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NHS Boys' Lacrosse-Oh Brother! … Team Has Four Sets Of Siblings



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NHS Boys’ Lacrosse—

Oh Brother! … Team Has Four Sets Of Siblings

By Andy Hutchison

It’s not uncommon for a sports team to have one set of siblings. At the school level, it isn’t unheard of for two sets of brothers or sisters to pull on the same uniform during the same season. But the Newtown High School boys’ lacrosse team has more. The Nighthawks feature not three but … count ’em … four sets of brothers.

The old “my teammates are my brothers” sports saying holds particularly true in this case.

There are Conor and Brendan Martin, Christian and Max Beitel, Will and Ben Mahony, and Kyle and Connor McNamara.

Newtown’s coaching staff, no doubt, can’t always call players by their last names when this team takes the field.

The four sets of brothers enjoy the benefits of their sibling rivalries; they get to put new skills to the test on each other in the yard or discuss that day’s game over dinner at home.

“It’s fun. We play all the time in the back yard so we can try different moves out on each other,” senior Will Mahony said.

 His brother Ben is a sophomore and has benefited from learning the game with a more experienced player right there at home.

“It’s a great experience playing with someone who’s older,” the younger sibling said.

There are, however, some challenges that go along with a sibling being a teammate — just ask Connor McNamara.

“It’s fun till he yells at you for doing something wrong because you want to yell back but you can’t,” Connor said.

Kyle McNamara says he tries to help his younger brother improve.

“There’s definitely that competition within the family,” Kyle added.

Sibling rivalries can be magnified when lacrosse is put into the equation.

“We go up against each other a lot,” Brendan Martin said. “We kind of beat each other up — that makes us both better.”

“After a game we sit down and talk about how we played,” his brother Conor added.

Most of the siblings play the field positions: defense, midfield, and attack.

The Beitels, though, have a bit of a different connection since Christian is an attack player and Max is a goaltender.

“He helps me with my shot placement and hiding my stick on a shot. I can tell him if he’s in the wrong position or if there’s too much net on one side,” Christian said.

Max said he and Christian push each other to improve. There’s a third cog to the Beitel lacrosse wheel.

“Our sister played, which helps us a lot too,” said Max, speaking of Karli who attended NHS and now plays on Dartmouth College’s club team.

Christian Beitel said that with so many siblings on the team, that means more players naturally have each other’s backs out on the field. He believes that mentality rubs off on their teammates.

“It sort of sets an example for the rest of the team and makes everyone closer,” he said.

There are plenty of bonds that form on a team. The preexisting bonds that the siblings possess raise that level of comfort among teammates on the NHS lacrosse field where the Nighthawks have had tremendous success this spring with eight wins in their first nine games.

“It’s a lot of fun. It adds to the chemistry,” Brendan Martin said of the team fielding so many sets of brothers.

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