If you go to see the Marian Knights football team this season, you'd better buy a program! They're likely to become a collector's item since it's a family affair on the football field.
The Marian University football team has almost 150 players. That's a lot of numbers and names on Coach Ted Karras' clipboard. Four of his players share the same last name: Vondersaar.
"Everybody kind of calls us Vondy for short. And so if a coach yells "Vondy!" you can get two, three, four guys running toward you at the same time," said Adam Vondersaar, sophomore.
Coach Ted Karras says he can identify all of them. "They're all different sizes and shapes and positions," said the coach.
The typical reaction? "'Whoa! There's four of you out here?'"
Four brothers from Bainbridge, Indiana, are all on one college football team.
"The Vondersaars: They come in packs, don't they? It's like they flock here every semester," said Adam Weise, Marian quarterback.
Keeping four brothers straight out here is difficult enough. But with the Vondersaars, it's even more confusing, because the biggest is not the oldest, and the oldest is only a sophomore.
Aaron, Adam, Caleb and Seth Vondersaar all play for the Knights. Number 43, a linebacker, Adam is the oldest at 23.
Adam first came to Marian in 2008, but he left school because a knee injury was slow to heal. Four years later, he's back for his sophomore season.
"I haven't played with any of these guys here, so they all thought I was actually one of the younger guys. They all thought Seth was the oldest. There's still even guys today when you tell them there's four brothers on the team, they didn't even know," said Adam.
"I could probably say there's a Vondersaar. There's a Vondersaar. He's probably a Vondersaar, and there's probably another Vondersaar," joked Weise, pointing out different teammates.
Number 2, Seth is the biggest, a 22-year-old junior defensive end. Seth leads the Knights in tackles and sacks.
"We all get along great. We're all probably best friends," said Seth.
The two youngest Vondersaars have been close from the beginning. Caleb and Aaron are 20-year-old fraternal twins. Caleb is a sophomore wide receiver.
"It's a pretty cool experience. We've all played football together before. I'm the only one on offense, so I guess that's something a little different," Caleb said.
It's also different because his twin brother came to Marian a year later.
So number 78, Aaron, is only a freshman defensive end.
"We never split up throughout the years ever. We're always hanging out 24-7. I played football with them all throughout high school. It's a real neat experience," said Aaron.
They played together at North Putnam High School, and football has provided a college family reunion.
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