The most famous brothers currently attending Mahomet-Seymour High School are back under Friday night lights this fall, and it sure is hard to ignore them.
Tom and Joe Kenney, who are just 15 months apart in age, have pushed each other both on and off the field, bringing energy to any sport they participate in over the last three years.
Joe Kenney, a senior, is the quarterback for the football team in the fall, the point guard for the basketball team in the winter, and a pitcher and infielder for Nic Difilippo’s reigning Corn Belt conference champion baseball team.
Tom Kenney is a junior this year at Mahomet-Seymour High School. He plays wide receiver and safety in football, shooting guard on Chad Benedict’s basketball team, and pitches and plays outfield in baseball, earning a varsity letter in each sport last year as a sophomore.
“We’re very competitive, that’s for sure,” Joe said. “We hold ourselves accountable for each other.”
“He’s my best friend, and I love him,” Tom said. “We do everything together.”
Tom said one thing most people don’t realize about Joe is “how good of a leader he is; he brings energy and intensity to practice, which makes everyone better”. Joe is a two-time returning starter and a captain on this fall’s team.
“(Being a captain) gives me a sense of accountability, holding myself to a higher standard for everyone and expecting that as well,” Joe said.
Next year for Tom will be the first time in his high school tenure not having Joe on varsity sports to look up to. Tom hit Joe 17 times (on 24 overall completions) during the Bulldogs first game against Mt. Zion. And although Mahomet-Seymour lost that night, 34-60, everyone at Frank Dutton Field must have noticed the hard to believe chemistry the brothers shared.
With a scholarship to play baseball at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, Joe will be a Puma instead of a Bulldog next year, which he has been since birth. Joe said he looks forward to his future with Rick O’Dette’s baseball team and “going out and meeting new people and continuing to play baseball.” The Puma’s went 19-31 last year and finishing 14-22 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
And while Tom does not want to focus on the transition he said, “I don’t want to think about that feeling but probably won’t be as fun… (Joe) is someone who I can rely on to pick me up when I’m down.”
Tom also talked about what it’s like being so similar, in all sorts of aspects, to someone like Joe saying, “I think people talk about us together more often than they talk about us separately. Joe and I are lucky to be a part of such a great brotherhood with our teammates”.
When asked if they were tired of all the recent publicity this fall Tom said, “I don’t care too much about hearing the Kenney to Kenney connection, I just go out on the field and do as Coach Pogue says.”
Joe replied, “I think of it as me connecting with another receiver to help our team out and to help our team do better.”
Whether or not the media is talking about them, they will produce numbers this fall and beyond as the Village of Mahomet-Seymour gets to sit back and watch the Kenney brothers continue to strive for excellence.