CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Midlothian High School Trojans have 20 seniors on the football team this season. Most have been playing together since they were kids. This season, they are undefeated and looking to make every snap count.
“For me, it hasn’t set in yet,” said Maxx Lawton, a kicker for the team. “It is just a really weird feeling that this is going to be our last season, potentially.”
Lawton and the team’s quarterback, Cooper Meads, have been playing together for almost ten years. They both have an offer from Ferrum College to potentially play football at the next level together.
“Having somebody to potentially be there for you that you have known for a long time, it’s a comforting feeling,” Meads said.
While playing in little league as a part of the Mustangs, Lawton was a tight end for Meads. Now, some seniors have changed positions, but they remain just as close.
“On and off the field, we’re brothers,” Lawton said.
But the team’s wide receiver twins Jack and Ryan Runyon truly play like brothers.
“You know we’re brutally honest. If he messes up, I’m on him,” said Ryan Runyon.
“It definitely brings up the competition a lot. You always have somebody to push you harder in practice,” Jack Runyon responded.
The Runyon twins are not looking to play football at the next level, but, they are currently filling out college applications.
“The thing that we tell them is that football ends for everybody, so your next opportunity is for the next 40 years of your life,” head coach Matt Hutchings said.
Coach Hutchings said the team’s large amount of seniors can be attributed to creating the culture for the Midlothian football program.
“I can’t say enough about these kids. They’re really awesome human beings,” Hutchings said.
The Trojans hosted their first-ever playoff game last season and beat Manchester High School for the first time in 20 years.
“The goal is to make more history obviously, and we’re trying to go undefeated, which is realistic,” said Andrew Perko, an offensive lineman for the team.
While both winning and losing are meaningful, Coach Hutchins says the friendships will matter after you take the last snap.
“These are going to be guys you have at your wedding, you know, 20 years from now,” Hutchings said.
The former Midlothian Mustangs little league team included many of the current seniors on the team.
Ashby Berry, Hank Blanton, Mikyel Cardichon, Trey Cornwell, Connor Harrington, Avery Heleniak, Adrien Istre, Makhi Jackson, Ryan Runyon, Jack Runyon, Maxx Lawton, Cooper Meads, Cam Penn, Andrew Perko, Hayden Martin, Jackson Rosenberger, Gabe Semidey, Ethan Shelor, Sam Sperry and Zach Wirt.