Saugus football coach Jason Bornn has always preached to his players that they should treat their teammates like family, but this year that message hits home a little harder.
For the first time in Bornn’s football coaching career, he has had the opportunity to coach both of his sons, Angelo and Julian, on the same team.
“You know, honestly, I haven’t had a lot of time to process and really think about it,” Jason said. “It’s been one of those seasons that you are focused on trying to keep everyone on task, but I know once our season is over, whenever that happens to be, then it will really kick in.
“There have been a couple times during the year that I have looked out on the field and thought, ‘wow.’”
Throughout his sons’ playing careers, Jason has traded off coaching each of his son’s teams but has never coached both at the same time.
Angelo is in his senior year at Saugus and plays inside linebacker, ranking third on the team in total tackles (53), even after going down with an injury that caused him to miss two games in the middle of the season.
As Jason paces back and forth, talking to his players with vigorous enthusiasm, most spectators can feel the coach’s intensity all the way from the bleachers as the stadium lights gleam above on Friday nights.
“He is always in the mindset to win,” said Angelo. “If he was in the mindset to lose, then he wouldn’t be preparing as much as he does. That’s another advantage of having him as a dad, I get to see first hand the commitment he has for this team.”
Once, the pads come off and the whistle gets put away the dynamic changes.
“At home, it’s actually a lot different than it is on the field because on the field obviously, I can’t act like his son,” Julian said. “I have to act like one of his players. He is actually a lot more loving at home than he is on the field.”
At home, the two brothers and their father watch the Pittsburgh Steelers every weekend and spend plenty of time chowing down.
“Yeah, we like to eat,” Angelo said. “We are really good at that.”
Julian, the younger brother who is currently out for Friday’s game with an ACL injury, lines up at running back for Saugus and is second on the team with eight total touchdowns in seven games.
It’s the sophomore’s first time playing on the same team as his older brother and although there’s been no shortage of special moments for the tandem, one game stands out above the rest:
“The Hart game because I know all the kids from Hart and he knows all the kids from Hart and just being able to be on the field after with him just soaking it in to get the chance and we beat them, that was really fun,” Julian said.
Since that game, the Centurions have won three of five games, including last week’s last-second, 38-35 victory against Bishop Diego.
“Never quit,” Angelo said. “You can’t ever have the mentality that you can give up. While you might be the underdog, you can’t have that mindset because history is filled with examples of underdogs that have come out on top.”