« Maino's Blog

VIDEO :: The Maino Project :: Brother & Sister Are Denmark's On Field Dynamic Duo

by Paul Heling

Denmark, WI -- Football is a family affair this year at Denmark High School. A unique, on-field duo is helping their team to a winning season.

John Maino says, "I've covered and followed high school football in the area for a real long time, but this past Friday night was a first. A brother and sister combo helped lead their team to a big win."

Leiterman Field in Denmark was hopping. A nail biting win against their rivals from Luxemburg- Casco is always reason for celebration, but can you imagine what it's like for Mike and Terri Deprey sitting in the stands?

Terr says, "I'm probably nervous, but it's excitement too, hoping the team and everybody does well."

Maybe there was reason to be just a bit more nervous than most. Their son John, a 14-year-old freshman, made his first start at quarterback. 

John says, "It was very nerve wracking. My hand was shaking under the center, and my foot was bouncing up and down too."

It couldn't have started out any better. A 38 yard touchdown run the first time he touched the ball. 

"I was thinking I'm actually going to run the first play in for a touchdown. Oh my gosh," said John.

Now here's the kicker to the story, literally. It was his sister, Nellie, booting the extra points.

"I never thought football with my sister," John said. 

Their dad isn't as surprised that these two are teammates.

"If you saw them when they were growing up, they were pretty competitive at home. It was down to you know who could eat faster, who could run faster. I think Danielle stopped beating him up last year," recalls Mike.

Nellie went 3-3 on the night. Not bad for the former soccer player who kicked her first football just a year ago.

"I was thinking wouldn't it be funny to be a football player, and then I went and kicked a football a few times and thought, I can do this," said Nellie. "I know dad is really excited for us. Mom gets a little worried that we might get hit, that I might get hit."

For Nellie, a four sport star, playing high school football isn't that strange. It's seeing her brother treated like a star that's going to take some getting used to. 

Nellie says, "Everybody wants to wear his jersey and everybody thinks he's the coolest person in the world, but I'm like, he's just my little brother."