Brothers Danny and Ben Redington dedicated their youth and high school football years to Rochelle Township High School and the Rochelle community. They’ve worn purple and white for most of their lives, which made Saturday’s NCAA Division III football contest between Wisconsin-Platteville and Wisconsin-Eau Claire a first-time experience for both players.
Danny graduated RTHS in 2017 before continuing his football career at Platteville, while Ben moved on to Eau Claire after earning his diploma from RTHS in 2019. Since their schools were members of the same football conference, the two brothers knew they would eventually face each other on the field, and that happened for the first time on Saturday, when Danny and the 13th ranked Pioneers cruised over Ben and the unranked BluGolds 43-8.
“To be on the opposite team was honestly a lot of fun,” Danny said. “It felt like any other game for the most part, but knowing that only one team could win added a bit of brotherly competition, and for football players, any reason you can find to play harder is a good reason. I’m very thankful our team has been successful this year, and this season has helped make for a very fun college year overall.”
“It was very surreal for me to play against my brother for the first time,” Ben said. “I’ve been so used to playing with him in the past that playing against him was a very unique and special experience. Our season has gone well for the most part, with injuries playing a large factor in recent games. My overall experience has exceeded my expectations so far.”
While the game was largely a one-sided affair, the brothers were excited to line up as opponents for the first time, and they’ll clash again when Platteville and Eau Claire collide during the 2020 season. Danny, a third-year junior, currently plays on the offensive line for the Pioneers, while Ben, a first-year freshman, lines up at tight end for the BluGolds. The brothers have been giving each other advice on both football and academics while attending their respective schools.
“It takes drive and a lot of effort, and sometimes it can feel like all the effort you give isn’t quite enough,” Danny said. “If I ever feel like that, I know I can talk to Ben, as someone who knows exactly what I’m talking about, and we can both give each other the motivation to keep going.”
“I’ve found out first-hand that college football is a grind,” Ben said. “It can be challenging to keep working at some points. We have definitely helped each other get better by training with each other and holding each other accountable to get better over the summer.”