WESTON — On the night of Sept. 26, 2014, Weston defeated Notre Dame-Fairfield 51-30 in a game that saw a handful of firsts.
It was the first night the football team played under the lights at Weston. It was the Trojans’ first win that season.
Though nobody knew it at the time, it was also the first time two seventh-graders, twins Brendan and Jack Sawyer, considered playing football.
“I remember walking home,” Brendan Sawyer said. “I was like, ‘Damn, I want to play some football.’”
The Sawyer twins had never played football. They were baseball players.
Intriguing, considering their grandfather Bob Sawyer was drafted by the New York Giants in the 11th round of the 1959 NFL draft and played in the CFL. He played college footall at Wyoming for coach Bob Devaney.
“We always used to watch (football) on television and it was something that we always wanted to do,” Jack Sawyer said.
In eighth grade, the season after watching the Trojans under the lights, the twins decided they were going to be football players.
“After probably two football practices we were like, the hell with baseball,” Jack Sawyer said. “This is so much better.”
Three seasons later, the duo has transformed into two of the biggest offensive threats in the SWC and among Class M schools. Their play has helped the Trojans to a 3-0 start, solidifying their status as a state title contender.
Jack Sawyer has caught 59 passes for 1,225 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career, including 10 catches, 260 yards and four touchdowns this season. Brendan Sawyer has caught 43 passes for 507 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.
Both also star in the return game and on defense. Brendan Sawyer was third on the team with 48 tackles last season and Jack Sawyer led the team with six interceptions.
“Having them both on the field on both sides of the ball is awfully good for us,” Weston coach Dan Hassett said. “From the standpoint that you kind of get a copy and paste of athleticism on either side of the field.”
Their accelerated ability to learn the game had a lot to do with watching film with the coaching staff. The twins also do plenty of homework.
“Pretty much anytime we want, we can just go outside and run some routes in the yard and get our dad (David) to throw so we can get some one-on-ones,” Brendan Sawyer said. “It’s pretty helpful.
“At home we can practice anytime we want. We always have someone the same size, same speed to rep against.”
The ability to have someone to practice and compete with at all hours of the day is something they cherish.
“There’s always someone to compete with and push you to get better,” Jack Sawyer said. “In the weight room if I (lift) a certain amount, he’ll throw fives (pounds) on it just to try and beat me. Honestly, I think it helps us develop a lot and pick up the game faster.”
The brotherly competition often becomes a sibling rivalry.
“We still play one of the old the NCAA football (video) games almost every day,” Jack Sawyer said. “The amount of times that game has come to fistfights is unbelievable. He’ll do an onside kick and I’ll get really mad.”
Jack Sawyer has gotten the better of his brother recently in video games.
“Yeah it’s brutal,” Brendan Sawyer said. “He just gets into this hurry up (offense) and just passes it every play and I can’t do anything.”
Aside from the intense video game battles the competition between the two is something that has driven them to be better players.
“A lot of friendly competition, a lot of angry competition,” Brendan Sawyer said. “It definitely makes us better.”
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
The past two seasons the Trojans just missed out on the postseason.
In 2017, Weston finished 6-4 and so did Law. The Lawmen advanced to the Class M playoffs that year because of points accumulated.
Last season, the Trojans finished 7-3 and finished behind four other 7-3 teams, with two of them making the postseason.
This season the Trojans are a favorite to not only make the playoffs, but possibly a deep run in the postseason.
If the Trojans plan to get there, they say they are going to take it one step at a time.
“I talk a lot with the team about if you take care of the little things the big things start to take care of themselves,” Hassett said. “I think this group, because we have strong senior leadership understands that, but the minute we start thinking forward or start hoping or wishing or doing all this other stuff that’s when you drop the ball the week you are in.”