by John Unrein
Grain Valley senior defensive back Brayden Terry is a returning starter in the Eagles secondary. His efforts during the 2019 campaign helped the Eagles to a 9-4 record and the Class 4, District 7 Championship. His not so little brother, Cooper, is a junior competing for a starting spot along the Eagles offensive line at right tackle.
The same last name, enjoyment of competition, and being proud of their school colors is not the biggest driving force that unites the two siblings. Instead, it is their love of football. Something instilled in them by their father, Mike Cooper.
“I like how much respect is given by your opponent when you compete hard against him. In between the start and end of the game you want to rip each other’s heart out, but afterward you share a connection. This is a brotherhood that grows out of competition,” Cooper Terry said.
Brayden Terry added, “I have loved football my whole life. My Dad played baseball growing up, but I can remember him watching and talking about football since I was little. There’s something about carrying the football and getting to be around your teammates. It creates a bond that’s hard to replace.”
“My only advice to my brother Cooper is to go crazy. Give this your all. Don’t be scared and whatever happens, happens. The best things occur when you are the one being the most physical.”
The youngest Terry has soaked up the advice of and latched on to both his older brother and best friend, Jack Bailey to serve as mentors. Bailey plays right guard and is a returning starter along the Eagles offensive line. It’s not been uncommon during football camp the week of June 29th to see the two talking about technique or line calls before or after a rep.
“Jack (Bailey) and I are around each other on and off the field. He plays right guard and I play right tackle. We have a chemistry to where we trust each other and listen to what the other one is saying. Off the field we share the same jokes and the same job. We both work at Price Chopper doing the same thing,” Cooper Terry said.
While Brayden Terry tends to be quiet and introverted, the opposite would be true of Cooper Terry, who is not bashful about his sense of humor. An example of this was apparent during a skip pull drill at camp where lineman skip to get depth out of their stance to build momentum before they continue their path to block the defender in front of them.
The younger Terry pulled out of his stance quickly prior to getting his feet tangled and falling. The laughs only grew from his peers when a fellow lineman got in a sniper stance on the ground in front of him with Terry falling again upon hearing “bang” without missing a beat. Varsity assistant offensive line coaches Mike Tarrants and Gavin Grillo worked hard to fight back a smile prior to correcting the needed footwork of those participating in the drill.
Both Terrys will have their work cut out for them as Grain Valley transitions to the Suburban Conference’s White Division or Middle Six this upcoming season. Belton, Fort Osage, Raytown, Truman, and William Chrisman will join Grain Valley to round out the division. Brayden will be facing athletic wide receivers, while Cooper will be blocking powerful edge rushers and linebackers. It’s a family affair they both look forward to.