Every year, as Thanksgiving rolls around, it becomes a time for families to reunite over food and football. Last week, Joe and Will Worth did just that. For the first time since he left Lithia and Newsome High School for the U.S. Naval Academy, Joe was able to see his younger brother play football. And not just any game, but a playoff game against neighboring rival Durant High.
For years in high school they played together on the field at Newsome, but now they play thousands of miles apart.
"It made us grow closer being on the field together. It made us trust each other," said Joe Worth. "When you spend that much time on the field together, the relationship grows."
Watching from the sidelines, Joe could be seen experiencing a variety of emotions. This playoff game was getting closer and closer by the play. From excitement and cheering to sitting in a crouch position, hands over his mouth and a furrowed brow. Farther back, his parents endured the same emotions.
But mother Susan Worth was just happy to have her sons reunited on the field.
"I always feel at peace when everyone is back at home," said Susan Worth. "Joe is his (Will's) biggest supporter and Will loved playing with him there."
With a nail-biting ending, Newsome beat Durant 21-14, and the team's excitement spread out onto the field like a rushing river of energy. Joe waited for Will on the sidelines with a big hug. The next day, standing around the kitchen island eating Thanksgiving leftovers, smiles could be seen in between bites. A brief moment of relaxation for the Worth brothers before they go on to their next football battles.
Will and the Wolves play Kissimmee Osceola tonight. Joe and the Midshipmen play Army on Dec. 8.