Band of brothers: Indiana boys soccer high school team has 5 pairs of siblings

VALPARAISO, Ind. — It’s a family affair for an Indiana high school’s boys soccer team.

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The roster of the Morgan Township squad features five pairs of brothers, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.

The Cherokees’ roster contains Chase and Chance Hunsley, Brett and Cooper Spagna, Ryan and Jake Weltzin, Noah and Wiley Barker, and Kyle and Brayden Cuson, according to MaxPreps.

“We’re such a small community, and everybody knows everybody,” Coach Steve Cuson told the Times. “There’s more than just the five sets of brothers on the team. There are a lot of brothers on this team who aren’t related.”

Most of the brothers are at least three years apart, the newspaper reported. This season offers the brothers a chance to play on the same organized squad.

“It’s kind of weird, honestly. Growing up and playing soccer or watching each other play soccer, we’re finally able to play with each other and share the sport together,” senior Brett Spagna, a center-back, said of playing with his brother, who is a freshman forward. “It’s pretty cool.”

Ryan Weltzin, a senior midfielder-forward, is one of the team’s top scorers, while his younger brother plays defense.

They are teammates, but like most siblings, the boys are competitive.

“We want to see who’s the best out of us two,” Kyle Cuson told the Times. “We have a lot of competitiveness but it’s more or less contained to practice. We don’t just usually get mad at each other. We just get really competitive.”

“It’s just natural to be competitive,” Jake Weltzin told the newspaper. “Since there’s a lot of brothers on the team, we always try to go against each other and see who’s better.”

The Cuson brothers have their father as coach and their grandfather as an assistant, the Times reported.

“It’s definitely a cool experience. Our dad coached us when we were younger but we haven’t played with him since we last played with each other (six or seven years ago),” Brayden Cuson told the newspaper. “He’ll go harder on us than he would other players on the team just because we’re his kids so he expects a lot from us.”

Their father agreed.

“I’ve always had the tough love with my kids and I have no problem letting them hear it,” Steve Cuson told the Times. “The coaching hat only comes off and the dad hat comes on when I’m watching video. I get to sit back and appreciate it. But during the game, I’ve got a pretty focused mind. It’s about winning and the team, not just about my kids.”