It's not like they needed any extra motivation.
Already, brothers Rhen Richard and Kaden Richard of Union High had enough riding on their shoulders.
Rhen, the star senior quarterback, and Kaden, the talented junior running back, had helped lead the Union Cougars to their first semifinal appearance since 1993. And heading into their 3A semifinal showdown with Judge Memorial Friday morning, Rhen and Kaden carried the hopes and dreams of the Roosevelt community, which had gathered inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, not to mention their own hopes and the hopes of their teammates and coaches.
On top of that, however, they had this little nugget: Rhen and Kaden were also trying to beat their close friends, brothers Lewis and Keenyn Walker of Judge.
The Judge set of brothers came out on top, as the Bulldogs raced to a 49-20 win, but Rhen Richard said afterward that he thoroughly enjoyed playing against his pals.
"It added a lot," he said. "Just over the phone, talking, tellin' them we was going to beat them. It's a fun relationship to be able to play with your buddies."
According to Rhen, the Richard brothers met the Walker boys through a mutual friend two years ago. Rhen and Lewis are both seniors, while Kaden and Keenyn are juniors. Because of that, Rhen and Lewis have become particularly close, as have Kaden and Keenyn.
"Keenyn and I are pretty much best friends," said Kaden Richard.
Just a few weeks ago, Keenyn Walker traveled out to Roosevelt to experience one of the favorite pastimes of the Richard family elk hunting.
Keenyn Walker, a talented defensive back and receiver, had never been hunting before. How did he do?
"He knows," smiled Kaden.
Rhen Richard was much more specific.
"He's sittin' there lookin' through the binoculars," he said. "And he said he was lookin' at some horses out there and he thought we was going to shoot a horse. And we pulled the trigger, and he (was frightened)."
Lewis and Keenyn Walker will face Logan for the 3A state championship next Friday, while Rhen and Kaden saw their season come to an end.
Though Rhen and Kaden both left Rice-Eccles Stadium feeling disappointed, all in all, both said they'll have found memories of 2007.
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