Brothers reunite to play college football togetherPublished 7:15pm Monday, June 24, 2013
ADAMS — It’s funny how things work out sometimes.
When Southland grads Chris May and Alan May played in the Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament in June of 2010, most everyone thought it would be the last time they would play a team sport together.
Three years later and the May brothers are doing something they never thought they’d be doing — they’re preparing for a season together as members of the Division II Winona State University football team.
Alan spent the last two years at WSU and Chris, who is a year older than Alan, spent the last two years playing baseball at Riverland Community College.
Chris had his mind set on playing baseball at a four-year college after RCC when he started going to Alan’s home football games and watching his road games online. Watching Alan play football made Chris think about going back to football and a life changing day cemented that decision.
Ashton May, Chris and Alan’s older sister, died in a car accident in September and it made Chris commit himself to getting back to football.
“When my sister had that car accident I told myself I wanted to do it,” Chris said. “I still had that passion for football and I think I always had my eyes set on going to Winona anyway.”
When Alan first heard his older brother wanted to join him on the football field, he was a little skeptical. After all, Chris hadn’t put on pads since the 2008 football season when he and the Rebels lost 15-12 to eventual state champ Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in the Section 2AA semifinals.
Soon Alan was talking to his coaches about Chris and they asked to see tapes of him playing high school football. After watching the tape, they told Chris he was welcome to join the team as a walk-on.
“I really didn’t think anything of it because he’s been playing baseball and he hadn’t played football for three years,” Alan said. “They liked him on film and it really surprised me. Now we get to play again on the same field. I’m excited about it.”
The Warriors graduated three of their top wide receivers from last season so Alan will be in the mix to see the field a lot. Chris will be battling amongst nine receivers to earn one of the six spots on game days.
“I’ve got to work hard. Nothing’s going to be given to me,” Chris said. “The guys are going to be a lot bigger and faster and the game will be lot faster than high school.”
Alan, who has a partial athletic scholarship, played last season as a red-shirt freshman for the Warriors, who finished 10-2. He hauled in eight passes for 158 yards and a score while averaging 10.3 yards on punt returns and 17.2 yards on kick returns.
First year WSU wide receivers coach Nate Justice, who is a former Packer quarterback and Austin grad, said he’s worked with Alan a little bit this summer and he’s seen Chris on tape.
“Alan’s going to be a huge player for us,” Justice said. “He’ll be playing a lot of roles and he’ll get his hands on the ball quite a bit. Chris looks pretty similar to Alan on film and he’ll be a nice addition.”
Besides preparing himself for the coming season, Alan has also been working with Chris. Alan has done everything from giving his brother pop quizzes on WSU’s offense during weight lifting sessions to working out with him on the field.
“Ever since he said he was coming, I’ve kind of been coaching him,” Alan said. “I’m trying to prepare him so he can come in right away and make an impact. He’s improved a lot during this summer.”
Chris is just happy that two players from Southland are getting a chance to play Division II football. He’s also appreciates how Alan gave him a little boost with the coaches.
“Teams that are high caliber don’t normally look at kids from small schools, but Alan really proved himself,” Chris said. “Hopefully I can step in and do it to. I definitely wouldn’t have a chance to play football there if Alan wasn’t there and he helped me.”
Alan said that making the transition to high school athlete to college athlete has forced him to give up baseball and basketball. But game days have become a much bigger adrenaline rush.
“The games mean a lot more now,” Alan said. “In high school, you’d go from one sport to another, but now it’s all football all year round. There’s great competition and you’re playing in front of thousands of fans.”
The Warriors will open their 2013 season against Bemidji State in Winona Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.