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Brothers of Destruction anchor Cats' defense

by Tony Burns | December 1, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

El Dorado’s defense can, literally, boast of having a family-type atmosphere this season. The middle of the defense is anchored by the Brothers Steward, who have made more than 150 tackles for the Wildcats.

El Dorado will tackle Greenwood Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in the 6A State Championship game.

Kickoff is at noon.

Senior twins Jyrin and Javin Steward roam the field at linebacker while junior little brother Takio Steward plugs up the middle at nose guard.

“It’s definitely a unique dynamic to have three brothers on the same team,” said El Dorado head coach Steven Jones. “They are all awesome kids. I just think it’s so cool for their parents to be able to watch them play on the same team. All of them have contributed in a huge way. All of them have really helped our defense out throughout the entire season and made a lot of plays. It’s just cool to watch three guys in the same family play on the same team.”

Jyrin is one of the team leaders with 70 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss. He blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in last week’s win over Marion. Javin has 64.5 tackles with six tackles for loss while Takoi anchors the middle with 36 tackles, four tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

“It’s really fun coaching those three guys and they’re all three different - three different personalities,” said defensive coordinator Trey Outlaw. “You have one who’s a silent leader. You have one who likes to crack jokes and you have another who’s a pretty vocal guy. All three are different. All three are really good football players. 

“Jyrin is the vocal leader. He does a good job of getting everybody set up. Takoi is the mischievous one and not in a bad way. He’s funny. You listen to him talk to others and trying to joke somebody. Javin is quiet. He’s not quiet around his guys but you go and stand beside him and he’ll stop talking immediately. All three are definitely their own person.”

Jyrin was an All-State selection last season while Javin led the team in tackles.

The brothers bring more than 700 pounds of muscle to the Wildcats’ huddle. Takoi weighs in at approximately 255 pounds with Javin at 245 and Jyrin tipping the scales at about 220.

“Three big guys and three really good athletes. All three of them do a really good job of what we ask them to do,” said Outlaw. “Jyrin is probably the fastest of them. Takoi has the best burst and Javin probably has the best instincts of all of them as far as getting to the ball.

“Javin is one of those kids, he’ll make you pull your hair out in practice when you’re talking keys. He may not do it exactly right but you put on the film and he’s always around the football.”

All three have been disruptive and destructive on the field this season. It’s hard to imagine what they were like as tykes tussling in the living room.

“Mom and Dad have done a phenomenal job of raising them,” said Outlaw. “They’re great kids. We need to send all of our players over to their house to eat.”

Jones added, “I actually try to pick their brain a little bit because I’m a twin dad myself. I’m trying to figure out what I’m getting myself into. They’re great people. They’ve done a great job with the boys. You can tell in the way they carry themselves, they’re outstanding young men and three really good football players.”

Both coaches believe all three brothers have the ability to play collegiate football. On the same team? Who knows? But they will definitely get at least one more game together on the turf at War Memorial.

“It’s very rare to have three brothers on the field at the same time. This is my 10th or 11th year and I don’t think I’ve ever had two brothers on the field at the same time, much less three of them and they’re three future college football players,” said Outlaw. “Definitely good genes in that family. I wish they had some younger siblings coming up through the program. I think they may have one or two little brothers. Apparently there’s a sister that’s the best athlete out of all of them. Maybe we can get her to come play some football next year.”

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