Football’s a family business at Ligonier Valley this season

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Friday, August 19, 2022 | 6:06 PM


Ligonier Valley football coach Roger Beitel is now the elder statesman of coaches in Westmoreland County with the retirement of Jeannette’s Roy Hall.

But during practice, he allows the players to play different genres of music as background noise.

Entering his 19th year as coach at the school, Beitel might find it appropriate to add these 1970s soul hits to the practice’s playlist: “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone and “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.

The 2022 season provides Beitel with a first in his coaching career: five sets of brothers on the roster.

Beitel has coached numerous sets of brothers during his career, including his own sons, Nick and Zack, both now at Washington & Jefferson.

On the 2022 Rams roster are Broderick and Boden Schreyer, Nick and Tony Lonas, Logan and Aidan Mulheren, John and Mark Jablunovsky and Bruce and Lucas Krieger.

“I’ve coached a lot of brothers over the years, just not five in one season,” Beitel said. “It’s a lot and very different. It makes us real happy, the fact you have a family that entrusts you to coach their kids and help raise them. We’re proud of that fact.”

Three sets of brothers are a senior and a freshman. The Jablunovsky twins are sophomore skill position players, and the Mulherens are a senior and sophomore.

“It’s pretty cool,” Broderick Schreyer said. “It makes us feel more like a family.”

Logan Mulheren added: “It brings us together as a team, more of a bonding.”

The Schreyers both play quarterback. Broderick is a senior, and Boden is a freshman.

Because they drill together, Broderick tries to help his brother as much as possible.

“Since I’ve been with the program for four years, I try to teach him what I’ve learned along the way,” Broderick Schreyer said. “He’s learned the plays quickly. He’s going to signal in the plays from the sidelines, and I believe he’s going to get better and be a leader of the freshmen.”

Nick Lonas, a senior, said because he and his freshman brother, Tony, play different positions, the best way he can help him is in the weight room. Nick Lonas plays wing back and outside linebacker. Tony Lonas is a lineman.

“If he’s not doing something right, I’ll offer a suggestion and get him to do something different,” Nick Lonas said. “Having so many sets of brothers is definitely unusual.”

Logan Mulheren, a senior lineman, said Aidan was lifting with the football team for wrestling, and some of his friends on the team talked him into coming out. Aidan Mulheren plays receiver.

“He’s quick learner,” Logan Mulheren. “He’ll do fine as a receiver. He has a good work ethic.”

Bruce Krieger is a senior running back/defensive back, and Lucas Krieger, a freshman, is a lineman.

Beitel said with a roster of 43, to have five sets of brothers on the team is very different.

“It’s always nice to have our older players mentor the younger guys,” Beitel said. “In this instance, you have your brother-brother relationship where they can help take them through and help them along.

“They also let them make mistakes because they know in order to grow, you have to make mistakes. They don’t baby them, but they do bring them along nicely.”

And to add to the family atmosphere, two fathers of the siblings are on the coaching staff. Brian Schreyer is an assistant coach on the varsity, and Greg Lonas is a coach on the middle school team.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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