WHEELING - Ross Comis and Eliott Nero joined their teammates in becoming the 2013 West Virginia Class A state football champions on the strength of a 24-14 win over Greenbrier West Saturday at the Super Six at Wheeling Island Stadium.
They also joined their brothers, Louis Comis and Nick Nero, in becoming state champions as Louis and Nick were seniors on the 2009 Blue Dons title winners.
"It means a lot," said Ross Comis. "Last year we were heartbroken. The seniors, and the rest of these guys, made a pack that we were going to go undefeated, and by going undefeated we would accomplish all of our goals, and that is just what we did.
SIBLING RIVALRY — Madonna's Ross Comis matched the effort of older brother Louie from 2009, an undefeated regular season and state title as a senior.
SIBLING RIVALRY — Madonna's Eliott Nero matched the effort of older brother Nick from 2009, an undefeated regular season and state title as a senior.
"The fact that Louis won it, he knew how to get it done, and so did Eliott's brother. We just came out knowing we were the leaders of the team, and we relished that role. We came out, played hard for the team, and led by example."
Added Eliott Nero, "They had bragging rights on us so that means a lot toward that. I'm just feeling for this family right now. This is our championship, not theirs, but he's backing me a hundred percent so it feels good to have that support."
For Louis Comis and Nick Nero, Saturday night was more than just watching their Alma Mater win a title. It was about family, and seeing their little brothers accomplish their goals.
"A lot of people have asked me if it was more important for me to win it or my brother to win it, and I've said this before, it is 10 times better watching my brother and his buddies win," said Louis Comis. "It's unbelievable the amount of support all our classmates from 2009 give them when we come back. I remember my brother when he was little and we beat up on him, and now they're here and they won. It's better to watch him win, I'll tell you right now."
Added Nick Nero, "It's great. To start things off being a state champion four years ago and now seeing my brother win it is an outstanding feeling because I know exactly where he's coming from. All the emotions wrapped up behind it and all the hard work it took to get there. It starts back when you're in little league playing and culminates at one point. I'm proud of him more than ever, and I'm proud of the team in general.
"They played a great game tonight, and they definitely have something great to remember. Over the next years, when they're in my shoes I'm sure they'll feel the same way and hope the best for the next Blue Dons team to make the state championship."
For Eliott Nero the win is also the finish to a journey he started with his siblings when they were younger.
"It feels great to get a championship," said Eliott Nero. "I've been playing for 11 years with these guys, starting in the back yard with my brothers. It just feels good to reach the summit. To come this far, be in the championship, and win it feels great."
Added his brother, "Everything he's produced, he's proved a lot to me. We always had backyard competitions growing up. That's where it all starts so watching him these past four seasons, and especially this season, he's really made me proud.
"It's a great feeling because I don't really get to come home too much because I'm so far away. I go to West Point, The United States Military Academy, so I don't get to get home much, but whenever I do get to come home to see my brother it's a pleasure and I couldn't be more proud of him."
Said Ross Comis of his brother, "I hear him yelling in the stands. I know where he is every week. At the end of the game he tackled me, he ripped me down, I can tell he still has the strength, but it's awesome, and I couldn't be happier."
When the big question of whose team would come out on top was asked Eliott Nero and Louis Comis took the high road, declaring the game would end in a draw.
Nick Nero was a little less diplomatic in his assessment.
"We have the better defense, they have the better offense, bit you have to remember offense wins ball games, defense wins championships," he said. "That's what it comes down to."
Ross Comis refused to give an answer of his own, but shared what his brother told him leading up to Saturday's big game.
"He told me we'd beat them," Ross Comis said. "He said if we won tonight we'd beat them, but I think it would be a really close game, and I can't really speak on that. He thinks we'd beat them, but a lot of guys don't."