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One family making two road trips to regionals Father, son both sectional champs

Brian and Ryan Wilson have been so consumed with their own football seasons, their own film study, their own playbooks, that it wasn't until it had happened that they even really gave it that much thought.

"We've been so focused that it didn't hit me," said Ryan, a junior. "[The day after the Section VI championships] I got home and said, 'Hey dad, we're both sectional champs.' "

Ryan is the starting center for Sweet Home, which won the Section VI Class A championship last Thursday with a 31-6 victory over Cheektowaga. His father, Brian, is the offensive line coach for Depew, which beat East Aurora, 21-14, to win the Class B title Friday night.

"It's obviously been a great ride for us this year," said Brian. "I don't think we talked a whole lot about it -- mainly, he's preparing week to week on his stuff, and I'm fully involved week to week with our stuff.

"[Depew coach Dan McGrath] has been good to me -- I've been able to see most of Ryan's games. But once I see it, I tell him 'Nice job,' and then I'm back home watching film. It's been that type of situation. When we both made the playoffs, we kidded each other a little bit that this could be the opportunity that we both made it."

Brian was talking about both teams making it to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the sectional finals. As sectional champs, both Wilsons are headed to Paetec Park in downtown Rochester this weekend for the Far West Regionals.

Sweet Home plays private school power Aquinas in Friday night's Class A game at 8 p.m. while Depew will play defending state champion Geneva in the Class B game at 3 p.m. Saturday.

"We'll get out of practice [Friday], I'll come home and pick everyone up to go see Ryan play," said Brian. "Then we'll get home, get some sleep, and do it all over again."

Brian was the head coach at Silver Creek before joining Depew's staff eight years ago.

"He's great with the kids and very dedicated to the program," said McGrath. "He's committed to the kids, and they know it. He works with all of them -- the kids with the natural ability and the kids who need to be coached."

And he also obviously works with a certain Sweet Home underclassman.

"He helps me out all the time," said Brian. "I've always got two sets of eyes watching me. I hear it from my coach and then I hear it again when I get home," he added with a laugh. "It definitely helps you out to have someone who has been around the game all that time."

Brian was a starter last year for the Panthers and coach John Faller (who will have starting quarterback Casey Kacz back in the lineup Friday after he sat out the sectional final with a strained knee).

"With Ryan coming from a football coaching family he knows what the game is all about and he knows what it takes," said Faller. "He's part of a dedicated crew of linemen that we have that have done all the hard work. He's one of our team leaders."

Mom Linda Wilson and daughter Kristin, 19, have been cheering on a lot of football wins this season, and not all of them by Brian and Ryan. While Sweet Home is 10-0 and Depew has won nine straight after losing its opener, 9-year-old Austin and his Town of Tonawanda Football Association Buffalos went 6-1-1 and played in their Super Bowl on Saturday.

The winners of the regional round will return to Paetec Park for the state semifinals Nov. 16-17.

"It's been exciting around the house," said Ryan. "Everyone's going this weekend, and hopefully it keeps on going."


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