Good Sports: A Stovall football family tradition

Alec Nolan Image
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Good Sports: A Stovall football family tradition
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For San Joaquin Memorial football players Braden and Bowen Stovall, football is a family tradition.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For San Joaquin Memorial football players Braden and Bowen Stovall, football is a family tradition.

"Those two kids are really hard workers," their Head Coach Anthony Goston said.

Braden, a senior, and his younger brother a Junior. Both leaving Sanger High School this past season to carve new paths as Panthers

"They came to us this year and I think they've really fit into our culture and our school," Goston said. "They play with so much heart and pride and they're an example of what we're all about."

The baby brother -- although bigger -- starting at center for Memorial.

"Just kind of how we grew up went like this (height) on and off," Bowen said. "I ended up getting my dad's genes. He got his mom's genes but he's quicker than me so I'll give him that."

Braden meanwhile, operating the defense at middle linebacker and always acting as big brother.

"Just trying to be the best I can be," Braden said. "Trying to lay the brick road down for him."

"Brady's a quiet leader," Goston said. "Bowen's just finding himself, he's a younger guy."

Something their father and former Bulldog offensive lineman agrees with.

"That's pretty accurate," Mike said. "Brady is a born leader. He wants to lead by example, not necessarily what's coming out of his mouth. Bow is more of a let's check out the room let's see who's involved who's leading, what's going on. He's more tactical, kind of behind the scenes."

Mike knows what he's talking about. The former Bulldog played center for Coach Pat Hill at Fresno State, earning All-WAC honors alongside his quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick David Carr.

"A lot of our nights consist of breaking down film," Braden said.

"I was a film nut," Mike said. "I wasn't ever the most talented kid on the field, Coach Hill will happily tell you all about it, or anybody that I played with."

Film sessions, nothing new for Braden. But for Bowen, a chance to learn from someone who knows the position all too well.

"Where they are now especially my youngest son, it's very personal because that's what I played in college," Mike said.

Bowen is still rather new to the position, after battling a series of injuries over the past several years.

"He's battled through a lot of injury and he's overcome a lot of stuff to be where we are," Braden said. "I'm honestly really proud of him."

But Bowen is not taking any credit for himself.

"My Dad with my film, my coaches with my technique, it all formulated up from there," Bowen said.

As to whether they'd like to follow in Dad's footsteps, let's just say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

"100%," Braden said. "If that's an avenue then I would 100% take it."

With his little brother very much in the same boat.

"It would be such a great opportunity," Bowen said. "Like he said if the avenue is there I would definitely take that."