For some students, football runs in the family. For freshmen Justin and Jason Greenway, Augustana Vikings football runs in the family.
The Greenway twins from Mitchell, S.D. grew up watching their cousin, Chad Greenway, who is currently a linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings play football.
Chad played for the Iowa Hawkeyes before becoming the only Iowa linebacker to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
“[Chad] has had a lot of success in football,” Justin said. “[He’s] a good guy—good role model.”
Justin and Jason will continue the legacy of Greenway family football players as they join the Augustana Vikings this year.
Already, they’ve seen camaraderie on the team that extends beyond immediate family members. Justin says that one of his favorite aspects of playing in college is “getting to meet all the guys.”
“It’s a great opportunity for a long time every day to make some friends and compete,” Justin said.
But the Greenways aren’t the only family members playing for Augie.
The Lee family from Blue Earth, Minn., has three students playing for the team.
“Having my brothers here impacts me a lot, making the experience of college even greater,” freshman Sam Lee said. “It’s just really nice to have them around and to have all three of us together again.”
Sam joins his brothers juniors Jake and Nick Lee on the team this year. Nick and Sam play on offense, while Jake plays defense.
“There [are] opportunities for me to go against them in practice,” Jake said. “When we do, we go hard. We usually hit each other as hard as we can when we get the chance to, but after the play is over someone usually laughs.”
For the Greenway siblings, being on the same team is nothing new. They’ve played football together since third grade, and they also both plan to be on the Augustana track team this year.
“It doesn’t seem that different to me … Pretty much all my life we’ve been on the same team,” Jason said.
Despite playing together for so long, Justin and Jason still treat each other as they would any other team member.
“We talk to each other about the plays, but in general on the field he’s just another player like anyone else,” Justin said.
Having siblings on the team also allows for spending time together off the field. The Lee brothers all share a passion for sports, and after working hard at practice, they like to share down time as well.
“We’ll go to the theater if there’s a new movie,” Jake said. “Usually we all just sit at our house and hang out.”
Regardless of what the rest of the season holds for the Augustana football team, a shared love of the sport and strong family ties will keep these siblings going strong.
“Having siblings on the football team is something that I really enjoy,” Sam said. “It is a great experience playing together again.”