in their 2013 – 2015 Junior seasons. With Jordan playing Quarterback and Brandon as a Receiver, Jordan found that he always knew what Brandon was going to do on the field, kind of like brotherly telepathy.  Jordan went onto say that when you are in the huddle you are all brothers, but having your brother there with you makes it even more special. When it comes to the younger brother’s downfalls, Jordan is quick to point out that both Cody and Brandon don’t listen to him. He quickly changes gears to note that Cody is fast, and that is beneficial especially when playing Quarterback.  When it comes to Brandon, Jordan says he can be shy but once he starts to open up he becomes a real leader on the field. For Cody, he says he is lucky as Jordan has played Quarterback and has dealt with all of the same scenarios so he is a great mentor for when he is approaching something wrong and always has a positive approach when providing feedback. For the Olson family, football really is all about brotherly love.

The McHale brothers were not available for comment at the time of publication, but they are apart of the brotherhood nonetheless.

When it comes to football, you will always have brothers on your line, your team and on our side. But, having that one person who knows you like others may not makes playing that much more special.