PRENTICE - Prentice brothers Taylor and Trace Brayton love playing baseball together. They also love to joke with each other, but a few years ago, there wasn't much joking on the Prentice baseball team. The Bucs barely had enough players to field a team, but things have changed since then.
"Our numbers have gone up. I think we had nine [players] my freshman year, and now we're up to 15 and increasing," said Taylor Brayton.
This season the Bucs have won six conference games. That's four more than a year ago and six more than a winless 2015 season. The Brayton brothers are two big reasons for that steady increase.
"They're both just great kids, great leaders. They're quiet leaders. They just let their actions show," said Head Coach Joe Parisi.
Actions like an earned run average of less than two over the last two seasons for Taylor. As Taylor continues to impress on the mound during his senior year, Trace is showing his own value as a sophomore.
"Pitching, I try to give him a lot of advice, but he's definitely got me beat in the outfield. He's a good outfielder," said Taylor.
While there are some compliments, the competition between the two is intense.
"There's competition going back and forth. They kind of ask me 'hey coach was that a hit?'," said Parisi.
"Every time he's on the mound, he starts walking people, or starts struggling I'll go out and give him a hard time," said Taylor.
Taylor isn't the only one that gets to poke fun. Trace says it's something he'll miss next year.
"After he strikes out, I kind of bump into him a little bit. It'll be kind of weird not having him to do that anymore," said Trace.
Prentice activities director Jeremy Brayton has a unique perspective on the sibling rivalry, as both a coach, and as a father. As Taylor prepares to graduate this spring, Jeremy says he'll miss watching his sons play together.
"That's going to change, that's going to change her real soon, I don't know that I'm ready for that," said Jeremy Brayton.
He knows he can look back at all that Taylor has accomplished, and all that Trace continues to achieve, with a smile.
"It makes me really proud, I'm really proud of, I'm very proud of the strides that they've made," said Jeremy Brayton.
Taylor will graduate in a few weeks with 12 varsity letters, while Trace is on track to do just the same. Prentice will play its next game on Thursday against Newman Catholic.