Redshirt senior Trey Mason and sophomore Will Mason both play defense for Butler’s football team. Photos by Claire Runkel.
SARAH HOHMAN | SPORTS EDITOR | email@example.com
SAWYER GOLDWEIN | SPORTS REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
When the Butler football team took the field against Wabash on Saturday night, a pair of brothers lined up on defense for the Bulldogs. Redshirt senior Trey and sophomore Will Mason’s football journey led them from their hometown North Carolina to sharing the field again in Indiana.
Raleigh to Indianapolis
Trey was five when his father first encouraged him to pick up a football. Shortly after, Will did the same. The Mason family has always been a support system for the brothers, whether that was attending their high school games at Cardinal Gibbons High School or supporting them at the collegiate level.
After cheering their boys on in the high school stands, the Masons now get to make the trek to the Sellick Bowl, to watch them play at the Division 1 level.
In 2019 Trey packed his things and moved to Indianapolis for his first year of college. Will did not make the first trip with his brother, but joined him three years later to join Butler football himself.
When Will officially committed to Butler in 2022, the Mason family was excited for the opportunity to watch the brothers compete on the same field.
“I think [our parents] are very happy,” Trey said. “It’s easier for them to get to games obviously … They’ve been very supportive; their goal is to be at every home game this year and most of the away games.”
Throughout their time at Butler, the Mason brothers’ relationship has only grown stronger. Trey described them as “closer than people would imagine.”
On the field
Head coach Mike Uremovich preaches communication and teamwork, and for Trey and Will, chemistry is in their blood.
“They are both on the same side of the ball,” Uremovich said. “ … They like to help each other. They do communicate a lot, and they are always together.”
Uremovich also complimented the brothers’ attitudes and their work ethic. He said the team is lucky to have players who love the game as much as them.
The brothers consistently spend time together in their everyday lives, but their familial connection does not stop them from dialing in on the field. Will emphasized the balance he and Trey are able to achieve between being brothers and teammates.
“We just know each other so well, and what this game means to each other,” Will said. “We just do a great job of keeping things professional. I want him to be great. He wants me to be great out on the field. So, when we come out here, it’s almost like the switch switches on … I think that [the] equal will to just be really good at football is something that helps us a lot.”
From the time Trey and Will were first introduced to football, they’ve spent more than enough time training together to get familiar with each other’s games.
“We’ve worked together so much,” Will said. “I know his technique like the back of my hand.”
The defensive back duo does not play the exact same style of football. Will noted that he likes to fly around the field more, while Trey is a very technical defender.
Though sometimes the balance between a personal relationship and a teammate can be challenging, Trey said this is not the case for him and his brother.
“It’s not hard [to balance],” Trey said. “We’re so close. His locker is across from mine. Honestly, I don’t even look at him as my teammate most of the time. [He’s] just my brother.”
Old dog and the puppy
Competition between brothers is often present in a family dynamic, but it seems to only increase in the team sport.
Coach Uremovich discussed the brothers’ relationship in and out of the locker room.
“Trey is the older guy, and Will is the younger guy with all of the energy,” Uremovich said. “It’s like an old dog and a puppy. [The puppy] is always nipping around, and the older one just wants to hang out. It’s fun to watch them.”
As the younger of the two, Will enjoys the brotherly competition they share. Whether in football, or even basketball at times, the brothers don’t back away from friendly trash talking.
“Any sport, he can’t see me,” Will said. “No sport he can see me whatsoever in. I got the better genes.”
However, the banter does not stop them from spending quality time together. Trey explained how the two rarely spend time apart, whether it’s at their neighboring lockers or when they watch NFL games on Sunday.
“He visited [Butler] because of me,” Trey said. “He stayed at my place. He just hung out with me. I think we watched football.”
Not only are Trey and Will friends and teammates, but they set examples for each other to follow.
“They used to call me ‘Little Trey’ all the time,” Will said. “It’s just been so nice just having him around just to be a mentor too.”
Trey said that he originally did not want Will to come to Butler because he wanted him to have his own, unique college football journey. Looking back now, he said he is happy to have his best friend here with him.
Whether Trey and Will are training on the practice field together, competing in a hard fought game or rooming with each other on a road trip, the brothers are just happy to enjoy the experience together.
“Not many brothers get the opportunity to do what we do,” Will said.