A brotherly connection: Gregory’s QB-WR brother duo guiding it to perfect 5-0 start
GREGORY -- Coy Determan walked off Bon Homme’s field last October in defeat. Gregory had just fallen 14-12 to the Cavaliers in the Class 9AA quarterfinals in the then-freshman’s third game at quarterback for the injured Grant Thomas.
Determan was playing the position he grew up with, one he enjoys because he gets to run the offense. But he was upset and taking the season-ending loss hard.
As he walked off the field, Tommy Determan -- a junior wide receiver at the time and Coy’s older brother -- was the first to approach him and offer solace.
“It was a proud parent moment that both of them care about each other like they do,” said Jeff Determan, a Gregory assistant coach and their father. “It was an eye-opening proud parent moment, and that’s how it’s always been.”
It was a snapshot into the close relationship between two brothers, who have a chance for a happier ending today when the Class 9A No. 4 Gorillas (5-0) travel to Class 9AA No. 1 Bon Homme (6-0).
The bond they shared last October has been in the making forever. A two-year grade difference meant they only played on each other’s football, basketball and baseball teams -- they also run track in high school -- every other year growing up. But that didn’t stop Coy from trying to tag along with Tommy’s friends.
“I was always trying to go play with Tommy and his friends,” Coy said. “… You’re always trying to be as good as he is, or even better.”
Their shared love for sports never faded, rather it grew as they lift weights in the morning together.
The brothers both describe each other as jokesters, too. Coy was dancing in the kitchen trying to make Tommy laugh during his interview, but Tommy swears his little brother isn’t the better dancer.
“Oh, no. Not even close,” Tommy said.
Their perceived dancing skills are far from the only differences, which could be pointed out blindfolded since they were younger.
“Coy was the kid who would go outside and throw a baseball against the brick wall for hours,” Jeff said. “Tommy wanted to go get his stuff done and be done. That’s changed. They both spend a ton of time trying to make themselves better athletically, so they and their teammates can experience success.”
Despite always being a quarterback-wideout duo, they never ran routes as kids in the backyard, rather simply played for fun. Even now, summer workouts often involve their teammates. But their positions are fitting.
Gregory coach John King describes Tommy as “laid-back,” while Jeff adds he’s spunky and someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Coy has a serious demeanor, though, which his father chalks up to “a typical quarterback’s temperament.”
No matter how you describe them, the connection is there. Coy has thrown for 425 yards and scored nine total touchdowns, including nine passes, 110 yards and two scores going to Tommy. They’ve also combined for 41 tackles as a safety (Coy) and outside linebacker (Tommy), with Tommy intercepting a pass, as well.
“They’re multi-sport athletes, which gives them an advantage because they can adapt to situations pretty easily,” King said. “… I think having kids that are multi-sport athletes gives a team an advantage. They’re just more well-rounded.”
The four-sport teammates agree basketball is their favorite, fitting considering Jeff is the head coach. Coy feels it’s his best, while Tommy, “gets a different rush out of it.”
They’ll have one more season sharing the hardwood, just like the gridiron they’ve yet to lose on this season that could end their time on the same field in a storybook fashion.
“It (would be) really cool because Coy has never got (a state title),” said Tommy, a two-time state champion. “It would be a pretty cool way to go out.”
Coy added: “We always wanted to win a state championship in something.