By: Keith Raad – Asst. Sports Editor
It was day two of practice for the Flyers.
Freshman tailback Tucker Yinger ran down the sidelines with the football, only to be routinely chased out of bounds by the defender untouched. Or so he thought.
“He wrapped me up,” Tucker Yinger said. “Then proceeded to take me five yards out of bounds and then brought me down.”
Though he was tasting grass in what would have been a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in a real game, it was merely his brother, Mitch Yinger, doing a favor for his father.
“My dad told me to send him a message early,” Mitch Yinger said.
Mitch Yinger and his freshman brother Tucker are just one of the three pairs of brothers donning the red and white for Dayton.
Redshirt senior quarterback Will Bardo, a four-year starter, is now enjoying his final season in Dayton with his freshman brother Jackson Bardo, a cornerback.
The final pairing includes the boys from Cleveland’s St. Edward High School, senior receiver Colin McManamon and his defensive tackle freshman brother, Danny McManamon.
Ironically, the brothers all play on different sides of the ball. Something Danny McManamon couldn’t do anything about.
“He would always pick on me because he’s three years older than me,” McManamon said. “My mom always told him to stop messing with me because one day I’ll be bigger than him. And now I’m huge.”
Danny, at 6 feet 2 inches and 245 pounds, has nearly a 50-pound advantage on Colin who is 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds.
Despite their differences position-wise, Danny and Colin McManamon battle in the weight room. It was that opportunity for competition, on and off the field that linked the McManamon brothers and the Yingers.
“For Dan McManamon, that was one of the reasons he came here, to play with his brother,” head coach Rick Chamberlin said. “It was to have the opportunity to play with his brother. Part of the reason Mitch Yinger came back for a fifth year was the opportunity to play with his brother. They look up to them because they have confidence in them.”
Danny McManamon could have attended schools as an offensive lineman, but the idea of playing with Colin McManamon and the chance to play as a defensive lineman was something he could not pass up. Mitch Yinger, in his fifth season, struggled with not playing much before his redshirt senior year, but handed down advice to Tucker Yinger about having fun.
“He always reminds me that no matter the level of football, it’s the same game,” Tucker Yinger said. “You’ll always be fine.”
For Will Bardo, he looks forward to passing along lessons about confidence to his brother Jackson Bardo, built from experience as a four-year starter for the Flyers.
“One thing I’ve told Jackson is to not lose the confidence that you’ve built up during high school,” Will Bardo said. “In my experience you play so much better when you are playing with confidence.”
Will Bardo and Mitch Yinger joke about being on ESPN’s Sportscenter Top 10 Plays three times during their career. The recent explosion of redshirt sophomore kicker William Will’s fumble-recovery for a touchdown against Marist this season, which was initiated by Colin McManamon’s strip, was added to the list.
“I’m in the picture of that, no big deal,” Mitch Yinger joked.
Yinger even finagled his way into the picture after beating Drake on a “Hail Mary” during his freshman season in 2010.
Tucker Yinger jokingly admitted that he might be on “Top 10” after some of the hits he takes in practice. Just like the time Mitch Yinger sent him a message on day two.
“There’s been plenty of times that I’ve embarrassed him. We just always focus on that one,” Tucker Yinger said.
“Speed is Tucker’s strength – not brawn,” Mitch Yinger said.
It seems that one-upping your brother is something that never ends.