BRISTOLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – It is a family atmosphere for the Bristol boys basketball team. Sure, most teams feel like they are a family, but for the Panthers, they truly are with four pairs of brothers playing for the Panthers this season.
“It is legitimately a family,” said senior forward Matt Church. “We have four sets of brothers and it just so happens we are best friends or in the same friend group. Even outside of the court we are hanging out at each other’s houses.”
“Literally, they are brothers,” said head coach Craig Giesy. “It is not just a saying we use. It’s really fun. It has to be really enjoyable for the parents to sit there and watch them. They grew up in each other’s houses, the seniors being all in the same class. They think of each other’s parents as family and it has been a nice dynamic for us.”
“We just get to continue that bond and spend every moment on the court together,” said senior guard Matt Stephens. “Then when we accomplish certain things like going to Regionals last year, it is just something really special to share that with your brother so that 20 years down the road, you are sitting at the dinner table at Thanksgiving talking about when we were playing on the same team 20 years ago. It is just really special.”
“It helps a lot,” said senior forward Jordan Mahan. “I mean, if Coach or one of the teammates yell at your brother or someone you are close to, you can go pick them up and it will mean more.”
The Bristol Bunch has brought a lot of success to the Panthers program, like a trip to Regionals last year.
Their eyes are on another trip to the Sweet 16, but they don’t want it to stop there.
“It would be incredible,” Stephens said. “Since day one, since the last season ended at Richmond Heights, we always have been looking back to March and looking to get back to Canton and just make something happen and do something that hasn’t been done in a long time.”
“It would mean the world to me because basketball is all I really got,” said senior Seth Mooney. “Sports — it has always helped me through life, and with my little brother, I just hope it can help him the same way it has helped me.”