Photo by Jeff Helmkamp
The Deckard triplets help anchor a solid offensive line for the Civic Memorial Eagles as they’ve raced out to a 4-0 start to the season. The junior O-linemen are (from left) Curtis, Brandon and Andrew.
At a combined height of 18 feet, 6 inches and weight of 900 pounds, the Deckard triplets of Bethalto are a stabilizing force for the Civic Memorial Eagles’ football team in 2015.
At only 16 years old, they have plenty of time to grow and improve, too.
Curtis (6-4, 300), Andrew (6-1, 320) and Brandon Deckard (6-1, 280) anchor the offensive line for the Eagles (4-0). They’re a big reason CM is off to its best start since 2001. The Eagles enjoyed a 42-6 romp of Mississippi Valley Conference rival Jersey in Week 4 on the road and now prepare for Mascoutah at 7 p.m. Friday at home.
But the story of the Deckard boys started long before the CM gridiron.
When Marcia and Brett Deckard first left the doctor’s office more than 16 years ago, they believed they were having just one baby. A month later, at the second visit, they learned they were having two babies. There was a shadow, however, that the doctor predicted could be a third.
A month passed and it was time for another visit. At that point they learned, in fact, they were having triplets — all boys.
“We were stunned but happy to be having three boys,” father Brett Deckard said.
Mother Marcia Deckard added, “I was overjoyed. God blessed me beyond my dreams.”
From the age of 7, the brothers wanted to play football, starting with the Little Cowboys. But they actually took up soccer first at the age of 6.
“They didn’t much care for all of the running back and forth, and they were pretty big boys even back then,” Brett remembers of them playing soccer.
When they tried football the next year they fell in love, playing in the yard often when not at practices and games.
Besides soccer the brothers enjoyed playing baseball. They were baseball players from the age of 5 to 13. They even wrestled sixth grade through their freshmen year.
Andrew and Curtis were usually in the same weight class in wrestling, while Brandon had his own weight class. Andrew and Curtis are identical twins, while Brandon is fraternal; Andrew and Curtis have 40 pounds on Brandon.
Following their freshmen year, the Deckards gave up baseball and wrestling and focused on football.
“Because of their size, always being on the end of their weight bracket, having to restrict and limit food intake made it difficult for them to put on the much-needed muscle for next season,” Marcia said of wrestling. “The offseason is where champions are made and that is the main reason they gave up wrestling.”
Now juniors, the Deckard brothers all enjoy playing football and power lifting. They understand they have a gift that not many have enjoyed. All three enjoy being on the offensive line together.
“You definitely are more confident knowing your brothers have your back,” Andrew said.
Brandon added, “They push me to play to the best of my ability.”
“We are stronger as a unit both mentally and physically,” Curtis said.
CM senior quarterback Adam Hill said, “They feel like they are all on the same page; they communicate well and can predict a lot. Having all three is awesome. They put in a lot of extra work that nobody asks of them and I think it’s great; the whole line does. They’re out there 30 minutes early before Friday’s game and I think that’s awesome; it really helps me out.”
The Deckards, along with Jordan Stagner (6-2, 220) and Cody Reynolds (6-0, 270), anchor the offensive line for the Eagles. They’ve blocked for Hill to throw for 780 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions under center and for running back John Whitworth to gain a whopping 739 yards and nine TDs — all coming in four games.
Stagner definitely has a respect for his three line mates.
“They are some of the most respectful kids you’ll ever meet. On the field, however, they know how to flip a switch and they mean business,” Stagner said. “I have nothing to worry about on our turf, or any other team’s turf, because we have that 900-pound wall.”
Having triplets on the offensive line is a dream for a football coach, all 300 pounds and over 6 feet.
“We are very fortunate to have those guys. As big as they are, they work that hard,” Eagles’ head coach Justin Winslow said. “Everything they get, as well as they do, is because they have a work ethic and understanding. They come to practice hard every day and they work hard and you know they’ll continue to get better.”
Their dad has definitely seen the improvement, especially when reminiscing about where it all started.
“The boys have come a long ways from the NICU at Missouri Baptist Hospital,” Brett said. “Myself and their mother and the whole family couldn’t be more proud of the boys and how they have grown into polite and respectful young men.”
And by grown, he means from 3.9 to 300 pounds in 16 years.
All three Deckard brothers hope to continue their education in college and use football as the platform to accomplish the feat. It remains to be seen if they will continue to stack the deck at the same college.
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