Union Football: Fridrich, Players Talk Brotherhood Ahead Of State Title Game
TULSA, Oklahoma - If the 6A-I state title game is as good as the first one between Union and Owasso, fans are in for a treat.
In the matchup, the Redskins look to lean on championship experience.
For a lot of football teams, the season ends in early November, but not for the Union Redskins. For 11 straight years, union has played into at least the state semifinals.
"We talk about Thanksgiving practice all year long. Of course, that was last week, but yeah, we just really look forward to practicing on Thanksgiving because that means we have another opportunity to win a gold ball,” said middle linebacker Braden Spicer.
This is the second straight year union has played for the state championship and the sixth time this decade, making them one of the most playoff experienced teams in the state.
"I think it's something, a comfort level with our kids,” said head coach Kirk Fridrich. “But still, it's a big-time game, and we've been in them but none as important as this one."
This year's group is on quite a run, undefeated, including a 44-41 double-overtime win over Owasso earlier this year.
There's one word and one theme that comes up when you talk to these Union players, and that's family and brotherhood.
They really think that they have that this year, more so than any other team they've been on. The Redskins think that's the reason they'll bring home a second gold ball Friday night.
"I just feel like we're really close as a family,” said Spicer.
Quarterback Tyler Fisher said, "For this team, especially, it's just how much of a brotherhood we are, especially with all that stuff with Keviyon."
"As a whole, I think we're bonded as a family,” added Fridrich. “We're a tighter group since then, going through some different adversities, one of those being with Keviyon.”
Of course, "Keviyon" is Keviyon Cooper, who suffered a brain injury after the Owasso game but has since returned, and even goes through warm-ups.
"He's a warrior,” said Fisher. “He's the hardest worker I think I've ever met, and it's just like a morale boost."
Union will try to use that motivation to bring home another gold ball.