Boone and Michael Thorgesen used to tackle each other on the field during halftime growing up.
The sons of legendary Kaneland football coach Joe Thorgesen, they practically grew up on one field, later played on that field themselves as an offensive lineman and quarterback – and now, they coach on it.
“We always ate, slept and breathed Kaneland football,” said Michael Thorgesen, now the Knights defensive coordinator. “We’re tight, we’re buds.”
Before their high school playing days, Boone was the ball boy. Michael recalls being the water boy.
“That was the highlight of our week going out there and watching those guys play…we were always there, just being around football and being around [Dad] and practice,” Boone Thorgesen said.
This week, a unique chapter will be added to their family football history.
Both brothers will be facing off – Boone, the first-year varsity head coach for Geneva, will be calling his offense against Michael’s defense.
Facing off in play calling against somebody they both know like the back of their hands doesn’t happen everyday.
Though, at its core, it is truly a Geneva versus Kaneland matchup, despite the fun angle.
“At the end of the day, it’s Kaneland versus Geneva,” Boone Thorgesen said. “When we’re done and this week is over, I think we’ll both be a little happy…it’s unique, doesn’t happen very often and we’re enjoying it.”
“When it’s over, we’re going to talk about it,” he continued. “…I think it’s going to be a pretty cool experience and unique time for us.”
“We kinda mentioned it to the kids earlier in the week, too, brother versus brother thing,” Kaneland head coach Pat Ryan said. “Mike almost felt like he wanted no part of that; he didn’t want the attention to be on him.”
“I think they both come from good football pedigree with their dad Joe being a Hall of Fame coach,” Ryan said. “Mike has been a coach for a long time and Boone has coached. They’ve both been around football since they were in diapers.”
Immediate family is planning to be on the stands. While there’s no definitive word on their parents wearing a custom made split jersey – half Kaneland, half Geneva – perhaps they’ll switch bleachers at halftime.
“They’re our biggest fans,” Boone Thorgesen said. “I think this is one of the games where me and Mike are looking forward to, but my parents are looking at it like ‘just get it over with.’”