Time on field strengthens brothers' bond
Every time Luke and Jake Wiens took the football field this season it strengthened their relationship as brothers and teammates.
“I think we’ve built our relationship through football,” Jake said.
Jake, a sophomore on Goessel’s football team, received an opportunity to play next to his brother after the team’s starting running back was injured.
Luke, the team’s senior quarterback, agreed that their love for the game brought the two closer as siblings. Their relationship worked the other way, too, because they had an existing trust factor.
“For me, that makes a difference,” Luke said. “Jake always knows what he’s doing. He understands the game well, just scenarios and situations in the game.”
The Wiens’ tight-knit relationship isn’t limited to blood relatives.
“The family aspect is just from being from a small town, small community, and being on a smaller team,” Luke said. “We just feel close to people who are distantly related or not at all. We feel really close to them through developing those relationships.”
As one of the Bluebirds’ senior players, Luke expects to lead on the field, but that was thrown off course when he suffered a concussion and missed a few games early in the season.
“It’s tougher to be a leader when you’re not out on the field,” Luke said. “Your teammates still respect and stand by you, but if people aren’t getting along, then it’s hard to change their minds when you’re not in pads with them.”
Having to sit out taught Luke about being a good teammate.
“It gave me a more open mindset to the game,” he said. “It gave me a different perspective, being on the sideline and seeing how stuff developed on the field.”
Jake and Luke may be key contributors on offense, but both prefer playing defense.
“You always get a good feeling when you get to break off a run and score a touchdown but defense is what I like more,” Jake said. “Just getting to hit people and tackle, I’ve always enjoyed that.”
Jake’s rise to a starting role also has come with challenges, most notably his smaller size at five-foot-six-inches and 145 pounds.
“Size has been the one thing holding me back from being better, but I think I still can work with it fine,” he said. “It’s been a normal thing for me, so by now I’m used to it.”
Jake made his most significant offensive contributions toward the end of Goessel’s season. He scored 12 touchdowns in October, including five in Friday’s 60-14 playoff victory over Kinsley.
Goessel’s final regular-season game was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, so winning Friday in the playoffs was a big moment. It also was extra important because of the Bluebirds’ limited playoff success in the past, Luke said.
“We haven’t been a school to win a lot of playoff games in the past,” he said. “That’s something we prepared for, that we earned.”
Much of the team’s success running the football has been thanks to having an experienced offensive line, Luke said.
“We also have been fortunate to get all our linemen back from last year,” he said. “That’s made a big difference. People are making blocks up front, and it’s a lot easier to run when you have that.”
They will play again 7 p.m. Friday at Pratt-Skyline.
Last modified Nov. 5, 2020