WHAT MIGHT seem like the most competitive and possibly contentious of situations at Chapin High is anything but. That is because Barrett Charpia is more than happy this week to return the Eagles quarterbacking duties to his younger brother, Matt.
Big brother filled in for little brother at quarterback the past two weeks in a pair of victories that propelled Chapin into the Class 3A playoffs. But Matt, recovered from a bruised thigh, will be back in his starting role Friday in the regular-season finale, and that is OK with Barrett.
Theyve done a real good job between the two of them with that, says David Charpia, the boys father and somewhat of an expert on the quarterback position. Dad is a member of the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame after a career in which he was a two-time all-Southern Conference quarterback (1982-83).
Typical brothers, theyre very competitive, he says. We really never had a problem from Day 1. They worked it out between the two of them. Barrett would rather play wide out. He likes to catch the ball and run with it. Matthews more of a pure quarterback as far as throwing the ball.
It helps matters that both know as does Chapin coach Justin Gentry Matt is the teams best quarterback, and Barrett is its top wide receiver.
The only real competition for the quarterback job came prior to the 2011 season when Barrett was a junior and Matt a sophomore. The competition began during the summer, but Gentry recognized at the start of fall practice that he needed both Charpias on the field at all times.
Putting (Barrett) behind Matt pushed Matt in more ways than one and made Matt that much better, Gentry says. When we got to the point where we knew Matt could handle the load all by himself, we made the move. He didnt beat Barrett out because we needed Barrett elsewhere. We were just kind of waiting for Matt to step it up.
As different as the two are as football players, they are equally opposite in personality. Barrett is focused and the less outgoing of the two, unable he says to stand and talk in front of his teammates until this season. Matt is more of a free spirit, according to his Dad.
Both are extremely competitive.
Theyre both very competitive on the field. Theyre competitive in the classroom. Theyre very competitive with each other, Gentry says. Typical brothers. I played football with my brother, so I get tickled pink watching them because they each coach each other and give each other opinions when they dont want to hear it. You know how brothers do.
The competition extends to their skeet shooting and duck hunting, although Matt concedes Barrett is much more adept. It helps that Matt does not cotton to the idea of waking before sunrise to hunt ducks.
More ferocious is the battle to secure keys to the Mercury Mountaineer they share. The first to the keys in the morning gets the car for the day. The jockeying usually begins with the best excuse presented to their parents about who most needs the vehicle, although Barrett has been known to hide the keys overnight.
Growing up, the two battled over who could run faster, jump higher and throw a football the farthest. The football flinging competition usually occurred in the driveway and Barrett usually had the edge when they were younger. I would blame it on the wind, Matt says, and Id try to switch ends.
That changed a year or so ago when Matt concentrated more of his efforts on being a quarterback and Barrett recognized his skills could best be utilized at wide receiver.
Their roles remained that way throughout the 2011 season and seven games into this season. Then Matt went down with an injury, and Barrett was called into emergency service. Barrett led Chapin past Lower Richland with Matt giving his brother instructions between series.
Barrett started this past Friday when Chapin spotted Dreher a 19-3 lead. In came Matt to rally Chapin to a 22-19 victory thanks in large part to a touchdown pass to Barrett and another 27-yard strike that set up the winning score in the games waning seconds.
That is the way the two want it to be for the remaining regular-season game Friday against Camden and into the first-round of the state playoffs, which Chapin will host for the first time.
It is the way the brothers like it.