bradfield06 The Bradfield brothers Josiah, left, Matt, center, and Jacob, right, pose for a photograph on the football team's practice field at Genoa Area High School in Genoa on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. The Blade/Nick Thomas THE BLADE/NICK THOMAS
GENOA — Public address announcers calling Genoa football games this year are used to calling the name Bradfield. Between three brothers, the Bradfield name is mentioned for rushes, tackles, interceptions, field goals and punts.
Growing up, the Bradfield brothers dominated playground games together whether it was football, basketball, or tag.
That is when the seed was planted for this year — when all three would make major contributions for the Genoa Comets. Matt Bradfield is a senior running back and linebacker, Josiah Bradfield is a junior wing back and defensive back, and Jacob Bradfield is a sophomore corner.
“Growing up, we always wanted to be on the same team on the playground — and we always did well,” Matt Bradfield said. “We knew what each other would do on a play without even talking to each other.”
Matt has shined this year, leading the team with 595 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns (he also has 19 extra point kicks). He also roams at linebacker, where last week he recovered a fumble. Josiah Bradfield doesn’t let him take a front seat to his ability, last year as a sophomore he was a first-team Northern Buckeye Conference defensive back. On offense Josiah has 281 yards and four touchdowns this season. Jacob is getting his feet wet as a starting defensive player with a team contending for a league title.
The brothers will lead a Genoa team (5-1, 3-0 NBC) in a league slugfest with Eastwood (5-1, 3-0) on Friday. In four of the NBC’s five-year existence, the conference champion has been Genoa or Eastwood. Previously in the Suburban Lakes League, either Genoa or Eastwood had a share of the league title each year from 2002-10.
Eastwood boasts a heavy run game similar to Genoa. The Eagles have three rushers with more than 200 yards, led by Ian Downard who has 13 touchdown runs and 583 yards.
“We’re playing for a league championship,” Josiah said. “It’s the biggest game.”
The brothers are confident in themselves heading into the game because the trust they have in their games since the playground. Matt said as linebacker it’s his job to stop the running game, and he knows his brothers behind him will cover the pass. Josiah and Jacob said they’re confident only focusing on the pass because Matt and the front seven on defense will stop the run.
“Help your brother out,” is what Genoa coach Paul Patterson tells them as the Bradfield brothers sometimes will be asked to shut down an entire side of the field.
He’s also learned how to motivate them.
“If you want to make Matt mad, then you compliment Josiah,” Patterson said, smiling. “If you need to get Josiah going, you compliment Jacob. What’s nice is they each take care of each other though, and they’re three great kids.”
The Bradfield boys have two sisters and another younger brother that will have to lead on his own when he’s of age. But the three are enjoying this “special” year they can play with each other.
Jacob isn’t even looking forward to when his older brothers leave and he gets more playing time on offense.
“I’m going to miss them a lot when the time comes,” he said.
Time is coming quickly for them to compete for another NBC championship.