LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — There’s a true football brotherhood at one metro high school.
Whatever they’re doing at Summit Christian Academy (8-0) is working fine. The Eagles have won 15 of their last 17 regular season ballgames. On Friday night, they’re set to cap their regular season against Lincoln Prep (8-0.)
The success comes in a true family atmosphere. Todd Berck’s ballclub has 38 players on its roster, six of whom have actual brothers on the squad.
The Oppriechts, the Sprouses and the Johnsons are all families where two biological brothers have seen playing time for Summit Christian in 2019. SCA head coach Todd Berck said in all his years as a coach, he’s never had a single set of brothers on one team — much less three of them.
It’s ironic, since the team’s mission statement centers around brotherhood.
“We want be a big family. Since we’re all boys, we’re just a bunch of brothers,” Berck said. “It’s just neat to see that relationship between those guys. It’s exciting for those guys to have success together. Those are memories those guys are going to have forever.”
The Eagles said there are no sibling rivalries on the team either. Instead, the relationships between these families within a family have only grown. That effect might be natural at a small school with only 845 students.
“Halfway through the season, I was like, ‘We actually have three sets of real brothers. Multiple sets of them. It’s not just me and my brother. We actually have two other sets with us,'” Summit Christian guard Zeke Oppreicht said. “That was a cool thing to realize.”
“At a school this size, we have to play the young guys. I started my freshman year, and I’ve really been able to grow and learn with the other guys that I played with as a freshman that are now seniors. I’ve learned what they’re like, and I have amazing chemistry with them,” Eagles QB Grayson Sprouse said.
“It starts with family,” Oppreicht added. “You have to love your own first, your personal brother first, or your personal family first, before you can love the guys out here.”