Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Phillips brothers present different attributes on soccer field

Ever since the Phillips brothers were little, they’ve been playing soccer together.Phillips brothers present different attributes on soccer field | Photo by Brett Axelrod

According to Greg Phillips, he and his brother Steve have played hundreds of one-on-one games in their front yard and in the basement of their house as well as participating in countless games of pick-up soccer.

Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that the two feel they share a special connection when they take the field together for Whitman.

“I think we know how each other plays and what runs and decisions we usually make on the field,” said Greg. “Like in the Whitworth game, I just knew Steve would be lurking on the other side of the field.”

Both brothers are juniors at Whitman, though Greg is two years older, having spent two years abroad in Frankfurt, Germany while serving a mission for his church. Greg said returning as a sophomore and seeing most of his friends in their senior year was strange for him. However knowing that he would get to play with Steve for the remainder of his Whitman soccer career was a big bonus.

“Anyone playing with Steve will have their game enhanced because he has the ability to make others play better. I look forward to spending time with him in soccer, and I cherish it,” said Greg.

Their cooperation was evident when the two were reunited on the field last season. One of Greg’s two assists on the year was to his brother, coming in a 1-1 tie with Linfield.

As for more recent play, the two have already linked up for one goal this season. Greg found Steve on a long ball played across the field and Steve finished to provide the lone goal against league-leading Whitworth in a 2-1 loss.

The brothers, who are from Sandy, Utah, have a number of memorable soccer moments prior to their tenures at Whitman. In 2003 their high school team won the state championship in Utah’s 3A Division.

That year Greg was the senior team leader and Steve was a sophomore establishing his place on the team. Now, Steve is a team captain and Greg is one of key players in Whitman’s starting lineup. According to Steve, though, being captain over his older brother hasn’t changed their relationship.

“[My captaincy] really doesn’t matter. I feel like we are both leaders and that we each give each other advice. Greg really is good at keeping the team spirits up, staying positive and being an awesome leader that way,” said Steve.

Greg has no older-sibling reservations about his little brother being captain.

“Steve has the natural ability to be a leader. He is generally soft-spoken, but when he says something on the soccer field, his teammates listen,” said Greg.

Head Coach Mike Washington has certainly enjoyed having a pair of such talented brothers play under him.

“Having two brothers on the team could be difficult, but not in this case. They will be sadly missed on their graduation,” said Washington.

The brothers agree that competing with each other has made them better athletes over the years.

“I hate when he gets by me. When we were younger and played one vs. one we would get really physical and dirty and then get in fights that could last for a quite a while,” said Steve. “I don’t think that we have gotten in a fight for a really long time, but I know that he doesn’t want me to beat him and I definitely don’t want to get beat by him,” said Steve.

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