A decade’s worth of football for the Fosberry brothers at Bishop England

Bishop England coach John Cantey gives Reed Fosberry some words of encouragement during a game last season.(Wade Spees/postandcourier.com) Buy this photo

Oh, brother.

The Bishop England football team knows the feeling.

The 2013 football season will mark the 11th straight year that at least one member of the Fosberry family has played for the Bishops. In nine of the last 10 seasons, there were two Fosberry brothers on the roster.

This year’s branch of the family tree includes defensive backs Reed and Lawton. Both have played on the Bishops’ back-to-back state championship teams. Reed is a senior and Lawton is a junior.

Older brothers Martin and Mikell also played for the Bishops. Martin, the oldest, joined the team in 2003.

Marty and Lisa Fosberry provided the foundation for their sons to succeed.

“They were raised in the ‘whole man’ concept from my years at The Citadel,” Marty said. “That’s equal emphasis on academics, morality, patriotism and athletics.

“They were not to specialize in a sport — baseball, basketball or football. They just seem to excel in football, which coincidentally, is the only sport that is not specialized. If you have guts and are unafraid, then you can succeed in football.”

John Cantey has coached all of the Fosberry brothers at Bishop England.

“All of those guys have a great football sense,” Cantey said. “They just have that knack of getting to the ball. They’re not big, but they make up for it in heart and hustle.”

The Fosberry connection to Bishop England goes back much further than 2003. Tommy Fosberry played on the undefeated team in 1954 that was considered the best in school history until the 2011 and ’12 teams won state titles.

Robert Fosberry was a linebacker on the 1976 Lower State championship team. Marty Fosberry played on the varsity team from 1977-80.

Reed and Lawton said their older brothers are their biggest fans, as well as their biggest critics.

Reed has earned all-state honors at defensive back, and there’s a chance he might play quarterback. If Reed is moved to quarterback, that means he could be throwing passes to Lawton.

“I’ll play any position they want me to,” Reed said. “I’ll do anything that will help the team.”

Reed started at third base for last year’s state runner-up baseball team and started at guard in basketball.

“Our house has always been like a huge locker room — no offseason,” said Marty, who will see the Fosberry era end when Lawton graduates next year.

“The Fosberry boys are not the most athletic, fastest or biggest players on the team or the field,” Marty said. “They just compete. They hate losing more than they love winning. Football is the lifeblood and common glue to our family. However, it’s just one component in the excellent overall education provided by Bishop England.”

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