No. 3 Blue Springs South (6-2 ) at Rock Bridge (1-7)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Rock Bridge High School
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM
COLUMBIA – Brandon Gerau was the first.
He began playing wide receiver and kicking for the Rock Bridge football team in 2004 and ever since, a Gerau has been on the team.
Today his younger brothers, senior Colby Gerau and sophomore Sheldon Gerau, share kicking duties for the Bruins.
Like their older brother, a redshirt freshman wide receiver for MU, Colby Gerau is a wide receiver and Sheldon Gerau trails him on the depth chart at that position.
The three brothers have kicked and played wide receiver the past four seasons for the Bruins. When Sheldon Gerau finishes his high school career, Rock Bridge will have had six straight seasons with a Gerau.
Their mother, Stacy Gerau, doesn’t find that odd.
“Not really,” she said. “Since they were little, they all followed each other. They’re typical brothers.”
Bruins coach A.J. Ofodile has coached all three.
“You give them a look because of bloodlines,” he said. “We knew what we were getting with Sheldon way before he came here.”
All three brothers participated in sports that developed them into the hybrid players they are now. The Geraus began as midfielders in soccer, which they say improved their kicking ability. They moved to baseball after quitting soccer and played center field, which they say helped their ball judgment on catches.
They look the same on the field, too. Two inches and 5 pounds separate Brandon Gerau and Sheldon Gerau. Colby Gerau is in the middle.
And all three share something special with one brother that they don’t share with the other.
When Brandon Gerau and Colby Gerau were younger, they would throw the football beside the family pool when it was cold outside. If someone missed a catch, he would have to swim a lap.
"I lost out quite a bit,” Colby Gerau said. “He would throw it a little bit higher and a little bit harder than I did. It helped me get better, though.”
Colby Gerau and Sheldon Gerau are the only two brothers who have played on the field at the same time. And that has caused some confusion in Rock Bridge's past few games.
“Because of all this trick kicking, I never know which of my boys is kicking,” Stacy Gerau said. “I think that’s in itself a bit tricky for announcers.”
David Lile, who calls Rock Bridge games for KFRU/1400 AM , agrees.
“Other radio guys will come in and ask who kicks for Rock Bridge,” he said. “I’ll say there’s two, and they’re both Gerau. Every game I have to double check their names. I just don’t trust myself.”
Colby Gerau and Sheldon Gerau both worked with special teams coach Jamie Scholten to create an onside kicking play. The brothers decide who is going to kick just before kickoff.
“It’s a play to get the other team off balance,” Sheldon Gerau said. “They’re (the opposing team) guessing who’s going to kick it. It’s a fun game to play on them.”
And it also keeps Lile guessing in the booth.
“Right before kickoff, they’ll look at each other,” he said. “Maybe they’re saying something to each other. Or maybe they’re reading minds. They’re brothers, after all.”
Ofodile gave Sheldon Gerau his older brother's No. 23 jersey his freshman year, the year after his brother Brandon Gerau graduated.
Sheldon Gerau, who hopes one day he will play on the same team as his oldest brother, is the last brother who could continue the kicking tradition,
“The only chance would be that our daughter decides to become a kicker,” said their father John Gerau.
Madison, 10, is a long way from that, which means by 2011, Lile will have to get used to a team sans Geraus.
"When there's not any more Geraus, I'll think, 'How long have they been around?'" Lile said. "That's when it'll hit me.
"It has been a long stretch of Gerau brothers."