4 brothers looking to take field for University of Regina Rams at same time

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The University of Regina Rams could potentially have four brothers on the field at the same time this season. 

The four Sombachs are already practising together with the team and all play on the defensive side of the ball. Jackson Sombach, 23, is in his final stretch of university football. He was the first of his brothers to join the Regina Rams, followed by Carson, 21, and 20-year-old twins Connor and Rylar.

Even without playing together in a regular season game, the brothers have made history, according to the university. 

“This is the first time the U of R Rams have had four brothers on the team at the same time,” the university said in an email.

Jackson is the starting halfback — a defensive back who lines up inside — for the Rams and was a Canada West all-star last season. He said football has been a long-standing family tradition.

“All of our Christmas presents were football stuff,” he said. “We played snowball in the front yard or the back yard. We were always tackling each other in the basement playing football. So we’ve been pretty bred to play football since we were young.”

Jackson Sombach, 23, is in his final stretch of university football. (Adam Bent/CBC)

Their dad, Steve Sombach, was a Rams offensive lineman when the team was winning Canadian junior championships in the 1980s. Steve says he got into football when he was 14 and he got his inspiration from his own dad. 

“I used to see pictures of my dad on the wall with him and his football uniform and his pads and stuff from 1956.”

Each of the brothers has had their eyes on the same prize since they were young. They have all represented team Saskatchewan and won championships at Regina’s Miller High School before joining the Rams. 

Steve, like all of his kids, also played for Miller High School. He later went on to coach there from 1988 until last year, including the time when all four brothers were winning championships at the school.

“An image I have in my mind is I would take these guys to practice with me. So, I pick them up from elementary school and take them to Miller football practice. They got to know all the players, hang around, and it was really quite neat. They were like three, four, five, six year-olds and they grew up on the football field.”

A photo of a man in a football kit.
Steve Sombach’s father Raymond Sombach played football in B.C. in 1956. (Submitted by Steve Sombach)

Steve said the four brothers played football in their basement with a makeshift field constructed from mattresses. 

“There’s holes in the wall that I didn’t fix till five years ago because there was no point,” he said.

Connor said four Sombachs on the same roster feels like it was meant to be. 

“Ever since we were young, we just kinda planned on going to the Rams our whole life and here we are now.”

Jackson played each of the first five games this season, amassing 17 tackles and an interception. Carson trailed his older brother by one tackle with 16.

Connor and Rylar are yet to take the field for the team this season, but Connor said he watches game film with his brothers and learns from them.

“It’s a pretty cool experience actually. It’s not normal you get to play with all your brothers at the same time, so it’s pretty sweet.”

Football players in green kits walking around.
Connor (#33) and his twin brother Rylar Sombach walk on as they practise for their game against Alberta. (Adam Bent/CBC)

Rylar said he sees his older brothers’ career trajectories as a benchmark.

“We’ve had a competitive relationship at home, so you’ll see that they’re having success in football and that’s like, ‘damn, I wanna do better, I wanna be better than them.'”

The four brothers have all played together on two plays, but only in preseason games — once in Manitoba and once in Alberta. Jackson called them a success, because they didn’t get beat for a touchdown on either. 

“We know each other’s mannerisms, like how we react to stuff,” Jackson said. “We know each other inside-out. We’ve lived together for 20 years now so we can tell what each other needs and how we react to certain things. So our chemistry is very high and it helps for us to communicate on a football field.”

Carson said that chemistry plays into every part of their lives.

“It’s awesome having your family with you 24/7,” Carson said, “You go to school together, do football together, do homework together, stay here, have practice, eat meals, like you’re always with them. It’s nice to build chemistry and it’s good to have your best friends beside you at all times.”

A football player in a green jersey and a green helmet playing.
Carson Sombach, 21, practising during a Regina Rams training session ahead of a game at Alberta. (Adam Bent/CBC)

Rylar said he sees success in the brothers’ future.

“When I look ahead, I see the Vanier Cup coming,” Rylar said. 

The Rams’ — and the Sombachs’ — next game is at home against Manitoba on Oct. 14.



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