It’s a family affair on Memorial High School’s formidable defensive line, anchored by brothers Aiden and Kelton Farmer.
“We also do try to one-up each other out there sometimes but overall, we are just happy to be making plays as a family,” said Aiden, an IFCA Class 4A all-state defensive end last season. “Not a lot of people get to play right next to their brother.”
Aiden has a great motor and instinct, said Memorial coach John Hurley. He described Kelton as a “weight room guy” who works hard.
“Aiden gives relentless effort and is coachable,” Hurley said “Both are wrestlers and that plays into their mental toughness.”
Aiden said his coaches push him every day to improve.
“And even though I’m an ‘all-state lineman that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to work on every week,” he said. “So, this year I have more experience under my belt and I’m just trying to keep sharpening up my game and I’m thankful to have coaches who push me to do that.”
Memorial moved up the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference ladder on the strength of its 29-15 victory over AP Class 2A No. 2 Mater Dei last Friday. The Tigers, Mater Dei, and Castle are all tied for second at 3-1 behind Jasper, the league’s only unbeaten team at 4-0. Mater Dei is ranked No. 5 in the new IFCA 2A poll while Jasper is No. 5 and Memorial No. 11 in 4A and Castle tied for No. 10 in 5A.
The Tigers will try to avoid a letdown on Friday as it hosts Harrison (0-4) at Enlow Field. The kickoff is 7 p.m.
Hurley said the Farmer brothers do drive each other.
“I think they take a lot of pride in being on the D-line together,” Hurley said.
Kelton, a junior, says he and his brother prefer defense because “we get to be aggressive and go out there and make a hit.” He said Aiden, a senior, taught him how to play with confidence.
Aiden agreed that he taught his brother competitiveness but “he is a very hard worker and that correlates to the field.”
Kelton said wrestling helps with discipline and mental toughness.
“It also helps with speed and agility,” he said.
Kelton, who wrestled at 220 last year, is currently around 230. Aiden wrestled at 152 and is currently at 160.
Aiden is tied for second on the team in tackles with Will Rogers; both have 25. Justin Scheberle paces the Tigers with 29. Kelton has 22.
Hurley didn’t want to overplay the significance of beating Mater Dei.
“It’s a good win against a quality program,” he said. “Nobody won any banners last week, but we are working toward getting better.”
Part of the reason for Memorial’s improvement is newfound confidence and the return of running back Ray Brodie, wide receiver Connor Agler, and defensive back Johnny Shea to the lineup. Shea had a team-high eight tackles against the Wildcats.
With 20 returning seniors starters, Memorial has been tabbed the SIAC preseason favorite. Kelton said beating Mater Dei doesn’t take any pressure off because rankings don’t mean anything.
“You have to constantly get better as a team and that’s what the focus needs to be,” he said.
Aiden said the talent has been there since week one.
“We just had to buckle up on some things and start playing as a team,” he said. “We have to go out there every day and practice like we are going to play and it will correlate to the field. We also have a coaching staff who pushes us to be our best every week, because they know the potential this group has.”
Hurley wasn’t worried about a letdown.
“We get one shot a week and you have to take advantage of it,” he said. “We will lean on our seniors and the little things will matter.”
SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA FOOTBALL
(All times CDT)
Washington (0-3) at Pike Central (0-2), 6 p.m.
Rock Creek Academy (1-2) at North Daviess (3-1), 6 p.m.
North Central (Farmersburg) (0-3) at North Knox (3-1), 6 p.m.
Castle (3-1) at Vincennes Lincoln (1-3), 6:30 p.m.
Jasper (4-0) at Mater Dei (3-1), 6:30 p.m.
Boonville (0-3) at Linton-Stockton (4-0), 6:30 p.m.
Forest Park (2-2) at Mount Vernon (4-0), 6:30 p.m.,
Southridge (2-2) at Gibson Southern (3-1), 6:30 p.m.
Springs Valley (4-0) at Tell City (2-2), 6:30 p.m.
Perry Central (3-1) at Tecumseh (1-2), 6:30 p.m.
Bosse (2-2) at North (2-2), 7 p.m.
Harrison (0-4) at Memorial (3-1), 7 p.m.
Reitz (2-2) at Central (0-4), 7 p.m. WYFX-106.7 FM
North Posey (4-0) at Heritage Hills (3-1), 7 p.m.
Princeton (1-3) at South Spencer (1-3), 7 p.m.