The Holy Trinity Academy Knights' success this season might have some of their opponents thinking they are seeing double.
The Knights, the no. 1 ranked Tier II football team in the province, have two sets of twins on the squad, Grade 12 quarterback Ben Leggett and defensive end Alex; and Grade 10 safety/receiver Luke Gutek and receiver Jack Gutek.
Oh, and just for good measure, the Gutek's older brother, slot back Noah Gutek, a Grade 12 student, is on the squad and was named the Big Rock Conference MVP on Oct. 25.
There are challenges to playing with your twin brother your entire life.
“People can’t tell us apart,” Luke said with a smile. “(Jack’s strongest attribute) is probably catching the ball.”
Of course that means in practice Luke has a pair of Guteks, Jack and Noah, trying to catch balls in his territory.
“It’s intense — you get mad sometimes and you hit each other,” Luke said. “One time I hit Noah on the ground and he got mad and dropped a few bad words on me.”
Jack has proven to be one of the weapons that QB Ben Leggett has at his disposal. He had three touchdowns against Rundle College in the Big Rock Conference semifinal to go with his 137 yards receiving.
But sometimes practice can be as much fun as a game.
“It’ fun competing against them,” Jack said. “Yesterday (Oct. 31) at practice I caught a ball in between Noah and Luke.”
Noah, the standout slotback, dips into the Knights secondary now and then.
“I like playing football with the ‘Bros’ and the big Leggetts,” Noah said, adding the he and his brothers are competitive right down to their ping-pong matches.
The Leggett brothers had their HTA path set by older brother Jonathan Leggett, who was a bruising runningback and a hard-hitting middle linebacker. He graduated when the Leggett twins were in Grade 8.
“He was a real inspiration to help us play football,” Ben said.
“It’s nice to have an older brother who has gone through the program, he gave us a bit of a taste of what to expect,” Alex said. “It was a lot of fun to see him play so aggressive.”
Jonathan is playing nose guard for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
The Leggett twins started playing football in junior high school with the Eagles and they had a coaching staff with a sense of humour.
“We’ve been playing football together ever since we were in Grade 8,” Ben said. “When we were with Eagles, I was on defence at corner.”
Who was on the other corner? Brother Alex.
“They thought it would be fun if there were twins being corners,” Ben said. “They also put us at D ends. My coaches thought it was a novelty to have twins at the same positions.
“But the next year, a lot of guys moved on and they saw me throw the football and I was the quarterback. Alexander just continued to excel defensively.”
The brothers do compete against each in practice — sort of.
As the starting quarterback, Ben wears a coloured jersey, which means he gets the Tom Brady treatment — don’t even dream of hitting him.
Still when Alex fights through the offensive line, Ben takes notice.
“I think it’s great,” Ben said. “He’s a fantastic player. He really gives you a great look as to what is going on.
“He doesn’t hit me at practice and I appreciate that. It speaks to your experience. You get some of the rookies, and you're not expecting it, they hit you.”
Anyone who has seen the six-foot-three, 210 pound, speedy Alex Leggett play, knows not hitting a player is an anomaly.
“I like defence more because you get to hit more,” Alex said, with a laugh. “I don’t get to hit these guys though (the Guteks and Ben) they all wear red pennies.”
But it’s been a big hit for the Leggett brothers to play with one another over the years — two as Eagles, three with the Knights.
“It’s always fun playing with your brother,” Alex said. “It was more competitive when we were on defence and trying to compete with each other for the same position. It’s a lot less competitive now that we’re on opposite sides of the ball.”
Ben is planning to study engineering at university, while Alex has committed to play at the U of S with his brother Jonathan.
The Knights start their provincial football run on Nov. 9 when they take on the Cardston Cougars at 1 p.m. at Knights field.
It’s not much of a reward for the Knights for going undefeated at being ranked no. 1. The Cougars are ranked no. 2 and are coming off a 45-0 victory over the Medicine Hat Mohawks last week.