The bond between brothers is one of the strongest. The Rock Bridge soccer players say their bond is just as strong.
Tonight, the Bruins’ “Band of Brothers” (21-1-2) hopes to gain a berth in the Class 3 quarterfinals by beating Francis Howell North (20-7-1) in a sectional game at 7 p.m. at 179 Soccer Park in Jefferson City.
“We’ve been playing together so long in high school and on club teams,” senior co-captain Adam Reed said. “We’re all friends.”
Reed’s mother Lisa Reed suggested the theme at a team meeting before the season.
“I threw it out there thinking that they would just think it was silly,” she said. “But they seemed to like it and it caught on from there. It was just perfect because they’ve all known each other for so long.”
Coach David Graham said the phrase epitomizes his team.
“Coach (Myles) Hinkel and I, when we got here, we wanted to make it just like the teams we used to play on,” he said. “Which was a bunch of guys who really enjoyed being around each other. They care about each other and they just go out there and play soccer with their buddies.”
The Bruins’ crisp passing in their 3-0 District 10 final victory against Hickman displayed the connection they have on the field. They kept possession by playing balls into open areas, knowing a teammate would get to it.
“These guys could play with their eyes closed they know each other so well,” Graham said.
The “Band of Brothers” originally included only the Bruins’ seniors, but has grown to include the whole team.
“We’re an all-around close-knit team,” goalkeeper Tanner Mills said. “(Calling each other brothers) is about as close as a group of guys can get.”
Twins Ryan and Josh McNutt, the only biological brothers on the team, said the bond really is like being related.
“The brotherhood we two have is a lot like the one the whole team has,” Ryan McNutt said.
Said Josh McNutt, “You can definitely see it on and off the field.”
The Bruins routinely get together outside of school to spend time together. The whole team agreed before leaving practice Monday to meet for dinner.
Ben Patton said the connection is a source of motivation heading into the playoffs.
“It’s a mentality,” he said. “Everybody knows that for the seniors, there are 16 of us, we have to keep winning or it’s all over.”