2019 FOX 7 Football Field Trip: Vandegrift
AUSTIN, Texas - The Vandegrift High School Vipers had a breakthrough 12-1 season in 6A and this year will depend on a literal band of brothers to get back to those lofty heights.
Head football coach Drew Sanders always tries to create a family like environment and this season it's built in.
The Vipers have three sets of brothers on the team and all six are key starters.
"You always have brothers and stuff. A lot of times it's separated by three or four years but this is very unusual to have them all at the same time," Sanders says. "In addition that all of them are starters. It's crazy! It saves on name plates though so that's good."
Dru and Beau Dawson hail from Burnt Orange royalty. Former University of Texas Longhorns kicker Phil Dawson, who just wrapped up a 21 year NFL career, is their proud dad.
The Dawson boys joke that they didn't get the kicking gene but it does seem like they did get football in their DNA.
Senior Dru is the starting quarterback and he'll be throwing passes to his younger brother Beau, a slot receiver.
"It's kinda funny cause like every weekend I'd drag him in the yard and I'd throw to him. We just continued to build that bond. Later on in middle school & early high school, we were like 'we might be able to do this together!' Dru says.
Twins Trey and Tyler Mongauzy are both seniors and say like the Dawsons their football bond started early.
"I played quarterback in 5th grade and that's kind of when our bond kinda started. I used to throw him.. he was my #1 target!" Tyler says.
The Mongauzys are seniors with Tyler a defensive back and Trey a receiver.
"We're both competitive! We like to compete against each other - and everyone else so.. sometimes it can get a little heated, but we never take it off the field or anything!" Trey says.
The Lewis brothers are another set of twins on the team. Defensive back Kaleb and running back Bowen have been on the same team for more than a decade.
"First time we actually played together in a competitive scenario was flag football in kindergarten and stuff like that. We just played together all the way through up unitl now - so it's just been a really great experience to play with him," Bowen says.
Kaleb adds, ""We do fight a little bit but it's kind of hard for us not to keep a smile on our face and like mess with each other and stuff. If he's mad at me, I'll just mess with him and It'll be all good!"
It's a true band of brothers that's helping this Viper family thrive.
Rick Cantu and Thomas Jones with the Austin American-Statesman share their thoughts on just how good this year's Vandegrift team will be.