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Brotherly love

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  • Walker Tuttle (left) and Will. (Photo: Brooke Tuttle)
    Walker Tuttle (left) and Will. (Photo: Brooke Tuttle)
  • Dom (left) and Mikey Matteucci. (Photo: Sara Matteucci)
    Dom (left) and Mikey Matteucci. (Photo: Sara Matteucci)
  • Ben Marrs (blue hoodie) hugs his brother Jason Marrs. (Photo: Eva Matteucci)
    Ben Marrs (blue hoodie) hugs his brother Jason Marrs. (Photo: Eva Matteucci)

Special to Kansas Pregame

For the next few minutes, Philadelphia is sharing the title of being the City of Brotherly Love with Salina. 

The Sacred Heart boys basketball team features not one, not two, but a zany three sets of brothers on the Knights’ roster on MaxPreps. The Knights, 20-3, face Erie at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Class 2A State Tournament in Dodge City.

“Three sets of brothers on a team is quite unique,” senior Mikey Matteucci, the Italian Bad Dawg, said. “Not only three sets of brothers but three sets of competitors willing to do whatever it takes to win. That is what is very special about us. It also is a positive that our team chemistry between us is very good making it easier to play together.”

“It is extremely rare (to) find a team with three pairs of siblings,” freshman Dom Matteucci, the Italian Mad Scientist, said. “We are very fortunate to be so close in age, and to be able to grow up as close families and friends together.”

Senior Jason Marrs and super sophomore brother Ben have their unique brother bonding time that never ends. 

“The three sets of siblings on Sacred Heart speaks to the camaraderie across the whole team,” Marrs 1.0 said. “It’s easy to share the ball and play team defense because our team is a family.”
“Three sets of brothers on the team really elevates our team’s ability to play with each other,” Marrs 2.0 said. “The three sets of brothers also bring good competition within the team and amongst themselves.”

Sophomore Will Tuttle and senior older brother Walker never stop pushing each other in their drive for excellence.

“Having three sets of brothers on one team is unique because it helps the team have better chemistry with each other,” Will The Thrill said. “It also brings in a lot more competitiveness in practices.”

“It’s so unique and special to have three sets of brothers on the team, we have all grown up together,” Walker Texas Ranger said. “So continuing our relationships on the court helps us all grow. It is just so fun to play with all of your friends and their siblings.”

Brotherly Love is taken to Stratospheric heights as these Knights in Shining Armor reveal why their brother is the best but also a little bruh smack talk is good for a chuckle.  Each set of brothers was asked who would win in a 1-on-1 game, a wrestling match and a 100-meter race against their sibling.

The Matteucci Money Men
“Me and my brother’s relationship is pretty amazing,” Mikey said. “He is four years younger than me so I can beat him in almost all sporting events as of now. But this year is the first year I have been able to play high school sports with him because he is a freshman.”

“I would say my brother and I have a very competitive relationship,” Dom said. “We are always trying to push each other to be better than the other. It meant a lot growing up watching and learning from him. He has helped me on and off the court become the person I am today.”

“Mike has been the engine for our team at both ends of the court,” Knight coach Brian Gormley said. “He’s established as a first-team all-league player last year and is one of the toughest competitors I’ve coached.”

One of the toughest until Dom came along. 

“Dom is every bit the competitor that Mike is,” Gormley said. “He’s aggressive, has a nose for the ball in traffic and competes well above his stature. However, Dom dances the most on the team, sings a bit and smiles whenever he’s not in a tussle for a loose ball.”

“I would say our relationship is different than others because of how competitive we are to one another,” Dom said. “There was no going easy on each other. I am proud to say I was apart of a team with my brother that has made it this far, and could still make it even farther.”

Mikey has enjoyed this season competing with his brother. 

“It has been a great experience and he’s always willing to push me and make me a better player no matter what sport we are playing,” Mikey noted.

Only 10 pounds separates the two with older brother weighing in at 150 pounds and younger brother at 140.

“Now as a younger brother who is still growing. I don't think I'm faster than him, better at basketball than him yet, but I think I would have a shot at wrestling.”

There is Life on Marrs
“My relationship with Ben is incredibly special to me,” Jason Marrs noted. “On the court, he's taught me about resilience, determination and the power of never giving up. Off the court, our bond runs even deeper. Over many Wendy’s ‘Biggie Bags’ I’ve learned the importance of being there for family no matter what. Ben means the world to me.”

“The relationship I have built with my brother through basketball is a bond that will never be broken,” Ben said. “He is my greatest inspiration and supporter. Our relationship means the world to me. Jason is the role model in my life who showed me that family means more than anything.”

“Jason is the quintessential student-athlete,” Gormley noted. “He has been a three-year starter, but he splits time during the season as a member of the state championship scholars bowl team, is a community captain and participates in numerous clubs.”

Ben does follow in Jason’s footsteps as a scholar’s bowl competitor, according to Gormley. 

“But he does basketball in a unique way,” the Knight coach lamented. “He has insightful commentary on opposing players and has developed celebrations that are second to none on this team.”

“What sets my relationship with Ben apart is his humor,” Jason said. “He knows how to keep it light when I find myself getting too serious. He reminds me of what is really important.”

“The biggest thing that sets our relationship apart from others,” Ben said, “is how our parents raised us to be not just brothers but friends.”

The Marrs Dawgs agreed the basketball game and wrestling match would favor the veteran. 

“However, he thinks he has a faster 100m time than me,” Jason said. “All I’m going to say is don’t be surprised when you see us on KWU’s track later this week.”

“Jason has a five inch and 35 pound advantage on me so he takes the cake in wrestling and 1 on 1,” Ben stated. “Those extra 35 pounds will lose him the 100 yard dash regardless of what he says.”

(He) ‘got me into basketball’
“My relationship with my brother is a very special one because of our competitiveness and we are always pushing each other to be better,” Will Tuttle said. 

“My brother and I both build off of each other on the court,” Walker said. “He’s a little better than me so I think I learn more from him, to be honest.”

“Walker began his journey as inspirational leader of this team when he returned to basketball last season after a one-year hiatus,” Gormley said. “Not only a fan favorite eliciting chants of his name like a professional wrestler, but making behind-the-scenes contributions to the development of our team as a whole all season.”

Will has carved out quite a niche as an off-the-bench scorer this season, his coach said. 

“But the most compelling point about these two has to be the way that these two support one another,” Gormley said. “It extends beyond the basketball court to the golf course and even in the hallways at school.”

“I have learned a lot from my brother because he is really the one who originally got me into basketball,” Will said. “I would always go to his tournaments growing up.”

“It was awesome when we won the sub-state game, especially with this being the last year I could play sports with my brother,” Walker said. “There is no better way I would want to end my senior season than by playing in the state tournament with my brother.”

The title of King Tut-tle would go as follows. 

“I would beat Walker in a 1v1 because of my speed, length and ability to shoot,” Will said.
“I would beat him in a wrestling match for sure,” Walker countered. “But I think he’s probably got me in a 100-yard dash.”

The City of Brotherly Love will long reside in Salina as well.