The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
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FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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a family tradition

Buxtons-trackStanding in at 5’11, 120 pounds and 5’7, 117 pounds respectively, brothers Ryan and Kyle Buxton don’t have what one would call the average football build; their success record on the field in recent years stands as proof. One of the few times that they have been in practice, both brothers managed to find themselves flat on their backs, looking straight into the helmets of a pair of linebackers.

“My freshman year was the worst hit,” junior Kyle Buxton said. “Me and my brother were holding bags, and the freshmen were supposed to just come up and tap them. [But] then this kid just came up and nailed me 5 ft. into the ground. I was laughing though, everybody was laughing. Then two plays later the exact same thing happened to my brother. It was funny.”

While the brothers are two of the smaller guys in the football organization, they are two of the guys who have the greatest impact on the team. However, their work is not done on the gridiron. Kyle’s work makes him the behind-the-scenes guy, his job-description varying day-to-day. Some days he spends practices helping the coaches out, other days he fixes the player’s equipment. On game days, and if the guys are home, he sets up above the press box and video tapes the games. Whatever he does, his title remains the same, the football manager. Ryan’s work on the other hand, is much less varied. Most days he works in close contact with the coaches watching them operate, helping work with players and set up plays. His goal: to become an coach someday.

“The Buxton’s, both of them, have been absolutely amazing for the program,” Head coach John Brune said. “It’s to the point where I don’t have to tell them what to do; they know what needs to get done, when it needs do be done, and where. [They] take lots of stress off of the coaches.”

Ryan, a 2008 graduate, was the first brother to be involved in the football program. After a year playing wide receiver for the freshman team, he decided not to suit up anymore.

“I decided not to come back,” Ryan said. “I didn’t want to play and [coach] Calloway came up with the idea of me being the team manager, so I went for it.”

Ryan managed in the program his entire sophomore, junior and senior years. During his senior year, Kyle decided to follow in his footsteps and become a manager himself.

“My brother was a senior and everyday after school I would hear about how much fun he would have being a manager,” Kyle said. “So I decided to do it. I walked up and asked Brune if I could manage, and he said if you’re anything like your brother we’d be happy to have you.”

Two seasons and three years later, the Buxton brothers are still out on the football field. Ryan is going to community college now, but he comes to practice still and helps out. “Ryan’s been coming back [and] volunteering his time to work with the team,” Brune said. “His commitment to the program is insanity.”

Now Ryan’s main goal at practices is to not only help the team out, but himself as well. By watching the coaches operate, he is learning how to become a coach, a goal that was started on the same football field he’s on now.

“[When I was a manager] a lot of it was just helping out with drills,” Ryan said. “[Coach] Calloway used me for a lot of different things. Then the other coaches slowly started using me. Eventually Coach C. trusted me enough to call some plays at practices. It was a really cool feeling to feel like you orchestrated something, like you put together a giant puzzle. Football is unlike any other sport where you work on your individual position and then everything just comes together. It’s cool to piece it all together.”

Ryan needs at least 60 credit hours to become a licensed coach so, for now, he and Kyle get to share a unique bond that most brothers separated by college do not get to experience.

“Probably the farthest I’d go [with this] would be coaching high school,” Kyle said.” So if my job cooperates then Ill do it. I like the sport, I like the challenge of it, so I definitely want to do it.”
Although Kyle only wants to go as far as highschool, Ryan’s coaching aspirations go as high as they can, even the NFL is an option.

I wanna go pretty far with coaching,” Ryan said. “I want to go as far as I can with it because there’s nothing I love more than football.”

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