The tale of two brothers

AnnMarie Kent

A week after the first loss of the season, the Wildcats take on Grand Valley State University and one player is inspiring the team and his brother.

re-football-sept10-jmSophomore running back Jake Mayon was called the hero of the game by his teammates after he forced overtime during the game against Lake Erie University, a play that let NMU win in overtime.

Despite Saturday’s 47-41 triple overtime loss to Angelo State University, Mayon posted 68 of the team’s 92 rushing yards for the game.

Head coach Chris Ostrowsky said  Mayon’s consistency is what makes him such a key player on the team.

“He’s the whole package,” Ostrowsky said. “He’s great in the classroom up on campus, he’s a gentleman, he’s a hard worker, he’s a leader.”

Mayon came into the team a true freshman last year and Ostrowsky said he’s blessed to have him around for three more seasons. Motivation is the word that comes up when people talk about Mayon. Ostrowsky said he’s a hard worker with a lot of motivation, but motivation is what Mayon sees in himself as a football player too.

“I’m very motivated, I stay focused,” Mayon said. “I always just want to fully execute what I need to do.”

The team got a little more Mayon on this year. Freshman defensive back Troy Mayon, brother to Jake, joined the Wildcats. Jake said he loves the fact that his brother chose to play at NMU.

“We’ve been playing together all of our lives, so it’s something that’s normal to us,” Jake said. “It feels great to have him come up here and be with me.”

Troy is another person who praises Jake for his motivation. He said Jake is the hardest working person he knows and he not only motivates himself, but he also motivates Troy to work harder.

On and off the field the brothers say they’re competitive. Troy said their whole day is a competition, from the time they get up to the time they go to sleep.

“We live together so we’re competitive all day long,” Troy said. “We get in fights, but at the end of the day we make each other better. I really appreciate him for that.”

The constructive relationship that the brothers have is what Troy said drew him to NMU.

Troy said he loves everything about NMU, but having his brother here to push him and help him grow was the biggest reason he chose Northern. Jake also helped Troy transition into college more easily, Troy said it felt more welcoming and much more like a family with Jake here. That feeling of family is exactly why Jake chose NMU. He felt honesty in the coaching staff and a family in the players.

“It was the atmosphere,” Jake said. “The coaching staff, the team—I felt like it’s a huge family.”

Troy has a few inches on Jake, even though Jake is a grade above him. Jake said he sometimes needs to remind Troy that he may be bigger but he’s still the little brother.

“He’s a big guy now, he’s like my big little brother almost,” Jake said. “I kind of have to show him who’s the big brother sometimes.”

The Wildcats travel to Allendale, Michigan this weekend to take on the Grand Valley State University Lakers. Troy said playing a nationally ranked team adds a lot of excitement to the game but they aren’t letting that get to them.

“We treat it as if this is our only game for the whole season” Troy said. “So it does add juice but at the end of the day it’s just another football team.”