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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

Brothers in pads on Southland high school football fields

Twins, triplets and other siblings suit up for high school football this season. One coach says he tells apart the twins on his team only by jersey numbers.

September 01, 2012|Eric Sondheimer
  • Can you tell them apart? Westlake High has a set of triplets and a set of twins. Front row: Devin Ray, left, Brennan Ray, Dylan Ray. Back row: Kyle Rothschiller, Jake Rothschiller.
Can you tell them apart? Westlake High has a set of triplets and a set of twins.… (Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles…)

Oh, brother.

If you're seeing double or even triple when looking out on high school football fields this season, your eyesight isn't betraying you.

There are teams loaded with twins, triplets and brothers galore.

At Westlake Village Westlake, three starting defensive positions are filled by the Ray triplets — seniors Devin, Brennan and Dylan. Two other starting spots belong to the Rothschiller twins, Jake and Kyle.

At Calabasas Viewpoint, five sets of brothers are in the football program. Coach Chris Adamson could put together an offense in which 10 of the 11 players are brothers.

At Santa Ana Foothill, twins Jarrell and Julian Moss start on both sides of the ball. In their season opener against Fountain Valley, Jarrell caught six passes for 136 yards, and Julian made an interception and recovered a fumble.

At Montebello, you can't avoid the Portillo brothers. Marcus, a senior, and Randy, a junior, are returning all-leaguers who field kicks and punts, catch passes and make tackles.

At Pasadena Maranatha, twins Errick and Kevyn Lee start on the offensive line, and twins Niko and Alex Dobbs play receiver and linebacker, respectively.

"Our boys challenge each other in a positive way and are also each other's biggest fans," Maranatha Coach Peter Karavedas said.

At West Covina, the starting offensive tackles are twins Marco and Matthew Garcia. "They walk the same, talk the same," Coach Mike Maggiore said. But Marco is 20 pounds heavier, which means he's been eating the second helpings more than Matthew.

If anyone knows what to do with twins, it's Venice Coach Angelo Gasca.

"I'm a twin," Gasca said. "When you have two brothers who've shared the same womb, it's like having your best friend next to you. Everything they do is intertwined."

Twins Lemar and Leon Stewart start at safety and cornerback, respectively, for Venice.

"I can't tell them apart except for their haircut," Gasca said. "They're extremely close and work hard."

At Santa Ana Valley, they don't have twins, but defensive end Daniel Gutierrez is the fifth brother from his family to play for the school.

In Westlake's season opener, the three Ray brothers converged on a ball carrier and offered the "Ray hug."

"Brennan turned him in, Devin hit him low, and I finished him off high," Dylan said. "We all got up and pumped each other."

Westlake Coach Jim Benkert is still trying to figure out how to identify the Rothschiller brothers when they're not wearing numbers.

"I can't tell the Rothschillers apart," he said. "One time I ripped one for running the wrong route and dropping the football. At the end of my tirade, I had to apologize. It was the other one."

When the Ray brothers hear their name called by a coach, they respond in unison, creating a Three Stooges-like situation.

"We all turn around. We all run to them. 'No, not you, the other one,'" Dylan said of the scene.

Just another day in the life of football-playing triplets.

QB transfers make impacts

Three quarterback transfers have made huge impacts in the first two weeks of the season. Sophomore Ricky Town of Ventura St. Bonaventure, junior Ian Fieber of Mission Viejo and junior Ajene Harris of Los Angeles Crenshaw have each led their teams to 2-0 records.

Town, who played junior varsity football at West Hills Chaminade, passed for 340 yards in a 40-35 win over Corona Centennial. Fieber, a backup at Orange Lutheran last season, passed for 280 yards in a 35-21 win over San Marcos Mission Hills. Harris, a starter as a sophomore at Animo South, has seven TD passes in two games.

"This was a big win for us against a great team," Town said Friday night. "The offensive line did a great job and gave me plenty of time. Our receivers are all-around great players, and when I get them the ball, good things will happen."

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATSondheimer

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