Colts united by family, fraternity

Five sets of brothers -- including a pair of identical twins -- combine blood lines with scrimmage lines at Arlington High

  • Colt brotherhood  (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
    Five sets of brothers -- including identical twins -- are lending a sense of family to the Arlington High football roster this season. (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
  • Arlington linebackers A'Tavion McDonald (19), X'Zavion McDonald (17) and Murad Almas (31) close in on a South Grand Prairie ballcarrier. (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
    Arlington linebackers A'Tavion McDonald (19), X'Zavion McDonald (17) and Murad Almas (31) close in on a South Grand Prairie ballcarrier. (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
  • D'Montae Davis  (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
    D'Montae Davis moved from wide receiver to quarterback to run the Colts offense this season. His brother, Billy, just joined the varsity as a junior linebacker. (Photo: Russ Rendon/Arlington Voice)
Keven Costlow

Most football coaches try to develop a sense of togetherness for their teams, wanting to build a sense of family.

For Arlington High coach Scott Peach, this isn’t that hard to do, since the team already has a sense of brotherhood in the locker room.

That’s because Peach has five sets of brothers – including a set of identical twins – playing on his varsity this year.

“The nice thing about being here 15 years is you get to see a lot of families,” Peach said. “When you have the older brother playing here, all of the younger brothers want to follow them. Most of these kids contribute well and their whole family is committed to the program.”

The focal point of most football teams is the quarterback, and the Colts are using converted wide receiver D’Montae Davis as the starter this year.

It adds a little pressure on him, but he wants to set a good example for his younger brother, junior linebacker Billy Davis, who just joined the varsity this week.

“It’s fun having Billy on the team because I get to give my brother a hard time,” D’Montae said. “I really didn’t like moving to quarterback at first, but now I realize I had to step up and do this for the team.”

The younger Davis is happy to be on the varsity, and believes there is a sense of unity on the team.

“This really is just like a family,” he said. “We’ve all got each other’s back.”

The team held together in last week’s season opener against South Grand Prairie, rallying back from a 21-6 deficit to tie the game, send it to overtime and, finally, win, 24-21.

D’Montae’s backup this season, junior Sam Shank, is learning a lot about leadership by watching the first team quarterback. But he’s learned just as much from the team’s tight end, senior Graham Shank, his older brother.

“I’ve learned that no matter how much adversity you go through, you’ve got to persevere,” Sam Shank said. “You can never give up; you’ve got to give your best because that’s how you improve in life.”

Graham Shank, one of the senior leaders on the team, believes that when the team came together for practice in August, they already had a sense of unity, since everyone already knew each other and were friends.

“Sometimes in spring practice, we had the offense vs. the defense, but now our goal is to be as close as a family,” he said. “That’s going to make us better.”

The Colts’ offensive and defensive lines are strong this season, and one of the reasons is the Felts brothers.

Senior Trey Felts is a starter on the defensive line, and in practice he can look across the line of scrimmage at junior Joey Felts on the offensive line.

“I feel like I have to set an example for Joey and the other players on the team,” Trey Felts said. “In some ways, we have to teach them how to do their jobs.”

The linebacking corps is the same way, with junior Razi Almas learning not only from his coaches, but from senior starting linebacker and older brother, Murad Almas.

“I learned quickly to stay quiet and work hard,” Razi Almas said. “If you do that, the coaches will see you.”

When dealing with brothers, it’s easy to compare one to the other, to see how closely they resemble each other. But when they look exactly alike, it’s a different matter.

Junior linebackers X’Zavion McDonald and his twin brother, A’Tavion, realize the coaches can tell them apart, so they can’t play any pranks on them. The twins don’t even share a class, other than football, but they can agree on how to go about doing their jobs.

“You’ve got to like hitting people,” X’Zavion said. “This group has always been close to each other, but we’re so diverse, it makes for a special group.”

Arlington High’s motto this season is “Leave a Legacy,” and Peach said a lot of that legacy comes from coaching the oldest brother in a family and all their younger brothers.

“We had a span where, for 12 years, we had an Onyegbule in our program,” he said. “We’ve coached all four Anunda brothers. When you know the family pretty well, you know what you’re expecting.”