WALES — Camaraderie has been a point of emphasis for the Oak Hill football team this season.

Whether it’s their motto of “one heartbeat” or their unselfish praise of teammates, the Raiders are a family — in more ways than one.

“We all say we’re a family and most of us really are a family,” senior Adam Merrill, who has kicked his fair share of clutch extra points this postseason, said.

Adam Merrill and twin Chad are one of three sets of brothers on Oak Hill this season, along with the Buteaus — Danny, a sophomore, and Levi, a junior — and the Tervos — Brendon, a junior, and Kyle, a senior.

While the brothers may share the same blood, they could not be any more different as players according to their coach.

“Siblings are usually rivals but our siblings are all very different kids,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “Can’t say they’re on the same wave length.”

For the Merrills that could not be any more true.

Adam is more of a finesse player, lining up in the secondary on defense and playing both basketball and baseball in the winter and spring, respectively. Chad, meanwhile, is a linebacker who plays lacrosse in the spring and has tried wrestling in the winter in the past.

“When we were little we used to have a lot of rivalry but we switched over to different sports,” Adam said.

Football has always brought them together though, for one simple reason.

“We love the game,” Chad said.

The Tervos also have their differences when it comes to playing style.

Big brother Kyle — who is actually listed at 150 pounds, 25 pounds lighter than his younger brother — is the Raiders’ top target in the receiving game after Alex Mace, plays defensive back and also returns kicks for the Raiders. Brendon, meanwhile, is much more physical and rotates in on the offensive and defensive lines.

“It’s been great,” Brendon Tervo said of playing with his older brother. “He’s been teaching me stuff that I haven’t learned.”

In last Saturday’s 7-6 win over Lisbon in the Western D championship, the brothers combined to make a play that will certainly make their personal highlight reel, as Brendon came up with a fumble recovery just inches away from the goal line with the Greyhounds threatening to take the lead early in the fourth quarter.

“I saw Mace come over and hit the guy. I don’t remember who it was, but he hit him and I just saw the ball come out and I dove for it,” Kyle Tervo said. “It was just out of my reach so I kind of saw Brendon there and smacked it to him. If I couldn’t get it I’d rather have him get it than one of them or something.”

Danny Buteau has played jayvee for the Raiders this season, while older brother Levi has been a key role player at linebacker for the Raiders. The junior was forced out of last Saturday’s contest late in the second quarter with an ankle injury, but Doucette said he would be ready to go this weekend.

“Danny’s a young player. Levi plays a lot of defense and he subs in on offense,” Doucette said. “Levi’s a role player, and he knows his role and does a pretty good job.”

The Raiders’ family extends beyond just the brothers, though, as a number of players on the team are cousins as well.

Their connection goes beyond just familial relations, however, particularly after the ride they have been on for the past two years.

As Oak Hill prepares to take the field for one last time Saturday in Portland at Fitzpatrick Stadium to play for the Class D championship, it will do so as one team, one family, one heartbeat.

“We treat each other like family,” Kyle Tervo said. “If anybody needs anything, we just come to our teammates (aid).”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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