The nature of high school football dictates plenty of roster turnover from year to year, but thanks to the McCravy brothers, at least Hillgrove’s quarterback position should have a familiar name in it for the foreseeable future.
Matthew, a senior, is the oldest and has the Hawks off to a 2-0 start after leading them to the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals a season ago. Two years behind him is sophomore Davis, and youngest brother Chase is an eighth-grader set to join the high school ranks next season.
“It’s a great situation,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “They’re great kids, and they can all play the position. I think it’s great for them too. When they leave here, they can still go home and work on things and make each other better.”
As the oldest with the most varsity experience, Matthew said he enjoys talking football with his brothers at home.
He said it gives him a chance to get new perspectives on the game plan, but it also provides a security blanket behind him on the depth chart.
“It’s great to come home every day and have a chance to talk about what we’re doing that week,” he said. “It’s great to have reliable guys behind you. We’ve been playing backyard football since we were 5 years old, so you know what these guys can do.”
For the younger brothers, the interactions are a chance to pick the brain of an experienced quarterback who threw for 995 yards, 12 touchdowns and just one interception during a 12-1 season last year.
“If I ever have any questions, he’s there to answer them and help me do what I need to do,” Davis said. “If I ever do anything wrong, he’s seen it before, so he can help me fix that.”
Davis played some receiver in middle school, but other than that, all three brothers have been under center their entire careers.
Chase said his brothers’ position choices did have some effect on his own, but he does not feel the pressure to live up to any kind of expectations they have created.
“I feel like I was kind of destined for it,” he said. “Every time I saw Matthew and my dad in the yard, I wanted to throw with them. I pretty much do my own thing, though. I’m confident in my ability to go out and just play football.”
As much the brothers have benefitted from one another, there remains a competitive edge.
Matthew said he still claims all-time quarterback rights when they play in the yard, and fixing drywall remains a regular occurrence at the house.
“It’s a lot of trash talk,” said Matthew, who has an offer from Kentucky’s Centre College.
That trash talk can be even more intense between the youngest two, where Chase is already pushing Davis for the starting job once Matthew graduates.
But even the competitiveness between the brothers does more to build them up than break them down.
“Chase comes home and tells me he’s going to take my spot when he gets there next year as a freshman,” Davis said. “It just pushes us to get better.”
While the last names are the same, Hillgrove may have to adjust its scheme somewhat as each brother moves through the system.
All three have different styles, though each has shown an ability to play well.
“It’s probably the style of play,” Matthew said. “I think I’m pretty balanced. David is more of a passer, and Chase is a little different. He can run around and do some things.”
With the age differences, the McCravys will not have a chance to play varsity for Hillgrove at the same time, but they are not giving up on the opportunity.
All three said they would like to play in college, and depending on redshirt situations, it is possible, though somewhat unlikely, they could pull it off.
“I think it would be really cool,” Matthew said. “I don’t know if we’d be able to, but we’re definitely open to it.”