Brothers start, finish THS careers together
Seniors usually welcome freshmen onto athletic teams in different ways.
This year's Tonganoxie soccer team had three seniors greeting their younger brothers.
Freshmen Chris Colon, Travis Schultz and Michael Tate worked alongside their brothers all seniors Kevin Colon, Dustin Schultz and Matt Tate.
Kevin Colon said he enjoyed playing with his brother and the other freshmen, although there was no major initiation for this year's newcomers.
"These guys have it easier than anybody else," Kevin said. "We had it really bad as freshmen. Dirt was thrown at us."
The older brothers said there was no special treatment for their younger counterparts, except in Travis and Dustin Shultz's case.
"Dustin doesn't usually yell at anybody but Travis," Chris Colon said.
Dustin ultimately agreed.
"I tell him what to do," Dustin said.
The Schultz and Colon brothers have done plenty of communicating on the field.
While Dustin has been a varsity defender throughout the year, Travis moved up from the junior varsity. Against De Soto on Sept. 13, the younger Schultz nailed the winning goal for the Chieftains in his first game with the varsity in his first five minutes on the field.
Travis, though, hasn't bragged to his older brother too much.
"I look up to him," Travis said.
The Colons have a similar situation.
Kevin has paved the way for Chris as both played varsity soccer extensively this season.
Both became primary scorers for the Chieftains and each had game-winning goals this season.
Chris, who donned a shaved head and sweatband like his older brother, said he has respect for Kevin.
"That's my man," Chris said. "I guess I kind of look up to him."
The freshman Colon also took some advice from his older brother.
"He told me to not be afraid," Chris said.
While the Colon and Schultz brothers have played some varsity together, the Tates have not.
This would make sense, considering there's usually room for one goalie on a varsity team. Matt was the varsity goalie, while Michael helped protect the goal for the junior varsity.
Matt has tried to direct Michael this season, but the younger brother hasn't always been attentive.
"He won't listen to anything I say," Matt said.
Michael shook his head in agreement.
Although he might not hear what his brother says, Michael appears to be looking to fill his brother's gloves by playing the same position.
Despite the age differences, each pair of brothers started their careers about the same times.
Kevin and Chris started in the same year, as Kevin was a fifth-grader and Chris was a second-grader.
Chris said their stepmother wanted them to get involved in something, and soccer was it.
For Dustin and Travis, their mother didn't relish the idea of soccer.
"We always wanted to play, but our mom wouldn't let us," Dustin said. "She didn't want us sitting through the games, but she didn't want us getting hurt either."
Their mother eventually gave in. Dustin and Travis started playing about five years ago.
The brothers plan to keep playing, but it won't be on the same team, at least for now. Dustin looks to play at Manhattan Christian College, while Travis will continue at THS.
Matt also hopes to play in college, while Kevin doesn't plan on pursuing college soccer.
Either way, the younger brothers have three more seasons to fill their brothers' cleats.
At that point, they'll have to look outside the family to pass on their instruction.