Battle of the brothers - Trojans - Bears showdown

Joey Johanson, Trojans' Head Coach

By Erin Rossell, Staff Writer

MANSON – The Trojans have just one league game remaining in the 2017-18 season, and is probably one of the most anticipated games of the season. Manson will be hosting the Brewster Bears Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. The decades old sports rivalry between Manson and Brewster carries over throughout the sports and seasons.
But what makes this year different? In prior years, the Bears carried a more favorable record in comparison to the Trojans. This season, however, Brewster is sitting at a record of 5-2, while Manson, who remained undefeated up until traveling to Liberty Bell, Friday, Oct. 20, now holding a record of 6-1 in the Central Washington 2B League. The loss against Liberty Bell was by a difference of only one point, with a final score of 15-14.
League standings are not the sole difference this year though. The Trojan’s Head Coach Joey Johanson is in his first year as Head Coach, and will be battling against older brother and Brewster Head Coach Jake Johanson. The brothers have played against each other many times before, but never with their own team of players backing them.  “We’ve always been super competitive – we used to play this game in the backyard where it was just one-on-one tackling, if you get by you win, if you get tackled you don’t,” he laughed as he recalled their childhood competitions, “we’d just play that for hours and hours.”
“I just allow them (the team) to be who they are,” he stated as he explained his relaxed coaching technique, “to me it’s if we’re getting better, if you’re getting better, by any sort of a stretch, even if it’s just a little bit at a time, then we’re doing something right … they respond to my coaching style, so when you have a group that responds to your coaching then it’s a really good connection.” Johanson said that his goal, when he first accepted the head coach position, was to “change the culture of it (the games),” then explained, “you go to watch a football game at another small school and it’s a huge weekly event, so that’s kind of been my goal and it helps when you win,” he joked, “but I think people are really starting to get excited about it.”
Looking ahead to the double rivalry game, Johanson said he’s excited for the match up, “we have a very similar coaching style, and he’s the older brother,” he said, “so a lot of what I’ve learned is from him … I think we both will be able to predict each other a little bit, so I think we both are going to have a little bit of trickery, or something the other wouldn’t expect (during the game) … It’s hard because we’ve done everything together our whole lives … we really do think alike, we run the same style of offense, our defenses are a little bit different, but a lot of it is the same. So, it’s going to be fun. It might just boil down to who has the better athletes.” The Trojans have a huge rivalry with Brewster, “and now it’s a sibling rivalry, and they want to play it,” Johanson added, “they also want to play it for me too. They’re (the team) saying ‘we want to beat your brother for you Coach’, so we’re not going to hold anything back. It’ll be really fun.” Anticipating the end score, Johanson said it’s going to be a really close game, “I think we come out by three or four points, I think it’s a 28-24 game … it’s bound to be competitive, they’re a good team, we’re a good team, and similar coaching styles, it’s bound to be a really fun game from first to fourth (quarter) … going into the playoffs that’s the type of game we need.”

By Mike Maltais, Quad City Herald Staff Writer

BREWSTER – When the 5-2 Bears meet the undefeated Trojans for all the Central Washington 2B League marbles at Manson on Friday, Oct. 27, Brewster head coach Jake Johanson, older brother of Manson varsity coach, Joey Johanson, has no doubt about the game’s outcome.
“I’m very confident in our team at this point in the season,’ said Jake. “We stumbled out of the gate but have been on a roll as of late coming together as the season has progressed.”
Jake concedes that, while Manson has a good defense and has been playing well all season, “our boys are excited to get the chance to play an undefeated and ranked team.”
Age is also on Jake’s side of the sibling rivalry.
“I am three years older than Joey,” Johanson said.
Both coaches grew up in Pateros where Jake played three years of high school football before the Johanson family, along with sister Joanne, moved to East Wenatchee when Jake was a junior and Joey an eighth grader.
“We did not get the chance to play together in football in high school because Eastmont, (where we went to high school) only has 10-12th grade for the high school,” said Jake. “We did play on a pretty impressive intramural team at Central Washington University.”
 Jake said he began his coaching career while playing for the Wenatchee Valley Rams and got the chance to coach the Eastmont eighth grade team with one of his former coaches. Lance Noell. “From there I coached one year of JV at Eastmont then went to college at CWU,” said Jake. “After graduating from Central, my first job was at Brewster High School where I teach high school Special Education.
Jake paid his dues as an assistant for two years before moving up to the head coach position. He is in his seventh year at Brewster and fifth as the Bears’ head coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited for this game,” said Jake. “It has brought a buzz to the season and I would be lying if I told you I didn’t want to win this one a little more than others.”
Anticipation aside, Jake expects the outcome of the Brewster-Manson clash to follow the lines to a childhood game he and his brother used to play.
“As kids we used to have a clothesline in the backyard and we invented a game called two-yard gain,” recalled Jake. “One guy would stand at the clothesline and the other two-to-three yards away and would get tossed the ball.”
The game turned into a one-on-one tackling drill and, being three years older and a freshman at the time, Jake would always win.
“My dad pulled me aside one day and said, ‘He’s going to stop playing with you if you don’t let him win every once and a while,’ so I would let him win occasionally,” said Jake. “I can promise you that advice is thrown out the window for this game.”

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