You can’t beat having your best friends on the sidelines.
Even after he had graduated from Western and life took him in a new direction, Trevor Riters saw an opportunity and a reason to come back to campus that was too good to pass up. In fact, it was the same two reasons he’s done many things over the years.
As the oldest of three brothers who grew up playing football for Silver Creek High School on the Front Range, the age gap between him and his siblings was just wide enough that they’d never been able to play on the same team. So when his youngest brother, Luke, came to join his middle brother, Cole, who was playing his junior season with the Mountaineers, Trevor decided to rewrite his own ending, cash in his remaining eligibility, and get back in the game.
“Cole and I played together two years ago, so we got to go through the NCAA playoffs together,” Trevor said. “It’s cool to bring Luke into a successful program, and all get to play on the same team.”
The trio grew up playing football in their Longmont backyard together, and each went on to be a high school standout. In the summer, they’d hone their skills by attending Mountaineer football camp, where they caught the eye of the coaching staff. After Trevor was recruited and had a great experience under Coach Bains, the other two were eager to follow his lead.
“You can trust your brothers in the recruiting process; you can ask him what it’s like, and he’ll tell you the real side of it,” Cole said. “[Trevor] didn’t have anything negative to say, so I figured I’d love it here, and I do.”
Not only did all three brothers choose to attend the same University, and play for the same team, they also chose to pursue the same field of study. Since coming to Western, they’ve all been deeply involved in the Energy Management program at the School of Business.
“Even with their grueling football and class schedules, they prioritize their involvement in the program,” Director Jessica Laramie said.
When a family’s faith in a college extends beyond one child, it’s a testament to the experience the first one had. Yet when they encourage their third child to follow the first two, play for the same team, and graduate from the same program, it isn’t just an endorsement. It speaks to a belief in the value of the whole experience they’re getting at Western. And Western is getting value in return.
“All three of the brothers are unique in their personalities, strengths, and goals, but at the same time, they clearly have a set of shared values,” Laramie said. “Each one of them leverages their unique strengths to lift up their peers, and they all approach every situation with humility, kindness, and respect. Our program is better off for having any one of them in it, and we’re that much better off for having all three.”
Western’s head football coach, Jas Bains, feels the same way and was elated to have all three on board.
“We’re very fortunate to have had the opportunity to recruit and sign all three brothers. They are high-character young men who come from a great family,” he said. “I know it has been special for them to all be on the same team for once in their athletic careers. Our staff feels the same exact way. They have a very special bond, and we are thrilled to be coaching them.”
As the youngest brother, who always cheered his brothers on from the sidelines or in the stands, this season is the first time Luke has ever been able to play on the same team as either Trevor or Cole. So the 2023 Mountaineer Football season will be one he remembers forever.
“It’s super cool to be on the same team as them. Just being able to learn from them has been a major benefit for me and being able to say that I played with two of my brothers, that’s pretty rare,” he said. “And, I mean, you can’t beat having your best friends on the sidelines.”