By Nick Nahas and Photos Courtesy of Adrian and Luis Olivo
Football is a game known to form brotherly bonds, but for Adrian and Luis Olivo, who already have that bond, football just deepens their connection. The chemistry between the two helps them trust each other on the football field as a tandem kicker and long snapper.
The boys are both playing in their first season with perennial powerhouse Armwood High School after transferring from Plant City. This will also be their first season playing football together on the same team.
Adrian started playing football as a freshman at Plant City three years ago when one of his friends urged him to try out for the team. His background as a soccer player helped him make the transition to football as a kicker. “It came easily for me,” Adrian said. “It clicked right away.”
When Adrian starting playing football his brother Luis also became interested as well. The duo sought extra guidance to help them improve upon their techniques. Coach Tom Feely, a long time kicking, punting and long-snapping specialist, and father of former NFL kicker Jay Feely, became their mentor. Feely’s track record made it an even better fit. He has coached every Armwood kicker since 2004, including Wes Skiffington, who was a three-time college All-American kicker at Stony Brook. Feely immediately saw potential in both boys, Adrian as a kicker, and Luis as a long snapper. “Both of them were enthusiastic, coachable and hard workers,” Feely said. “Being coachable is critical to becoming a great athlete.”
Luis’ was an offensive lineman at Plant City, but with a little convincing from both his brother and Coach Feely, the sophomore changed his position to long snapper, making the brothers a tandem. Along with their good friend and holder, Warren Thompson, the trio has had great success working together. “It means a lot to me to be able to play with my brother,” Adrian said. “I feel like every time I’m going to kick, I have confidence that I will do well because I have Luis snapping to me and Warren holding for me.
Armwood opened its season against Tampa Bay Tech, winning in blowout fashion 35-12. In that game Adrian, the junior kicker, made all five of his extra points and Luis was perfect on all of his snaps. The brothers are looking forward to winning many more games at Armwood this season, as well as having individual success and helping their team win. “This season I want to build on my relationships with my teammates,” Adrian said. “My goal is to be one of the best kickers in the state and also win a state championship.”
Adrian and Luis hope to play in college together, and maybe one day, make it to the NFL. As for now, they just want to enjoy their last two years of playing high school football together. “This means a lot to me because not everybody gets to play high school football with their brother,” Luis said.