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Ottawa quarterback Will Hoffman gets a play from offensive coordinator Gordy Kirkman (left) during the Pirates’ 21-20 victory over Rock Island in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs Saturday. Will is one of three Hoffmans on the roster along with brothers Garrett and Weston. NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
OTTAWA — At 7 p.m. every Sunday this fall, the Hoffman household has been overtaken by members of the Ottawa football team.
From offensive players to defensive players and sophomores to seniors, Pirate players congregate weekly to watch film from the previous week’s game.
Even though the Ottawa football team watches game film as a team at practice every Monday, the Hoffmans and their friends want to get a head start. It shouldn’t surprise anyone.
With three Hoffmans currently on the Ottawa football team — which will travel to Crete-Monee for a Class 6A quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Saturday — football has become even more of a family obsession.
“It’s huge,” Garrett Hoffman admitted. “Whether it’s us playing, my dad coaching football and us all going to those games or helping them out, or on Saturdays watching college games or Sundays watching the NFL, it’s basically all football. We live for it.”
Which is what makes this year’s Pirate postseason run even more special. With three sons separated by 30 months, all three of Greg and Beth Hoffman’s children have been part of the ride.
The oldest son, Will, is the starting senior quarterback, while the middle son, Garrett, has lined up as a junior inside linebacker.
The two have started every game this season, while the youngest son, Weston, was brought up to the varsity squad for the postseason after the sophomore started as a running back and an inside linebacker earlier this year for the Pirates’ sophomore team.
“In youth football one year we were on one team, but we’ve always dreamed about being on the same team in high school,” Weston said. “Now it’s finally happening.” And it has created a special postseason for the family.
“Before the last game, one of my friends brought a camera and took pictures of all three of us in our varsity uniforms,” Garrett said. “It’s something a lot of parents won’t ever experience, and fortunately ours have. I know they are smiling from ear to ear.”
Will is in his second season under center for Ottawa. So far this year the signal caller has thrown for 545 yards and seven touchdowns, including the game-winning TD last week against Rock Island Alleman. He’s also run for 71 yards and two scores.
In his first year as a varsity starter, Garrett has nine solo tackles, 28 assisted tackles and recovered a fumble for the Pirates’ defense.
“Will is a little more laid back, easy going and doesn’t get ruffled. He doesn’t let things bother him too much,” Ottawa coach Trent Swords said. “Garrett is a little more high-strung and intense at times. Sometimes, defensively that’s a good thing and sometimes, offensively keeping your emotions in check is better. I think to some extent their personalities fit what positions they play.”
Together, Will and Garrett have been anchors for their respective units.
“We really thrive off each other,” Will said. “Garrett is like a captain of the defense and I’m captain of the offense, so if something is going good with the defense or if the defense is struggling, Garrett will say, ‘Pick us up’ or if we fumble, I’ll tell him, ‘Pick us up.’ Really, we work off each other a lot.”
Even if sometimes they don’t always see eye to eye.
“We’ve butted heads, and after I fumble I may have yelled at him,” Will said. “Sometimes our teammates are like, ‘OK, enough.’ I’m probably harder on Garrett than most people, but that’s just how we are.”
Just having the opportunity to play with each other and Weston is part of what’s made this season so satisfying.
“I think that’s what makes it more special,” Garrett said. “I try to take every game as it’s possibly the last game I will ever play with Will, so I do what I can to help us win because I am not looking forward to it ending. It’s been fun playing with him.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by:
Outstanding story. I can picture the smile on Greg's face right now. I wish them the best!
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